This is the last post in my series about the Parable of the Talents found in Matthew 25. In my last article I talked about how we must give an account of how we build on Christ’s foundation in our lives.
We started to look at how the Apostle Paul described it.
If any man builds on this foundation, using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his 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 man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
I Corinthians 3:12-15
Paul writes that there are those Christians who are listening to the Lord and obeying Him. Because of this, they’re building with gold, silver, and gems on that foundation. When the Lord brings us up for review, it’s a work that will last through eternity.
There are, however, other Christians who are doing what they want. They might even be doing good things, but they’re not doing the works that God wants them to do.
It could be that they’re doing wonderful acts of service or giving lots of money. But if they’re not doing what God has prepared for them to do, then it will turn out to be wood, hay, and straw.
When they go before God and God puts His checklist next to what they did, all their hard work is going to be burned up. Now the Word of God does say that they’ll be saved, but only like one passing through the fire.
Everything they did was wasted. That’s not the legacy I want for my life. But even that’s not the end of the matter. Paul has some more insight into how we are to prepare.
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
I Corinthians 3:16-17
You can build with the right stuff – gold, silver, costly stones. You can also build with the wrong stuff – wood, hay, straw. But there’s also a third thing that can be done. You can also tear down the godly work someone else is doing.
You can actually be working against the Kingdom of God. This corresponds to those who are lost – doing the exact opposite of what God wants done in their lives.
We can see, then, in Paul’s writings the very same thoughts that we’ve found in the gospels. In the parable that Matthew records, the servant was lost – cast out of the presence of the Lord. Luke, however, says that he lost everything he had, but he didn’t lose his soul.
So Paul shows us the same concept. Great returns, little returns, and no returns on the investment God has entrusted to us.
Make very sure that you’re in the group that’s building with gold, silver, and precious stones. Be a servant who takes the investment that God has placed in you and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading to bring about a great harvest for the Kingdom. Then you can march into Heaven victorious with works that will last.
Question: How have you brought increase into the Kingdom of God?
© Nick Zaccardi 2015