“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 ……. But 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……” (1 Corinthians 3:10-15, NKJV).
Every born-again believer is a co-builder of the kingdom of God. God needs us to build His kingdom. Apostle Paul reiterated this point in this passage, and also admonished us to build carefully, cautiously, meticulously, diligently and purposefully. According to him, every man’s work will be tested and evaluated. Some people’s work will endure and they will receive rewards, while some others will suffer loss because their work will fail at evaluation. In order to be a wise master whose work will endure, the following are necessary:
Build with intention: Apostle Paul said he doesn’t do shadow boxing (1 Corinthians 9:26, NLT). In other words, he just doesn’t throw punches in the air, every punch he throws is against a target. He doesn’t scatter nor waste efforts anyhow, he is deliberate and purposeful. Phillip, by the leading of the Holy Spirit joined the carriage of the Ethiopian eunuch who was ready to be saved (Acts 8: 26-39). This eunuch who was a top ranking official in his country went on to spread the gospel in his country. The
Holy Spirit will always lead us to ventures that will have divine impact. I know a Christian brother who keeps a log of unsaved friends and families and regularly intercedes for them. Efforts orchestrated by the Holy Spirit and by divine sense will endure till eternity.
Build with personal character: God is big on character. He is mindful of the vessel carrying His power. Strong character is built over time and also by regularly making right decisions. Character is tested in times of temptations and trials. In construction, they talk of structural integrity. A building with structural integrity is one that is formidable and withstand rigors, climate changes, weight, etc and stands over a long haul. Buildings that develop cracks over time are those with foundational problems. Jesus is the foundation we should build on at all times. For our work to endure, we have to be people of integrity. Apostle Paul said there’s a possibility of being disqualified after preaching the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:27).
Build with the right doctrine: We are admonished to rightly divide the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15). This presupposes there’s a wrong dividing or interpretation of the Word. To build with right doctrine we must continue being a student of the Word who never graduates from the school of biblical studies. Some build ministries on spiritual gifts, personal charisma, etc. leaving out the word of God. It is only the word of God that is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). Everything else will fade with time, only the word is enduring. Jesus is the living word of God. The only true foundation to build on is the unadulterated word of God.
Build with eternity in view: Our passage and many other scriptures affirm that rewards will differ in heaven. Many myopic Christians are just okay with making heaven and are not particularly interested in sending worthy investments there that will herald their coming. We are going to have different influences in God’s Kingdom based on the work we do here. Having a heavenly perspective will make us behave like Apostle Paul. He said, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls, ….”. Jesus said we are to be mindful of making worthy investments in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-20). We make this investment with our time, talents and treasures. May we all develop a stronger sense of eternity in Jesus name.
CONCLUSION: Apostle Paul tells us that the right materials to build with are gold, silver and precious stones. These materials when passed through the heavenly crucible will endure and not be consumed. The wrong materials to build with are wood, hay and straw which are consumed in the heavenly crucible (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). The right materials are all God made, while the wrong materials are man-made. Receive grace to work with the Holy Spirit today and always in order to be a wise master builder.
Have a blessed month.