Prepare to Say Thank You
What would you do if you spent your life or rest of your life bickering, boasting, or living like a baby only to find out you were going to answer to Jesus who is a strict judge? Wouldn’t it seem worthless? Unwise?
Imagine a worker on a farm or on a building project who keeps getting distracted, divisive, or disengaged from the effort. What influence might he or she have on others?
What will the likely outcome be for that person when the boss calls them out? We don’t want to be that guy or gal, right?
So, God has given meat (not just milk) and grace to not only save us, but to empower us to serve Him faithfully and work together to build up the body of Christ, His church.
We’re workers together in the greatest mission ever: Farming for the souls of men and building up the body of Christ. We’re waterers and workers for Jesus, no more. But with that work comes a warning (From 1 Corinthians 3:10-23):
1. The Watering and Work (8-11)
• The Observation (8-11). Paul uses two illustrations to direct the divided church at Corinth to focus on the mission, not the minutia, on the wisdom of God not men: Farming and Building.
• The Obvious (10-11). We’re laboring for the cause of Christ. We build on the foundation Paul laid: “Christ, and him crucified”. So, stop boasting about whose beliefs are better and get back to work!
• The Ominous. Here’s the meat of the matter: We’ll each give account for our own effort in laboring for Christ. We’ll want to stand before Jesus as servants and stewards, not sucklings or sovereigns.
2. The Warning and Wisdom (12-23)
• The Opportunity (12-15). What if you knew that almost everything to which you gave yourself would be worthless when it mattered most? Wouldn’t it be foolish to continue?
A saved soul but a wasted life is little more than taking the Lord’s name in vain. Reward (14) or Regret (15) is your choice.
We’re saved to serve with rich rewards. God’s word incentivizes laboring together for the Lord by specifically identifying five rewards (crowns) that will enrich if we labor faithfully for them:
1) Heeding (1 Cor. 9:23-27); 2) Seeding (1 Th. 2:18-19); 3) Leading (2 Tim. 4:5-8); 4) Feeding (1 Pet. 5:1-4); 5) Bleeding (Jam. 1:12, Rev. 2:10). Focus your life on these for labors that aren’t in vain.
When we cast the crowns we’ve earned at Jesus’ feet we’ll have our greatest opportunity to say, Thank you (Rev. 4:9-11).
The rewards will be eternal for the wise, the losses colossal for the unwise.
• The Obstacle (16-20). What kind of building materials would you expect to see in God’s holy temple? We’re it! It is no waste of a life to labor for Christ. It pays richly in the end! Wisely waste no more!
• The Ownership (21-23). Stop boasting! You / what’s yours aren’t your own (1 Cor. 4:7, 6:19-20).
Being distracted in, divisive over, or disengaged from faithful ministry is both foolish and carnal. The wise labor for the Lord knowing our work will be judged strictly and rewarded richly if we build wisely.
God has given grace not only to save us, but to empower us to serve Him in building up the body of Christ, His church.
We’ve been commissioned to the greatest occupation known to man - workers together: Farming for the souls of men and building up the body of Christ. We’re waterers and workers for God’s glory.
The rewards are rich for those who build wisely and refuse to waste one opportunity to thank Jesus. Would you pray about being faithful to not boast as you become a better builder of Christ’s body? Start now.
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