A Lenten Devotion: Are you satisfied with just “getting” to heaven?
Devotional Thought of the Day:
9 For we are partners working together for God, and you are God’s field. You are also God’s building. 10 Using the gift that God gave me, I did the work of an expert builder and laid the foundation, and someone else is building on it. But each of you must be careful how you build. 11 For God has already placed Jesus Christ as the one and only foundation, and no other foundation can be laid. 12 Some will use gold or silver or precious stones in building on the foundation; others will use wood or grass or straw. 13 And the quality of each person’s work will be seen when the Day of Christ exposes it. For on that Day fire will reveal everyone’s work; the fire will test it and show its real quality. 14 If what was built on the foundation survives the fire, the builder will receive a reward. 15 But if your work is burnt up, then you will lose it; but you yourself will be saved, as if you had escaped through the fire. 1 Corinthians 3:9-15 (TEV)
939 Be men and women of the world, but don’t be worldly men and women. (1)
As I read this scripture passage this morning, it seemed to confront a popular thought about heaven that I’ve bought into for years. It is usually expressed this way,
“I’d rather be a doorkeeper in heaven, than to rule hell.”
More often it is seen by an attitude that wants to do the absolute minimum to get to heaven. That would rather not be bothered with striving to be holy, or to be inconvenienced by reaching out and serving others. The attitude that acknowledges that pastors, priests, deacons and other ministers are servants, but expects them to serve by meeting our desires, by making us comfortable. By doing our favorite music, to preaching in a way that inspires but doesn’t challenge, to making us realize the danger of their sin, but not our own. To show us the needs to send a few dollars to missions over there, but not to see the mission field in our neighborhood.
This is building with straw and wood. The stuff that doesn’t survive the test on the Day of Judgment. The stuff that won’t leave us in awe, for we won’t see how God worked through us.
For you see, while we do things with the “gold, silver and precious stones”, those are the things God brings into our lives. This isn’t about being proud of what we have done, what we have built, but being able to see God at work in our lives. It is about our living, really living, beyond that which we are by nature willing and capable of doing on our own.
It is about living the baptized life, realizing we walk this journey with Jesus. It is about the Holy Spirit transforming us, as we reflect Jesus into this lost and broken world.
So this Lent, instead of giving up chocolate or caffeine, give up a weak faith that is comfortable for one that is built on Christ’s comfort, and shares that comfort with others.
(1) Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 2180-2181). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.