Food for thought…Wood, Hay and Stubble


Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble, Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.  1 Corinthians 3:13

I think about this verse all the time, it challenges me!  Think about all of the ways that you serve God.  Cleaning the church, serving in the Sunday school class, tithing, volunteering your time to help out in some area.  Each and everything that you do to serve God will be tried by fire.  God knows the intentions of your heart and mine.  He knows if your service is founded upon your love for Him.  If you are serving for any other reason than that, I am sorry to say that it shall be burned, and you will have no reward.  I don’t want to suffer great loss, neither do you. 

Years ago, I was on the cleaning ministry at church.  I was on it merely because I felt obligated.  I hated it, I let my husband know how much I hated it.  One day, we got back from a long weekend out as a family, and when we arrived back home it was late.  My husband said to me “I hope we weren’t supposed to clean the church today” AGHHH.  What an awful feeling! I was supposed to clean! I was on the cleaning schedule and I forgot.  When I went that night to clean, there was another cleaner there.  I vented to her about how hard it is for me to find the time to clean and how I hated bringing my two babies with me while I cleaned.  She asked me why I am on the cleaning schedule if it was so hard for me to do.  I told her how I felt obligated to clean, after all, my husband was a pastor there. She said to me “Marissa, take yourself off the cleaning schedule.  If you aren’t doing it unto the Lord, and you are grudgingly doing it, then you will have no reward for it anyway.”   Boy, was I humbled! How right she was. 

You see, sometimes we serve God out of obligation, out of habit, or because we want others to see our service to God.  Sweet sister, those are the works that will be burned because they were not founded upon Jesus. 

This verse always challenges me as to what my priorities are, I will never get to heaven and think about my life on earth and wonder “boy I wish I had more spare time to go to a spa, or I wish I had a bigger house, or I wish I worked harder to have a nicer car.”  Those things are not wrong, but unfortunately I believe all of us will get to heaven and say “Lord, I wish I loved you more, I wish I served you more, I wish I gave more to the poor, I wish I did more for your kingdom” because those things are what will earn you crowns in heaven.  Service unto God with a genuine heart of love is what will last through the fire, it is where our rewards will lie, and it is the only thing that will matter.

What are your priorities? What is your heart behind your service to Him? Are you serving Him? I pray we all would evaluate ourselves, honestly. I pray we would serve Him because we love Him, and because He is worthy.

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  1. Mary Lee Page says:

    Good questions. Marissa… much food for thought!