This Week’s Passage and Memory Verse (in red): 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
My dad died when I was 13 years old and because my folks had split up I received an inheritance. It was enough money to see that I could get through the college of my choice and have a little left over. By the time that I was 25 it was gone. The inheritance that we will receive from the Lord is an eternal inheritance. We will be able to enjoy it for always. And it will be so much more fulfilling than any earthly inheritance we could ever receive. There are only a few allusions in Scripture to what this inheritance will be like but they are enough to make me really look forward to it.
I notice too that until the time to receive God’s inheritance that we are “shielded by God’s power.” This means that His hand of protection is upon my life – much like it was upon Job’s life. It does not mean that we are immune to trouble and difficulty. It does mean that in the midst of the trouble and difficulty that I can still find joy because my life is not about this world but about the world to come. And even “though now for a little while” may seem like a long time to us – in reality it is just a drop in the bucket of time.
I had breakfast this morning with my good friend Elton Earp. 93 years old and still a wild man. He graduated from high school in 1936 and he tells me that it seems like yesterday. He can still vividly remember the day and all that went on. He will tell you that “now for a little while” is exactly that – just a little while and that your life will be over lickety split. It won’t matter much what your inheritance, if any, is in this world. The only thing that ultimately matters is what is stored up for you in heaven “when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
That is why it is imperative to make sure that your faith is genuine because genuine faith is “of greater worth than gold.” You do not want to die and find out that your faith was made up of fool’s gold. Because fools gold will be burned up in the unquenchable fire. So I implore you to make sure that your faith will result in “praise, glory. and honor” to God. You will be incredibly and eternally glad that you did.
I’m just sayin’!
Next Week’s Passage: Ephesians 6:10-20
Next Week’s Memory Verse: Ephesians 6:10-11