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Summary: As unemployment is still rampant, some of us struggle to make ends meet, needless to say provide an inheritance for our next generation. However, through any frustration and hold-up in life, we are called to REJOICE in our promised inheritance in Heaven.

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Rejoicing in our Inheritance, Despite a Horrible Job Market

Sterling C. Franklin

Glorious King Jesus Christian Church

June 5, 2011 (Sunday)

Man, this job market is HORRIBLE! Many men in their 60s and 70s who have talked with me on the topic are saying that they’ve never seen such hardship in entering the workforce, even for those with advanced degrees, years of experience, and well-honed skills. In fact, this expressed view is without exception in my talks.

It goes without saying -- this time in our history can be very trying, and yet, we still have to deal with struggles in finances and life in general. Many times, culture tells us that our worth is greatly dependent on ’what we do,’ as opposed to ’who we are.’

Do you know that we aren’t called to serve money, and we’re advised not to labor for the purpose of becoming rich?

Sometimes God will bless us with financial gain and even abundance, but it’s not promised anywhere in Scripture that you’ll have a mass of desired possessions. What did God do in the Garden of Eden era? He made man, gave him a task to do, and he did it. Man was told to fill the earth with his wife and have dominion over Creation, and he was placed in the Garden to till the earth. Adam (’from red clay’) received the fruit of the ground and the result of his actions, though our sin did make that quite a bit harder. But sometimes we will work at God’s command and never see pay here. The ultimate hope is that we work for His glory and His Kingdom, and He will provide for our basic needs. God gave His Son for us, and how much more will He take care of these needs (see Romans 8:32).

During the Great Depression (generally agreed upon to be 1929-1939 or slightly into the early 1940s), many families stuck together, cutting costs by all means and gathering up what was important -- ’who they were.’ Even through hard economic times, we are here today. God has provided for you, and regardless of how difficult things may seem, He has made you unique. Many families during these times have little to leave down the road, and this can be a real grinding pain. But however little or however much we are able to leave as an inheritance here, we have a promised inheritance in Heaven, and as the Apostle Peter talks about here, we are called to rejoice in it.

Open if you will to our main text, 1 Peter 1:3-9:

(MAIN TEXT)

1 Peter 1:3-9

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,

7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

9 receiving the end of your faith -- the salvation of your souls.

Before we discuss this further, let’s pray.

(Opening Prayer)

Background on 1 Peter

Much can be found in the first two verses of the book:

1 Peter 1:1-2

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

- Written by the Apostle Peter (date of writing: mid-60s AD)

- Written mainly to the Jews scattered abroad throughout the regions of Asia Minor (known as the Diaspora in Greek, or the ’Disperson’ as is translated), though this is not necessarily excluding Gentiles.

- Peter gives wise counsel to the Believer as to standing firm in the face of persecution and living in purity, patience, and hope as we live in this world that is contrary to Christ.

As we’ve read our text, and let’s explore it in more depth, starting in verse 3.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

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