Built to Last

October 15 — I Corinthians 3:12–15

…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. (I Corinthians 3:13)

As a kid, I would sometimes take a stick and write in the sand or the snow. But when the snow melted or the water washed up onto the beach, my writing was gone! Wouldn’t it be sad if the story of our life was deleted so easily? All of us want our lives — the story we write through what we say and do — to last. In I Corinthians 3:13, Paul says there’s coming a time when our lives — the things we say and do — will be shown for what they are. The things we say and do will either have lasting, eternal value or they won’t.

The kind of life we are building can end in one of two ways. Look at what Paul writes.

12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 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. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved — even though only as one escaping through the flames. ~ I Corinthians 3:12–15

The lives we build will either endure having lasting value or will perish without any lasting value. Once we’re saved, we are expected to build — to live for the Lord in ways that exalt Him and fulfill His purposes and not our own. Being a Christian does not mean you have license to live as you please. Doing so would be like building with wood, hay or straw. The results won’t survive the “fiery test.”

Paul reminds us in verse 15 that he is not speaking of one’s salvation. He is talking about our legacy. It’s a matter of hearing the Lord say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” or not. It’s a matter of what imprint will you leave on the lives of others.

If Michelangelo had created his statue of David out of sand on the shores of the Mediterranean, it would have been washed away over a short period of time and forgotten. Instead, he chiseled it from a block of marble and so it still stands today as a tribute to his artistic genius. It is part of his legacy.

If you and I live our lives with a passion to please our Lord, we will make an impact on the lives around us. Our legacy will be carved in the hearts and minds of those who know us best. We will be remembered for our lives and, more importantly, we will be honored by our Lord for our faithfulness. What are you doing to assure your spiritual legacy today?