If what he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as if through the flames. – 1 Corinthians 3:15
I have written a lot of WMD’s. I think close to 600. I’ve preached a lot of sermons. Nowhere near as many as some preachers, but probably close to 400. I love to think about, write about, read about, and talk about God. Without a doubt, He is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Unfortunately, critics are everywhere. Not to let myself off the hook, for I can turn into one so easily. Many times, those critics get under my skin and my brain goes into this fog and I just can’t ignore them or let it go. Eventually, I let it go, but major stuff takes years for me. Minor stuff can take days or weeks to let go. I don’t know why I’m like this. I for sure don’t want to be.
The reason I say this is because I was recently told that I preach, or it sounds like I preach, that a person can lose their salvation. Do I believe that after following Christ for 31 years that, suddenly, I could no longer be saved? No. Do I believe that I still must trust and obey God with my life . . . even today? Yes! Do I believe that the way you live your life matters? Yes! I believe 1 Corinthians 3:15 speaks of two different types of Christians in the world today. Those who build with a pure heart, and those who build with selfish motives. It might even include a third group that doesn’t work at all. To me, this verse says that you can barely make it into heaven. It also teaches me that there is a reward on top of salvation that can be received if we can simply learn to build with a pure heart.
The truth is, without obedience to God, I would have so much less in my life. God has asked me to do some things since I’ve been saved. I’ve done some of them, and I’ve not done some of them. What I did do didn’t earn me a spot in heaven, and what I didn’t do didn’t take my spot away. But the things He asked me to do blessed me on this earth. For example, I remember God asking me to not date for a year. I was the neediest person on the planet. I didn’t want to do what He said, but I did . . . because I wanted to trust and obey. If I had refused, I would not have lost my salvation . . . but I would have lost the chance to be married to my wife. That year alone made me realize God was enough and prepared me to add to her life and not just subtract from it.
I can give you another one. I read Colossians 3:23 one day after honestly contemplating quitting teaching. I hated it and was lining up another career. God asked me to work for Him, not for principals and not because I was getting paid. I didn’t want to stay. I didn’t want to change. But I asked Him to help me change and I stayed. Slowly, but surely, I began to love my job. I began to see myself differently. I began to teach differently. I began to see the importance of why I was there. I love my job now! If I had refused to obey, I would not have lost my salvation, but I would have lost a great job and countless relationships that I’ve built since then.
If you have truly been saved, of course you can’t lose your salvation. But you can miss out on some pretty great things that God has in store for you.
Lord, I don’t just want to be saved and barely make it into heaven. I want the abundant life. I want to build in a way that I receive rewards that I can lay at Your feet. I want to trust You. I want to obey You. I don’t all the time. Will You help me? Will You lead me, guide me, and direct me? You never say, “Depart from me, you didn’t get saved.” You say, “Depart from me, for I never knew you.” I want to know You, Lord. Thank You for a relationship that will never end. I hope these little devotionals continue to bless people’s lives. Use me Lord for Your glory. Amen.