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. 1 Corinthians 3:12-13
Buildings are being built all over the world. Each one uses different types of materials to be built. Mud huts are built in some locations, steel buildings are built in many large cities, wooden and brick homes are the homes of choice of many people. Even plastic and glass buildings are built.
The choice of how to build the building, depends on how it is expected to be used and what type of weather it will have to endure. Wooden homes will not survive in locations with hurricanes. Mud homes will not be able to be built in extreme cold climates. Once a firm foundation is laid, choices on how to build the place have to be made.
Lives of people also require a foundation and a building. The world builds their lives on a foundation of self and sin. Believers build their lives on the foundation of Jesus Christ. Both still have choices to make on how their lives are built.
Salvation comes through faith in what Jesus did, not the works being done. However, God has rewards for people for what they have done with their life.
On the day Jesus returns, all the works of the believers will be tested in a fire to determine their value. Some of those works will be wood, hay and straw. These are works that have no eternal value. Works of ministry for selfish reasons, going through the motions of ministry without the heart in it, worshipping without the heart in it, and many other works. These works will be destroyed by the fire as of no value.
Other works, such as spreading the gospel, giving a helping hand, feeding the poor, loving the hated, and other works that Jesus did, will survive the fire. They have eternal value.
How are you building your life?
Is it with precious stones of high, eternal value, that will survive the fire?
Or are you building your life with things of this world, that are wood, hay, and straw, that will not survive the fire?
Either way, you will be saved, but your reward will be different.
I pray today that you will know what God wants you to do; that you will do things of eternal value for Jesus; that your works will bring glory to God; and that your life will be focused on God and eternity.
“When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them? But Jesus turned and rebuked them.” Luke 9:54-55
Jesus and the disciples were heading to Jerusalem. At one point they were to pass through a Samaritan village. The people there did not want anything to do with Jesus.
The first thing James and John do was get ready to call down fire from heaven to destroy those people. They saw no reason why the people should not welcome Jesus. Jesus, however, rebukes the disciples for suggesting the idea to call down fire upon the people and then they move on to a different village.
Very often when Jesus or Christianity is mocked or hated by people of the world, the first thing believers want to do is have God destroy them. People of the world will make a rule that goes against God, and believers start praying for their destruction.
Jesus knew the people would be against Him, yet He prayed for them, not against them. God wants to save everyone in the world. If every time a person spoke against God, He was to destroy them, no one would be saved. You would not be saved today, if God were to destroy you for each time you did not welcome Him.
Men like to have judgment right away. They like to have revenge for being wronged.
God will have a day of judgment also, but until then, He has a lot of grace and wants to save people.
Do not seek to get revenge or vengeance on people who speak or act against God. Pray for them. Seek to draw their hearts to God through love and care.
You can also go a different direction as Jesus did. Let the next believer be the witness that they may need.
I pray today that God will give you His favor with the people; that God will fill your heart with His love for the lost in the world; that you will not seek vengeance against those who are against God; and that God will draw others to Him through your witness.
“In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” Luke 4:33-34
While Jesus was teaching in a synagogue in Capernaum, a man who was possessed by a demon came up to Him. The demon in this man knew who Jesus was and what His power was. He was scared and wanted Jesus to go away. He expected Jesus to destroy him.
The demon was of Satan and full of sin. His purpose was to cause sin to occur and keep people from God.
Jesus came to the earth to save man from sin. In order to do that He has to destroy sin.
Today, at least in the USA, you do not see or hear a lot of demon possession happening. Yet, many people are still making this same cry that this man did.
People in the world do not want to be exposed. When Jesus shows up, their sin is exposed. They realize they are in the wrong and God can destroy them. They do not want anything to do with Jesus. The world wants Jesus to go away.
Yes, Jesus will destroy all at some point in the future, but right now He has come to save, not destroy.
Even some believers have this same problem with Jesus. They have a secret sin in their life and when Jesus gets close they want Him to go away, or they run away. Many try to justify their actions.
Often Jesus will show up through another person, a real friend or pastor. They will see a sin and point it out to get a change. Accept it, rather than tell them to go away.
If you are one of these, you need to run to Jesus. Find the forgiveness He gives. Seek the deliverance that He can provide.
Do not run away from Jesus. Draw closer to Him. He wants to give you life, not destroy you.
Today I pray that Jesus will reveal Himself to you more; that you will draw closer to Jesus; that you will allow God to change you; that you will not fear God, but trust Him; and that you will be His witness to someone else.
“Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” Mark 1:23-24
Jesus had been in the synagogue teaching the people. Many people were there and were all amazed at His teaching. He taught differently from the other teachers. He taught with authority, not just repeating learned information.
Then a man comes up who is demon possessed and calls Jesus out. The demons in this man knew who Jesus really was. They knew where His authority came from and were afraid of Him. They knew that Jesus had the power to destroy them.
Today many people recognize Jesus as a good man, a good teacher, or even a good prophet. Muslims, who hate Christianity, even recognize Jesus as a good teacher. The difference is that is all that they believe about Jesus. They do not see Him as anything more than just a person who was good at something.
Even in the church there are many who do not see Jesus as to who He really is. Many children growing up following Jesus as the person their parents believed in. Many believe in Jesus, just because it is the thing they were expected to do by their parents or friends.
Often people go to church only as a duty, not out of a relationship with Jesus.
You need to see Jesus as more than just a good teacher, or someone you are just to believe in. He is the Holy One of God. He is God in the flesh. Jesus is the One who created everything and has the power to destroy everything.
Jesus wants a relationship with you. Yes, Jesus has the power to destroy you, but He wants to save you and build you up. Jesus came to take away your sins and bring you to God. He is not out to cut you down.
You need to have a relationship with Jesus and share that with others. Let other people know who Jesus really is. Do not be afraid to speak of Him.
I pray today that God will reveal more of who Jesus is to you; that you will have a relationship with Jesus; that you will find it a joy to walk and talk with Jesus; that you will not fear Jesus; and that God will build His kingdom through you.