The best foundation for a good life is the same foundation that will empower the church to fulfill the agenda God has for it.
Paul explained his role in Corinth with these words.
— 1 Corinthians 3.10-11 – According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it.
Each builder must choose with care how to build on it.
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.
The sixty-six books of the Bible cover an array of issues over centuries of time.
There is an overarching theme that began with the call of Abraham and continued with the Exodus, the sacrificial system, the ministry of Jesus, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the mission of the church.
The one common, foundational element, in all of God’s activity is his desire to capture the hearts of humans.
God is active in human history, drawing all humans into a loving relationship with himself.
Jesus is the foundation for the church and a good life because he embodies God’s redemptive plan for the ages.
I was in a meeting with a wise speaker, who showed the crowd a puzzle of the United States.
He picked up a puzzle piece and said, “There are some Christian leaders who have a pet agenda.
“It is like they have picked up one piece of the puzzle and declared that it is the entire puzzle.”
Over the ages, the church has been divided because they focused on one puzzle piece to the exclusion of the rest.
Circumcision, Sabbath or Sunday worship, the mode of baptism, the style of worship, speaking in tongues, and political views have all been items of dissension.
Paul’s counsel to the church is to “keep the main thing the main thing.”
The main thing is that God loves the world and wants us to live in a life-changing relationship with him.
We have a message for the world that is shared through our behavior and speech that proclaims that there is only one foundation for life.
The foundation is our reception of God’s love through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross. Love is not one-sided. When we receive his love, we return it to him in obedience and faith.
When the church makes God’s redeeming love its foundational agenda, the church will thrive.
When an individual does the same thing, they will experience the abundant life Jesus came to give humanity.
What we do in the church matters. How we build will determine what takes place at the judgment seat of Christ.
— 1 Corinthians 3.12-15 – Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw —
The work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done.
If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward.
If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.
My job since 1968 has been to build up the church. How I have built up or harmed the church will determine reward or punishment on judgment day.
Being saved “as through fire” could be getting saved by “the skin of our teeth.”
If we have built our lives and work in the church based on the foundation of Jesus Christ, we will do well in the judgment.
If we have tried to live as far away from God as possible, but still go to heaven when we die, that’s another matter.
Our goal should be to respond to God’s love in faith and obedience.
Prayer for Ukraine
“Compassion overload” refers to the overwhelming feeling people get when one horrific event after another bombards their senses.
Nearly one million people have died in the United States from COVID. Forest fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes ravage property and cause death.
War and conflict in Africa and the Middle East continue, even though our attention is on Europe.
The Psalm writer was right to suggest, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Psalm 56.3).
We may not see the results of our prayers, but they are important. Join with millions and ask God to have mercy on the war in Ukraine.
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
Please leave a comment on Facebook or the real-voices website about what God is saying to you as you pray. Rudy and I are interested in your thoughts.
Please email your prayer request to email@example.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.