“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have – Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials – gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward.” -1 Corinthians 3:11-14
Jesus is the foundation everyone needs for life, and eternal life. But each of us builds on this foundation in ourselves and in others. What we build on top of our commitment to Christ matters. These verses list six kinds of materials. Three will survive a fire, and three will not. Three demonstrate value, three do not. We can build our own lives with eternal value – Gold, silver jewels. Or we can not build what God values in our lives, but build what we want which leads to wood, hay, straw. Our influence and relationships with others can build value into others, or it builds only temporary things. We can build into others gold, silver or jewels. We can also build a good time, but nothing of any depth spiritually – wood, hay, or straw.
For me, when I read this passage one question came to mind. How I/you answer this question may motivate changes. Will my work survive the fire (14)? Will yours?
Father lead me in making any and every change necessary to build eternal value in my life and in others.
Readings: Hebrews 12, 1 Corinthians 3, Psalm 58, 1 Peter 5
You have seen one of the many videos out there…. A police officer has pulled over a drunk driver and they are trying to walk the straight line. Some of them look like they are actually trying to walk a tightrope over a canyon – but fail miserably.
I’ve had times when it was like walking on flat ground to walk the edge of a 2 by 6, but I have also had times that it might as well have been a rope… and I was going down!
I have hiked Mt. Katahdin several times (in Maine). On at least three occasions I planned to cross what is know as the “knife’s edge). At the top of this Mt. there is a trail that crosses the horse shoe shape ridge. Both sides of the trail drop dramatically. While the width of the path is between 6-8 feet it is reported that many people cross on hands and knees because it feels more like a tightrope walk than a trail. I’ve never been able to cross that trail because each time the fog came in when I made it to the summit.
It seems there is this idea out there that the Christian life is not fun – that it is drudgery, boring. Perhaps the idea comes because I, and other believers, live the Christian life all too often like the drunk walking the line, or the hiker crossing the “knife’s edge”.
If I am not careful, I make the Christian life too much work. Sure, the bible has much to say about the “work” aspect of being a believer. The Apostle Paul said we are “to work out our salvation with fear and trembling…” Living the Christian life does take effort, work, discipline. But it is not just that, or all that. (There is not time or space here to do a study on the concepts of “works” and “fruits”. That will be a future in depth study for me.) In Ephesians 5 it refers to fruit. Specifically the fruit that comes from the light of Christ’s presence in our lives. Fruit grows naturally on a fruit tree. The tree doesn’t have to work at it. It naturally produces fruit. In the same way, my Christian life will produce fruit from the light of His presence in me. It is something God produces in my life. It is natural. It just happens.
It seems to me that fruit should come first. The fruit of God in my life will lead to work on my part. Work is a response to the fruit God is producing in me. As such, should I not rest more in His fruit than in my work?! When I primarily rely on my work it robs me of the joy of being a Christian. I struggle with doing “enough”. and the ever demanding need to “do more”. I think there would be more joy filled Christians making Christianity attractive if they rested more on the fruit that naturally comes from closeness to Jesus. I think our lives would be happier and more captivating if our work was secondary to fruit.
What do you think?