Derek closes this week’s study with the assurance that if we have given all we have to the Lord, He will share all that is His with us. We are joint heirs with Jesus, and have the Holy Spirit within us testifying that we are God’s children. As we share in Christ’s sufferings, as well as His glory, we know He will be with us through it all.
It’s good to be with you again, as we draw near to the close of another week. Today I’m going to continue and complete the theme we’ve been studying this week, “The Door Only You Can Open.” I do trust that my talks on this theme have been helpful to you.
My talks this week have been based on the words of Jesus in Revelation 3:20:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
We’ve seen that these words indicate two alternative possible relationships we may have with Jesus. Jesus may be on the outside of our life, knocking and seeking to gain admission; or we may open the door and let Him into our life and make Him our Lord and He’s on the inside dwelling with us.
In order to have Jesus on the inside, in order to admit Him, there are certain things that we need to do, which I’ve explained in my previous talks. First, we need to hear His voice. We need to let the Holy Spirit bring the voice of Jesus to our heart. Second, we need to open the door. And I pointed out that’s a decision; a simple decision, but a vital decision. It can be illustrated by such words as: yield or submit or commit. It’s letting Jesus in to have His way, to take charge of our life, to be in very deed our Lord and Savior.
When He comes in, then there’s that commitment of faith. He says, “I will dine with him and he with Me.” The order’s very important. First of all, Jesus asks to share our dinner. Then He says, “If you’ll share your dinner with Me, I’ll share My dinner with you.” But always we have to do it in the right order. Always we commit to the Lord, we surrender to Him, whatever we may have, however little it may seem or however much it may seem—it’s still very little by comparison with what He has. And when He’s permitted to share our dinner, then comes the great and wonderful climax—we can share His dinner.
So, in my closing talk today, I’m going to unfold that final and most wonderful phase of this transaction: how Jesus shares His dinner with us. I want to return to some words I used before in which Jesus speaks about His relationship with God the Father. In John 17, verse 10, He says to the Father: “All I have is yours, and all you have is mine.” You see, Jesus Himself followed the same order in His relationship with the Father. First of all, He says to the Father, “Everything I have is yours,” and then on the basis of that He knows that everything the Father has is His.
Now, Jesus wants us to duplicate that in our relationship with Him which He has demonstrated in His relationship with the Father. So Jesus asks us to say to Him, “All I have is yours.” And then He comes back with His reply, “And all I have is yours, too.” If we look at the relationship of Jesus to the Father we see the two sides. The relationship of a child to his father. We can look at it in simple, human terms. What’s the attitude of the child? I would say obedience and trust. “My father is bigger than I. He’s stronger than I. He’s got all I need. He’ll take care of me. Whatever he asks from me I will not even think of withholding it.”
What’s the picture of the Father? I would say limitless power and love. There’s nothing that’s not under His control. He’s the Lord of everything. He created everything. He owns everything. Everything is obedient to Him in the universe. And He has limitless love. So, with that possibility, it’s foolish to withhold anything. And, as I’ve already said in my previous talks this week, when we receive Jesus through that we’re born of God. We have the right to become children of God. And so after that we have the relationship of children to God. And Romans, chapter 8 presents this in a very beautiful and an all-encompassing way. Paul tells us if we’re sons of God then we’re heirs of God, co-heirs with Jesus, God’s first and only begotten Son. So this is what Paul says now to those of us who have received Jesus. He says:
“...you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. [You didn’t become slaves, you’re not mere servants, you’re sons of God.] And by him [by that Spirit] we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’”
“Abba” is the Aramaic and the Hebrew word for “Daddy.” Ruth and I spend half our year about in Jerusalem and when we walk in the streets, especially on the Sabbath and all the Orthodox Jewish men are out with their wives and children, time and time again we hear the children say, “Abba,” Daddy. And I never hear that without thinking of this verse. We have the right, as God’s children, to say, “Abba. Daddy,” to Him. He wants that most intimate personal relationship. And then Paul goes on in the next verse:
“The Spirit [the Holy Spirit] himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. [If we should ever be tempted to doubt it, the Spirit reinforces the truth. The Spirit confirms, the Spirit reassures us. ‘You really are a child of God. You’re really born of God. You’re an heir of God. And then Paul goes on in the next verse, and this is where I’m leading you to:] 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.’”
Now, the Christian life is not all a bed of roses. There is suffering. Jesus suffered. We’re called to suffer like Him and with Him but if we’ll go through the suffering, we’ll also share in the glory. But notice that phrase, “[We are] heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ,” joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
Now, according to the law of that time, if you were a co-heir, you shared the entire inheritance with the other heir. So, everything that Jesus has He shares with us. We don’t get just a little portion. It’s not divided up. But the whole inheritance belongs to Jesus and to us. In other words, He shares His dinner with us. Children of God, heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. That’s the position that God invites us to take with Him through receiving Jesus.
I want to give you just a couple of other Scriptures from the New Testament which reinforce the truth that I’m presenting. Remember the picture is we’ve shared our dinner with Jesus; now He’s sharing His dinner with us. In 1 Corinthians, chapter 3, verses 21–23, Paul writes this:
“So then, no more boasting about men! [Don’t get all tied up with human personalities.] All things are yours, [and then he gives some examples of human ministers] whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all [things] are yours.”
Don’t get your eyes on man. Remember who you are. You’re a child of God. You’re an heir of God, a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. It’s not a question of following this or that preacher or belonging to this or that church or denomination—all that may have a place—the vital thing is to recognize that you’re an heir of God, a joint-heir with Jesus Christ and all things are yours. And then Paul goes on:
“...and you are... Christ[’s], and Christ is... God.”
You see? Everything that God has belongs to Christ, everything that Christ has belongs to us if we belong to Him. Tremendous words: All things are yours— “...the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours.” That’s sharing Jesus’ dinner with Him. You see, it’s not merely for this life, it’s for the present, it’s for the future, it’s for life but still stands in death. What we have in our inheritance is eternal. It stretches beyond the boundaries of time and into the eternal life of God Himself.
Let me give you one other beautiful Scripture to this end. Romans 14, verses 7 and 8:
“For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. [Alone is such a sad word, isn’t it? There are so many lonely people in the world today. But once you’ve received Jesus, you never need to be lonely again. None of us lives to himself alone. None of us dies to himself alone.] If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”
You see, the Lord is stronger than death. Jesus conquered death. All of us are going to face death at some time unless the Lord comes and claims us as His own first. But death is nothing to be afraid of when you belong to the Lord because death is under the control of the Lord. All things are ours. Time is ours, eternity is ours. All the riches of the eternal kingdom of God have been made available to us because we have made ourselves available to Jesus Christ. We have opened the door. We’ve invited Him in. We’ve offered Him our puny little dinner, all that we had and then comes this glorious climax. He turns round and He says, “Now, share My dinner with Me. All you have is Mine, so all I have is yours.”
Listen, never be afraid to commit all that you have to Jesus. You’ll gain by it more than you can ever imagine. But remember, you have to do it in faith, you have to give to Him first, you give Him what you have and then you discover that all that He has is yours.
Our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again next week at this same time, Monday through Friday. Next week I’ll be sharing with you on another rich and exciting theme from the Word of God.