For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. – 1 Corinthians 3:11-13
What defines you?
When your friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow students, or family members think of you, what the first thing that comes to their minds?
I wonder when I think of myself as brother, do they think jerk? If I want other Christians to think “knows his Bible” do they really think “arrogant”? When I want my co-workers to see “conscientious professional”, do they really see “always complains”?
Do all my friends, family, and co-workers even know I’m a follower of Christ?
That passage from 1st Corinthians identifies the possible outcomes of our lives for those of us who claim to be Christians. Our foundation is Jesus Christ. How we live can be either valuable or worthless to Him. This includes who we are and what we do.
What we do isn’t just good behavior versus bad behavior. It’s really a matter of perspective. How much of my daily activity is guided from a worldly perspective? How much from a kingdom perspective?
When Jesus told us in Matthew 6:19-21 to store up treasure in heaven, He wasn’t talking about writing a check for the Sunday morning offering.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6-19-21
He was telling us to consider the eternal outcomes of all we do. That certainly includes the Sunday morning offering, but it also includes the Monday morning conversation with our children.
How do we know what’s gold and what’s straw and what’s somewhere in between? That last phrase in verse 21, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”, points us to the answer.
It really isn’t a treasure issue. It’s a heart issue. Where is my heart now? Where should it be?
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
When I became a Christian, I became a new person. The problem is the old Stan is still hanging around. And so the battle began and continues. New Stan versus old Stan. New heart versus old heart. Who am I letting win?
Please understand this gold-silver-hay-straw matter is not a salvation issue. It’s a discipleship issue. The amount of gold things we do is not weighed against the amount of straw things we do with the result deciding where we spend eternity.
We’re not saved by works. We’re saved by grace. But where grace saves us works define us.
If you have a new you versus old you battle going on who is winning? What defines you?