“. . .But let every man take heed how he builds thereon—for other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now, if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay and stubble, 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.”

I Corinthians 3:10b-13

It’s the quality of our work for Christ, not the quantity, that matters.

“Tried and tested.”

That’s the essence of the message in today’s Manna.  Set in the context of our “partnership with God” (v.9), we acknowledge ours is a cooperative relationship with Him and others (vv.5-6a)—but, ultimately, it’s God “Who gives the increase” (v.6b).

Yet, this doesn’t relieve us of the responsibility of being a “wise master-builder” (v.10a) in God’s Kingdom Work.  Just as we wouldn’t want to live in a house where a contractor has cut corners. . .used inferior materials (while charging premium prices). . .done shoddy workmanship, etc., neither should we expect our Lord to be pleased if we only give him the crumbs or leftovers of our lives.

Truly, as the King of kings and Lord of lords He deserves our best (Mt. 6:33).

Likewise, we should remember the Lord Jesus is the Foundation upon which we build.  The very fact we call ourselves Christian should cause us to do everything we can to keep His Name from being shamed or His Blood from being trodden underfoot.

That’s why we should seek to “build on this Foundation with gold, silver and precious stones,” instead of “wood, hay and stubble.”  Now, at first glance, we say “Well, that’s going to be pretty impossible—for I’m pretty poor.”  But, dear Pilgrim, our Lord is not talking about the actual, precious gems here; He’s talking about the quality of our labor in His Name.

Think about it:

“Wood, hay and stubble” are commonplace items.  They’re found nearby or just a few miles away in most places.  And, normally, there’s an abundant supply available to us.  Yet, “gold, silver and precious stones” are costly and rare.  And, they’re not just lying around on top of the ground.  To find them, you must look for them; then, you must labor hard to extract them and refine them.

The same is true with our love-service to the Lord.  Truly, He is our “most precious Treasure in earthen vessels” (II Cor. 4:7; Mt. 13:46) and God’s “Pearl of Great Price” (Mt. 13:46).  Consequently, we should want to give to Him the best we have, which may not seem like much to the world; yet, to Him it is “precious.”  Glory!!

Pity the Pilgrim who’s content with only offering to the Master “wood, hay and stubble” on that Day.  Not only will these be “revealed (Grk. ‘apokakalupto’—‘to take the cover off, disclose, to expose that in secret, etc.’) by fire,” they’ll also “be burned up, causing them to lose their reward” (v.15a).  Only those whose gifts pass through the Fire. . .tried, tested and true . . . will be rewarded (v.14).  May we not wonder which ours will be.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated January 25, 2010

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