At the end of our lives, we will look back and wonder what we had accomplished. A well known motivational speaker puts it this way: â€œDid I live? Did I love? Did I make a difference?â€ But even those questions, if asked void of the light of Scripture, can very well come up short of what the Lord Jesus Christ has in store for each of us. As Christians, we are all supposed to be workers for the Kingdom of God; not for this world in which weâ€™re living. The Apostle Paul puts it this way:
â€œFor we are Godâ€™s fellow workers; you are Godâ€™s field, you are Godâ€™s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each oneâ€™s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each oneâ€™s work, of what sort it is. If anyoneâ€™s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyoneâ€™s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.â€ ( 1 Corinthians 3:9-15)
What is the substance of the building upon which youâ€™re working? Is it the finest materials money can buy? Will your work survive the fireâ€™s test?
Too many Christians try to work through their own abilities and efforts and even if you are humanly successful, it can be heavenly scarce of Godâ€™s desires. We must always rely upon â€œthe grace of God which [is] givenâ€ to us.
You might think that the Apostle Paul would look upon his work for the Lord with a satisfying eye. If anyone had reason to be puffed up for what he or she had done for the Kingdom of God, it was the Apostle Paul. And yet in the same letter he tells the Corinthians:
â€œFor I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.â€ (1 Corinthians 15:9-11)
The only attention Paulâ€™s directs towards himself was that he â€œlabored more abundantly than they all,â€ but even then he says, â€œYet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.â€
Are you using the grace of God which is with you? I so often go out in my own strength, only to come straggling back, bowed and defeated. It is foolish for me to do so and my Lord has told me as much:
â€œTherefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.â€ (Matthew 7:24-27)
Jesus said that if I will do as He says, then I will be laying a solid foundation. He has given us a handbook for victorious living. It is called the Bible, Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth. The problem is more than half of self-described Christians do not open their Bibles unless their pastor tells them to on Sunday. And thatâ€™s assuming their pastor tells them and that they actually go to church.
Beloved, life can be difficult but the Lord Jesus Christ has left us the blueprint for living the simple life. The question is, will we follow it?
More on that next time…
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Copyright Â© 2013 David Jeffers