Thursday, October 26, 2017

Work revealed by fire



11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (1 Cor. 3:11-14)

I always kind of wondered about this scripture, but this time it made more sense to me. It’s saying everyone’s work is tested in a particular way to see if it can stand through trial.

Missionary work is tested through others’ indifference or persecution. Love is tested through separation, loss, common events of life, and differences of opinion. Faith is tested by seeming to be left unsupported by God. Our work is tested when it becomes difficult or thankless. Habits of scripture reading may be tested by a period when one seems to have gotten nothing from it. Good parenting is tested with difficult children or children going through difficult stages. Can it all endure the test? That is the question.

Paul says Christ is the foundation to build upon, so His way is the best way to do things. But then our motives matter as well. If we’re doing the right thing for the wrong reason, a difficult trial might stop us unless we can start doing it for the right reason. For instance, doing missionary work for praise or status would cease if one finds they lose status or are maligned, unless they can choose to do it anyway, to bring souls to God and try to help people.