By Robert Halsey Pine
“The work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done.” (1 Corinthians 2:14 – 3:15 NRSV).
The foundation has been laid, and that foundation is Jesus Christ. Paul challenges those who would build on that foundation. He says, “Each builder must choose with care how to build on it.” The test of what we build will be fire. Will what we have built on Christ, our foundation, stand the test of fire? Are we building with hay or straw or stone? Will each of us become a temple to God?
I have had to go back and rebuild parts of my temple many times. Somehow it seemed like straw and hay and wood would make an all right structure. These materials saved me a lot of time and gave me free time for some fun. A spark here and a spark there have caused me to do some major rebuilding. I have felt at times that I would never catch up the time that I lost using substandard materials, which failed. The good part was that when I decided to try some stone to build with, God jumped right in and helped me shape and carry them to their appropriate places. He forgave me for being so stupid and helped me catch up.
Paul warns us about being wise in a worldly sense. Many of our life decisions and actions seem to make sense. We have that control thing that gives us a false sense of being able to handle things. We even get a little creative and start making up our own rules. Now we’ve really fallen back on the straw and the hay for our temple structure. If anyone throws down a match, we’re in trouble. It’s back to the drawing board.
+Father God, my materials are insufficient to build my temple for You. I keep cutting corners. I think that I’m being smart, but it always comes back to haunt me when I choose the wrong stuff. Father, help me to see the kind of strength I need in my temple and help me to choose accordingly. I want so much for my temple to be a holy place protected by You. AMEN.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.