1 Corinthians 3:10-15
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
Have you ever seen the charred smoking pile of ashes where a house once stood? Perhaps you, or someone you know has survived a devastating house fire. I haven’t experienced such a life-changing moment, but would imagine the thrill of being alive, along with mourning the lost.
When I’ve read these verses in the past, it’s spoken words of hope into my life. It brings comfort to know that salvation through Christ will not be taken away. It’s not a matter of how much we’ve done for Him. It’s about Him and His Good Works. When thoughts of my failure to achieving anything for the kingdom enter my mind, these verses provide a delightful assurance. With a tremendous amount of Grace, the Lord has promised to spare my life, and have eternity with the One who is exceedingly more fulfilling than we can imagine.
After a house fire, we may see a few wall studs, charred but still remaining. We might see part of a brick fireplace. If we sift meticulously through the ashes, we may even find a couple peaces of gold jewelry. I’ve heard many stories of un-scorched Bibles, which is such an awesome reminder that the word of God will always remain.
When I question my own life, of various works, the accomplishments seem sparing. I ask, did I do it with a pure heart? Was it lead by the Spirit? But really it’s not about us. It’s about Christ living through us, as mentioned in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
And that’s where the personal relationship with Jesus is paramount. We can achieve many great things, but if it’s not in love, or for Him, then they might not be of gold or silver, but charred two-by-fours.
I hope this is an encouragement today, to quell anxieties of works we are or aren’t doing, that He’s the One who’s promise is faithful. But also, I hope this has redirected our focus back onto walking in closeness and prayer with our Creator.
Dear Father, stoke the fire inside of me and cleanse me of all hinderances, and distractions. Help me make the most of each day, to build with pure gold and silver. Replace mourning for lost opportunities, with celebrating victory in partaking in Your work. ~Amen