While being tasked with writing my blog this month, God provided me with a practical example. My wife and I just purchased a home, and in the effort to make it our own, we are doing some improvements to it. Flooring is being replaced, walls have been painted, ceiling fans, lights and blinds are being replaced as well. The most difficult thing I am tackling is the flooring. My daughter helped me to remove carpet, carpet pad, tack strip, base boards, tile and thin set. It has been daunting, but it got us down to a bare foundation capable of receiving the new flooring.
As I was finishing up with the floor prep, it got me thinking about 1 Corinthians 3:9-15. It reads like this from the NKJV: For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’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 one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
For a house to stand and stand well, it needs a strong foundation as its base. Once the foundation is laid, lumber, drywall, roofing and exterior and interior finishes can be added to make the home functional for the owner. All of those improvements are made upon the existing foundation. Even the paint on the walls is possible because those walls are held in place by the foundation.
This passage reminds us that Jesus is our foundation. Once we have placed faith in Him for salvation, we begin to live lives surrendered to His lordship. We labor not to earn favor from Him, but out of gratitude for our salvation and obedience to His lordship in accomplishing His mission and ministry. Our labor (service) adds to the foundation that is Christ.
One day, our laboring will be tested. Will it survive the testing because the deeds we have done are good, or will the work be burned because it wasn’t done for the glory of God or was done through impure motives. Will some even have anything constructed on their foundation, not having labored for the Master at all? If the church is the body (hands, feet, etc.) of Christ, we should be laboring for Him. May this be a challenge to us all to continue to exalt Jesus, being diligent to point others to the saving grace found in Him, all the while performing labors of love to demonstrate His love to all we encounter.
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (Galatians 6:9)