As we continue to go through our study of First Corinthians, Paul is explaining to the church about the importance of God’s calling. The Lord’s work is different in each of us. He deals with us all as individuals.
Our rewards are based upon what we’ve done. My work isn’t compared to yours. It’s judged against what God’s plan for my life required.
God desires to continually bring about changes in us to get us to where we need to be. As I submit to these changes, I fulfill more of my calling.
But what happens if I don’t allow God to continue with His plan to renew my life? Paul gives us some insight into the question. In the letter to the Corinthian church, Paul is addressing a group of mostly baby Christians. According to the Apostle, they’re not babies because they lack experience, but because they chose not to grow up.
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his 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 man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15
When we were initially saved we were placed onto the foundation of Christ. It’s afterward that the building program begins. We have the choice to build for ourselves – wood, hay, and straw.
Think about it in the natural. All over the world wood, hay, and straw are normal building materials. They’re used because they’re readily available and easy to build with.
It’s a lot more difficult to build with gold, silver or costly stones. They speak of what’s built by the spirit. If we submit to the will of God for our lives, then we’ll see a beautiful structure arise. Not only that, but it will be beyond our expectations for what we could have ever accomplished on our own.
The good news is that we’re told how it will all turn out. We’re not in the dark. We know what we’ll be judged on. The test is fire.
You can build some elaborate and beautiful houses with wood, hay, and straw. I’ve seen some grandiose mansions around the country. Here’s the problem, they’re not going to be judged on how high they were built or how ornate they are. They’re going to be doused with gasoline and lit up.
Think about what’s important to you right now. The test is not how high you climbed up the corporate ladder. It’s not how much money you accumulated. It’s not even about how many good deeds you did or how many friends you have on Facebook.
The judgment will be based upon how close you stuck to the plan of God for your life. Did you allow the Holy Spirit to work His changes in you? The final exam is how close your life came to God’s will for you.
That’s what will matter the most to you in the end.
Question: How high on your priority list is knowing and accomplishing God’s will for your life?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi