As this New Year began I was contemplating, once again, what we had accomplished as a ministry in 2011. But even closer to home, what have I personally accomplished that has value for eternity? That is a sobering question and one I have asked myself many times over the years.
It all began several years ago as I visited our youth prayer room. There were notes and scripture everywhere that the students had taped on the walls or shelves. There was a cross with notes attached to it asking for forgiveness. It really touched my heart to see the hurts and requests that were so apparently genuine in their cry for help. Then, as I moved around the room, there was a note that pierced my heart. “Why do I do so much that has no eternal value?” Now why would this question be right at my eye level? I believe God placed it there for me to ponder as a wake up call.
I began to think back over my day and examine what I had done in the course of that day. Sure, I was busy all day, (like Martha), but what was of any eternal value. I have written that question on an index card and have it on my bathroom mirror where I am faced with it daily. It has changed my perspective on my activities of each day. If I keep that question foremost on my mind it totally changes my priorities for the day.
Take your own personal survey. Examine the time you have spent today, last week, last month, or since 2012 began! What have you accomplished this year that will have eternal value? Before you know it the year will be gone and what activities will have been of value for eternity.
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 1 Corinthians 3:11-14 (NKJV)
Now that passage alone should cause us to reflect on our actions each and every day. Those actions will be revealed one day. Jesus is our foundation and we are to build on Him with precious stones, gold, and silver. The wood, hay, and stubble will be burned up by God’s discerning judgment. Wouldn’t it be a shame to get to the throne and watch everything we did here on earth burn to a crisp? That’s why it is wise to examine our motives and actions on a daily basis. Here are some reflection questions:
How have you invested in another persons’ life today?
How much time have you spent at Jesus feet in this past week?
Have you looked for divine appointments throughout your day?
Did you speak a kind word of encouragement or assist someone with a heavy load?
Did you jot a note to a hurting friend or do something special for them that lets them know you are thinking of them?
Did you go and just sit with someone who was grieving a loss in their life?
Did you smile at someone who seemed especially down hearted today and acknowledge you care about their troubles?
Did you write a letter to someone who is in prison?
I remember as a teenager setting the field on fire behind our house as I burned the trash one day. That dry grass caught fire and took off. We had to call the fire department to come put it out before it burnt up the whole field! I think of that incident when I read about the wood, hay, and stubble being burned up. It won’t take long to see those things obliterated before our eyes. Are you storing up treasures worthy of Christ or are your works all wood, hay and stubble which will be devoured by His wrath?
Dear Abba Father, we ask you to take away anything that is not of value. Show us now Lord, before we waste our time with frivolous activities and watch them be incinerated right before our eyes. We want so much to lay before you gold, silver, and precious stones. You are worthy of no less! Teach us to reach out beyond our needs to help those who are hurting Lord, just like You did. We love you Lord. Amen.