Romans 8:17 “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory” (NIV).

Observation: Life lived by the Spirit is our only gateway to assured resurrection with Christ. We choose, according to Paul, whether we will live a Spirit-controlled or a flesh-controlled life. If we have chosen Christ, His life is ours as evidenced by the fact that we share in His inheritance.

Application: Paul used a lawyer’s language to describe my inheritance in Christ. To be God’s heir is a legal position, not something I daydream about being, but something I am. No matter the intensity of wishing, I am not a child of the Rockefellers or Gettys. Dorothy might successfully wish herself back to Kansas, but I will never have an inheritance from these storied fortunes. But by the Spirit of God my inheritance is no longer limited by the earthly lineage into which I was born. In accepting Christ, God Himself has become my father, and I am His.

The time has come for the Probate Judge to read the Father’s will. In the hushed courtroom, palpable anticipation blankets the scene; “the whole creation . . .  groans inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons”(Rom. 8:22–23).

As the probate process gets under way, words I have longed to hear ring through the courtroom: I am indeed His heir! Yes! All He has is mine. I am made a joint tenant, a coheir with Christ of all the Father has. I am to share in Christ’s glory; waiting tabloid reporters sprawling across courthouse steps now have their story, splashing in three-inch headlines that I share in all the glory, the majesty, the bounty, of Christ, if . . .

That damnable word, if. If indeed I now share in His sufferings. Every contract has fine print, and this is mine. I am coheir with Christ if I now share in His sufferings. I must willingly lay down my life as He laid down His, voluntarily surrender everything I have to gain joint tenancy in all He has. What I give up cannot be compared with what I will gain; yet the point is that I must give it up. Such daily decisions do not come easily. “Creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed” (v. 19). Creation eagerly waits for my decisions.

Prayer: Father, I yield. I cannot cling to my poor estate while inheriting yours. Show me each day what I must lay down in order to lay claim to all You have for me.