God’s Precious Building
Ask God to help you evaluate your life in Christ–what you are doing well and what you are not doing so well.
Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-23
 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly-mere infants in Christ.  I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.  You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?  For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?  What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe-as the Lord has assigned to each his task.  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 labor.  For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.  By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.  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.  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.  Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?  If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.  Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”;  and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”  So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours,  whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future-all are yours,  and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat does Paul mean by spiritual maturity?
Paul calls his readers “mere infants in Christ” (1)–immature, dependent, demanding. He needs to go back to basics, because they are acting like jealous children, “quarreling” (3), missing what’s most important. Paul repeats: God is the one who brings growth, not Paul or Apollos, who are merely servants (5-7). Look again at 9: Whose service? Whose field? Whose building? Paul bangs his fist on the parchment: God, God, God! We are God’s temple, with God’s Spirit dwelling among us (16,17). This is what Paul means by building carefully (10) on the foundation of Jesus Christ (11): living God’s way and working hard in the power of the Spirit, not simply coasting along and taking forgiveness for granted. If we pray, serve, learn contentment, care for others, and share our faith with others, then when our work is tested with fire, it will survive (14). Don’t you think God deserves a temple of precious stones, gold, and silver rather than wood, hay, and straw (12)?
Review the life you are constructing. How firm are your foundations? How is your building work going?
Help me not to waste my time, Lord. Help me to work at things that matter and that will last, by Your grace.