Daily Devotional

April 18th 2024


Daily Devotional for April 18, 2024 Take particular care in picking out your building materials. Eventually there is going to be an inspection. If you use cheap or inferior materials, you’ll be found out. The inspection will be thorough and rigorous. You won’t get by with a thing. If your work passes inspection, fine; if it doesn’t, your part of the building will be torn out and started over. But you won’t be torn out; you’ll survive—but just barely. —I Corinthians 3:12-15 (MSG)

In other translations of this passage, the inferior materials are listed—wood, hay, and straw. Each is highly combustible, and grow from the earth. Paul uses these to refer to works of the flesh that arise out of our natural life. To live for these things is unacceptable to God.
Preferred building materials are also listed—gold, silver, and costly stones. These are noncombustible and, though found in the earth, are not a part of it. Paul uses these to refer to deeds done of the Spirit, which will survive the test of fire (life’s pressures and difficulties) and are acceptable to God.
The “fear of the Lord,” which Paul connects with this sobering judgment comes from an awareness of the nature of God. It springs from the fact that God views us with stark and naked realism. God is not swayed by our explanations and justifications. God’s judgment is inescapable and without appeal. Before God’s throne, all pretenses will fall away, and we shall see ourselves as God has always seen us: “Then shall I know even as also I am known (I Corinthians 13:12).”
It is this truth—the certainty that he will one day have to give an account of his stewardship—which motivates Paul to serve Jesus with a total commitment. Paul possessed natural gifts to take him to the top of whatever heap he should decide to climb. But before God’s judgment seat, it would mean nothing—wood, hay, and stubble, consumed in a flash by the eternal fire of God.
To Paul, life is an endurance contest, which he is running. The goal he sees drawing ever nearer is his death or departure to be with Christ; the prize is the resurrection glory, which awaits him there. The object of the race is to take each step dependent on the Spirit of God, not on the energy of the flesh.

Prayer: Lord, we pray that, as we go today, we would seek to have our work be a reflection of the love that You have shown toward us—undeserved and unmerited. May we show such love to others by sharing You with them. In the name of our Christ, we pray. AMEN!

(We invite your comments. Feel free to share this devotion with your friends and invite them to subscribe by forwarding their email address to the Pastor at: fredjeffsmith@gmail.com.)


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