Paul spoke directly and plainly to the Corinthians regarding their foundations for living. He scolded them for still needing to drink milk and for not being weaned as mature Christians yet. They were quarreling over which teacher was better and which to follow, Paul or Apollos. Paul chastised them, saying that the Lord has assigned each teacher to his task, "I planted the seed; Apollos has watered it, but God made it grow." Paul continued, "Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor." It is this reward I'd like to speak to.
What do you have to show for your life? Nothing, by secular standards? Yet you are rich. You are saved by grace of the Jesus, Savior and Lord. You serve Him and through this service you are justified, for the glory of His name! V 22: "whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God." Do not worry for lost things in this life, for all things belong to you!
In today's economy, there are many Christians who are discovering how secular they have become. They are quickly being stripped of jobs, and with it, status. They are no longer able to provide for their families. They are selling homes and cars and maybe for the first time ever, are wearing second hand clothes. It is a trying time for many, and there is fear and worry afoot.
However it is also a blessed time. For if you are one of those Christians who has, over years, perhaps, slipped into secular thinking, that it is important to pile up goods and wealth, then you are blessed for you have time to be stripped of that. You have time to repair your house to the right foundation. "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." v11
For there is a judgment in heaven for Christians. It is known extra-biblically as the Bema Judgment. Paul says "Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." Some of the rewards that will be given are crowns, for how faithfully we served Him as stated in 1 Corinthians 9:4-27, or how we longed for His appearing, how victorious we were over sin, and how well we obeyed the Great Commission. These deeds will remain from the fire. The rest will be burned up.
Did you know that, Christian? That we will be called to account for the works we did for HIM while in the body? Second Corinthians 5:10 tells us, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” It is not enough to say "oh, I got saved when I was 14 and that was that." Though our works do not save us, our works are an outgrowth of our growing faith. You should be on solid food by now! If your foundation has been built on wood or hay it will be burned up in front of your eyes!
If you have lost your job and are experiencing low self-esteem because for the first time you have to use the food pantry, fear not. If you feel you are less of a man because you cannot provide for your family to the standard you used to, fear not. It is not the size of the house you live in, it is the foundation upon which it was built. Is your house built upon the solid works of fire-resistant materials? If so, you will earn your reward at the Bema Seat. Yes, it is hard to adjust to the new economic reality, however it is for but a short time. And at the Bema Seat, your job and your car and your house and your clothes will not matter. The only thing that will matter is what you did for Him. Is your foundation solid, or cracked? The fire is coming.
Today's essay explores the notion that if Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and Paul had been Arminians, how would their testimonies sound? Us...
I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars Isn't that an evocative a...
Yesterday I looked at a popular HGTV personality, Joanna Gaines, and her testimony . She and her husband Chip are stars of a new show that a...