Daily Thought - What Are You Building With?

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. 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. – 1Corinthians 3: 11-12 (NLT)

    Not all work is the same. Not all work for the Lord is even the same. Sometimes I think it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our intentions are what matter to God. They do not. As the popular quotation goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The “God knows my heart” theology is nothing more than an excuse when we ought to know better. In Paul’s first letter to the Church at Corinth we see in Chapter Three he is addressing them for quarreling about who it is that they followed. Some said Apollos and others were saying Paul. After that correction he gets into this little chunk of theology found in the key verses. What is of interest to us today are the materials Paul chooses to describe what our work for the Lord might be made of.
    Realize we are talking about people who are genuinely saved. People who already have Jesus Christ as their foundation as the key verses indicate. While the foundation of Jesus Christ is unshakable, we still decide what we will build upon it. The Bible says that God has prepared good works for us to do but we still must walk in those works and do them. God does not force anything upon us. We also must decide what we will build those works with. Paul gives us four basic options here the first being straw or hay. I would view these as folks who simply choose to not do much with their salvation. The regeneration was sincere and they are born again but somewhere the things of God became somewhat muted in their lives. Maybe like the Word that fell amongst the thorns in the Parable of the Sower, their zeal got choked out by the difficulties in this world. We all know people like this in our churches. They attend but barely participate. They do not really serve in any ministry. They probably do not read the Word or pray regularly. As a result they do not walk with much power in their lives. As my Pastor is fond of saying, they have their fire insurance policy from hell and now they are simply sitting in the pew. Looking at their watches, wondering how long the sermon is going to be, criticizing the worship set list. Crawling into heaven.

    The second group Paul speaks about is those who are building their works with wood. The good thing is that wood is certainly stronger than hay or straw. There is more substance to their walk. They may serve in a ministry or two. They try to tithe correctly. But they are not quite “all in.” They may read the Bible but not with regularity or frequency. They are certainly interested but they hover around the perimeter of their own salvation. They want more but are unaware how to get it. They need to be discipled.

    The third group are those who are using jewels. Their religion is a showy one. All flash and no substance. A lot of bling but not a lot of bite in their Christianity. The Bible warns us about these types quite frequently. We are not supposed to make a grand show of prayer yet there they will be at the front of the altar making sure they are the most demonstrative, or making sure the pastor can see them. Everything they do is louder and more emphatic but not for the glory of God. They have Jesus on their lips but not on their heart as they go through this life. Unfortunately, because of their desire to be seen they often are. The world sees them however for the hypocrites that they are. There is an Old Testament verse where God says to not adorn an altar of sacrifice. It is not needed. God would rather see the day-to-day life sacrificed to Him then the Sunday jewels making a show of faith.

    The final group builds with silver and gold. It is not the temporal value here that God is after. It is the purity. It is the strength. These are the folks who carry the churches. These are the 20% that do the ministry work for the 100%. They do it without impure motive too. It is always for Jesus. Why are the materials so important? God continues from the key verses:

    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. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames. – 1Corinthians 3: 13-15 (NLT)

    Look at that last sentence and realize how sad that truly is. To be saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ and be barely escaping into heaven! Yet how often do we see this? Christians who have been set free by the Master only to be living completely bound lives. These verses also reveal that there are rewards awaiting us in heaven from God. It is not preached enough and the result is there are too many people actually content feeling they will avoid hell. The eternal and abundant life that Christ appropriated for us on Calvary is supposed to be lived now! The Lord will reveal the nature of our work by fire. Fire will eviscerate hay and straw. Wood may last a little longer but it too will be destroyed. The fakery of jeweled Christians will be consumed. Only by building with the strength and purity God has likened to silver and gold will the works survive. What are you building with today?

    Rev. Anthony

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