What is inheritance? Is it simply the leaving of money or property to others, or is it something more? Can we leave an inheritance that actually continues to grow; impacting others positively for generations to come?
Join us as we explore the importance and meaning of inheritance and how each of us can leave behind a legacy that is far more precious than gold!
What is the Meaning of Inheritance?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the meaning of inheritance is:
- something that is or may be inherited
- the act of inheriting property
- the reception of genetic qualities by transmission from parent to offspring
- the acquisition of a possession, condition, or trait from past generations
- a valuable possession that is a common heritage from nature
- obsolete: POSSESSION
These short definitions of inheritance lead us to view it as a simple word. But is it?
Some of the most commonly connected words to inheritance are legacy, tradition, birthright, and heritage. In the world, inheritance is generally seen in monetary terms; however, that is only a small part of what inheritance can be…
In fact, someone who has not a cent to their name can actually leave an inheritance—one requiring no paperwork or other legal formality. This is because an inheritance can consist of character, values, faith, help, etc. It can consist of the effects of our own lives… or in other words, the results of our actions and choices. Further, it is not restricted to family or even friends, but can at times be passed on to complete strangers.
Certainly, inheritance can consist of finances, properties, or belongings passed on to family members, friends, or charitable organizations. It can even consist of what is given by us throughout our lives—such as the planting of a tree, the giving of food, the providing of purpose. But no matter the form the inheritance takes, it has the incredible ability to make a difference. To leave an impactful legacy.
So why is leaving an inheritance rarely a part of our thoughts?
Why do we not view every day of our lives as an opportunity to increase the inheritance we leave behind?
Why do so few understand that making good choices and being intentional about leaving things in better condition than we find them is a part of setting aside an inheritance?
The Inheritance We Receive
Thanks to the precious gift of Jesus Christ—Yeshua HaMashiach—living, dying, rising again, and returning to Heaven, each of us who choose to follow Him can find an inheritance. The meaning of inheritance in this case consists of salvation, freedom, family, provision, protection, and more found only in the Lord!
This is the greatest legacy ever set aside, and yet sadly, one of the most overlooked. But why is that?
Not many people would turn down an inheritance of one-hundred-million dollars or a ton of gold. Certainly, the recipient of such an inheritance might give a portion away, but few would ultimately refuse the inheritance. And yet too often the inheritance that God provided, which is of far higher value, is turned down.
Eternal life, relationship with God, and every other blessing that comes with salvation are frequently shoved aside. At times as if both God and the inheritance were corrupt when the opposite is true.
This is a sad thing in many, many ways. Not only for those who reject this promised inheritance, but also for God Himself. Because the Lord greatly loves all His creation and desires that none should perish.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”—Luke 11:13
God treats us as His children rather than as what we deserve. And as a result, He, like any good father, would see us blessed and growing into the best individuals we can be. As all children though, we have a choice. To choose the good that is put before us, or the bad.
It is a precious gift that God has given us… allowing us to choose the good. God wants all of us to choose life rather than death… to accept the fullness of His provided inheritance. To be restored!
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”—2 Peter 3:9
The Inheritance We Leave
Just as we are able to receive an inheritance, we can also give an inheritance that grows and impacts others in a positive way; sharing of the inheritance God has provided us most importantly. This sharing of inheritance can include a variety of things, ranging from salvation, to the gifts and talents God has placed in us, to hope, to building up community and family, and beyond.
Yes, we can leave behind physical things such as property or finances. And this is often a part of our unique legacy. However, the best legacy we can leave is the result of a life led by the Spirit… one that produces good fruit (see Matthew 12:33). That causes others to see the light!
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”—Matthew 5:14-16
God has chosen to leave an inheritance to His children, full and priceless; experienced on Earth and in Heaven. This is a beautiful legacy, and it will last through all eternity… because God never changes. His love never stops!
Though the inheritance we—as God’s children—are able to leave is not the same, it is still precious in its own way. It is still important. It is a part of what true children of God who are made in His image are meant to do. Because it is good and our Father Himself has demonstrated its importance… He has shown us what the meaning of inheritance truly is and how to leave an impactful one!
“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.”—Proverbs 13:22
It is time for us to start being intentional with the inheritance, the legacy, that we leave behind. To follow after God, thereby creating habits and patterns that lead to righteous results… that bear good fruit.
It is time for us to be a people of inheritance. Preparing the way for God’s Kingdom!