Daily Readings & Thought for August 23rd. “EACH ONE’S WORK WILL BECOME MANIFEST”
We had a dramatic chapter (18) to read in 1 Kings today where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel and divine power was shown to set fire to Elijah’s offering on the LORD’s altar that he built. The foolishness of those following Baal was made plain and they were all killed.
In our 1 Corinthians reading (ch.3) Paul writes about the foundation of truth about God that “I planted, Apollos watered, but only God … gives the growth.” [v.6] Paul planted the awareness of the one true God and the relationship humans can have with him and his Son. How wonderful to know there is a real living God that has a purpose with humanity! How was what Paul had ‘planted’ growing? That awareness, that knowledge has to be developed in each one’s mind to grow into a sure faith, a foundation for all their thinking – and doing! It is useless – in the end – to just think about Jesus and God – and for our thoughts to fail to make any difference to our lives.
Paul makes a simple, yet profound point, “no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” [v.11] What is the quality of the work one does, in building on that foundation? He uses a telling illustration, a simple parable with a powerful meaning!
Do we build with “gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay (or) straw” ? [v.12] Paul then points to the judgement to come on the ‘day’ of Christ’s return when “each one’s work will become manifest”
What a day that will be “for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he (or she) will receive a reward.”[v.13,14] And even “if anyone one’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” [v.15]
Those who have followed the modern equivalents of Baal – also those who are aware of the foundation but who fail to do any building. That day will be “a day of distress and anguish” [Zeph 1 v.15].
Christ is at the door and soon it will “become manifest” (evident) what we have built on the foundation Christ laid – and whether we have built at all.