August 30 I Tuesday
1 Corinthians 11:1-16
“The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.” —2 Timothy 2:6
During spring, many farmers prepare their fields as they get ready for the start of another agricultural cycle. Waking up early in the morning, heading to the field, tilling the soil, planting the seed and watering it, one thing we will not find expect to find is a lazy farmer. Why? Because a lazy farmer will not get a harvest. Only a hardworking and diligent farmer would expect to reap a great harvest at the end of the year.
Paul tells us, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labour. For we are fellow workers in God’s service…” (1 Corinthians 3:6-9). Every believer has been entrusted with a task and a spiritual gift to utilize it. In fact, every believer is building upon the foundation of the gospel.
Paul then reveals to the church that our work will be tested at the end of all things. “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their 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 person’s work” (1 Corinthians 3:11-13). In other words, when Christ returns, He will gather His church together and test the quality of each person’s life and how they built upon the foundation of the gospel.
If we have been a hardworking farmer, we will share in the harvest but if we have been a lazy farmer, we are going to suffer a lot of loss. As Paul says, “If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Corinthians 3:14-15). What a sobering wake-up call for us!
Bestselling author Francis Chan once said, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” How easy in our day and age to fall into things that do not matter. We can get consumed with career success, reputation, personal net worth, physical beauty, financial security, popularity and the like. Yet, all these things do not matter in eternity. May we strive to be a hardworking farmer labouring for Christ, knowing we will reap our reward in heaven.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for the task that You have entrusted to me when I came to faith. Help me to remain hardworking and diligent in my labour for Your kingdom.