1 Corinthians 3:12-15 (KJV)

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.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Believers build their lives on the Rock of Ages: Jesus Christ.

Every motive, every deed, and every word is material for our spiritual house. The apostle Paul warned followers to construct with care because on the day of judgment, fire will test the quality of each person’s work.

This refers not to a literal fire but to the purifying presence of Jesus Christ.

When I stand in the Savior’s perfectly holy and just presence, all the wood, hay, and stubble in my life will disappear. Good things done with wrong motives will vanish along with secret sins and bad attitudes. Only what has been done and said in Jesus’ name remains. And the moment the chaff is gone, we will see that God is right—those things didn’t fit the life of His child.

On hearing this explanation, someone usually says, “All that matters is that I get into heaven.” But that attitude is shortsighted because the judgment of believers is about rewards.

In the parable of the unrighteous steward, Jesus explained the basic concept to His disciples: “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much” (Luke 16:10). Our time on earth is the beginning of an eternity serving and rejoicing in the Lord. God will reward us with heavenly responsibility according to our faithfulness here.

Wise people plan for the future (Prov. 27:12).

I want to receive as much of God’s goodness as He offers, so I am determined to build with top-quality, enduring materials. The privilege of serving is only the beginning of the rewards.

In heaven, God’s generosity will be even more abundantly unleashed.

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