1 Corinthians 3:10-15
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
If you’ve ever built anything, you know this principle well…
I teach guitar lessons to a group of students in our church and I always start off with this… “When you look at a house, you always notice the color of the walls and the shape of the roof first. Hardly anyone ever looks at the foundation and just says, ‘Wow! What an incredible foundation! I love that foundation!’ No one does that because foundations are boring, they are tedious to build and they aren’t a focal point of the building. But without the foundation, the house collapses. No walls, no roof, will stand long without a strong foundation. So, before we learn chords or play songs, we have to learn basic, boring, foundational stuff about guitars.”
I’ve been teaching guitar long enough now to know that not everyone wants to take the time to build the boring foundation. They get tired of it and quit. Sadly, they often quit right before the foundation is finished and the work becomes fun.
If you’re in ministry, most likely, you’ve been frustrated at some point or another with the “building” of your ministry. You’re in luck because the most perfect foundation ever was laid by someone else (Jesus), but you quickly grow tired with the tedious work of laying footers and building walls. It would be so nice if things came together quicker and people jumped in line to support you easier. You dream of what the finished product could look like but some days it just seems like you’ll never get there. You’re tempted to take shortcuts in the building process because you hear whispers that the end justifies the means.
As you’re building, whether it’s your life, your family, your ministry or God’s Church, don’t forget that the Day will eventually shine on your work. If it’s built on you or on popular thought, it will ultimately fall. But if it’s built on the perfect foundation, it will stand as a testament to God’s power.
God, my prayer is that I never build anything without making sure it’s firmly standing on the foundation of Your Son. I pray that I will have the commitment and courage to continue the building when it would be easier to quit. And I pray that my work will pass Your test and become a legacy pointing to You.