“If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 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. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.” 1 Cor. 3:12-15 (NIV)
I’ve been writing about what our true spiritual motivations should be so that we as physicians will not get caught up in the thorns of this world. In his various epistles, Paul makes it clear that in part, he is motivated by the reward he expects to receive in heaven.
We receive the gift of heaven and eternal life through God’s grace.
We receive rewards based upon our works.
In today’s verse, Paul writes about how the quality our works will be tested. He uses the image of fire to illustrate that testing. Every good work we perform here on earth will be tested and we will be rewarded only for works that pass that test.
Let me repeat. Our works do not earn our way into heaven…that is solely by grace based upon the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Our works are simply the basis for any additional reward we will receive.
Therefore, the quality of what we do in our Christian walk really does matter.
Using the imagery of Paul, the foundation of everything we do is Christ and our works performed out of that foundation can have the quality of gold, or they can be more like straw.
The basis on which our works will be judged is our faithfulness…our faithfulness to God manifested through our obedience to His calling in our life.
The works we do that require great faith will bring great reward.
The works we do out of our natural talent that require little faith are like wood…very little will survive the test.
Be open to how the Lord may want to stretch your faith today by calling you to a work that is new and different for you.
Prayer: Lord show me where I need to be exhibiting more faith and dependence upon you in what I do.