“But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw… It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he had built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss.”
1 Corinthians 3:10-15
Many years ago our old barn down by the creek was burned up in a roaring blaze that could be seen for miles. My father, who at the time was seventy-two years old, shuffled through the smoldering ash and rubble several days later. He overturned charred objects with a kick of his toe, searching for anything he might be able to salvage from the antique tools he had saved over the years. His only compensation was the barn’s foundation. Although everything else had been consumed, the foundation had withstood the fiery test.
I think of that story every time I read 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. Oh, how grateful I am that the foundation of my life is the Lord Jesus. No fiery trial, not even the fire of Judgment Day, will destroy the solid Rock on which I build my life.
What I build on that foundation, however, will be put to the test. Wood, hay, and straw will be consumed in a flash; that is, the work I’ve done for selfish gain or out of pride. But when I build on the foundation work that is inspired by the spirit, work done with a pure motive and with an eye to God’s glory, I have confidence that will last for all eternity.
Father, help me to lay up my treasures in heaven, the kind that are made of gold, silver, and costly stones. Make my life golden with patience. May my character glow with the precious gem of faith refined. Build in me, dear Lord, things that will last forever!