Of Hay, Bricks, Twigs and Three Little Pigs
"God, in his kindness, has taught me how to be an expert builder. I have laid the foundation and Apollos has built on it. But he who builds on the foundation must be very careful. And no one can ever lay any other real foundation than that one we already have—Jesus Christ. But there are various kinds of materials that can be used to build on that foundation. Some use gold and silver and jewels; and some build with sticks and hay or even straw! There is going to come a time of testing at Christ’s Judgment Day to see what kind of material each builder has used. Everyone’s work will be put through the fire so that all can see whether or not it keeps its value, and what was really accomplished." I Corinthians 3:10-13
In the story of The Three Little Pigs by Joseph Jacobs, the poor old mother pig sends her three piglets, when they come of age, out into the world to find their way. The first little pig is very lazy and builds his house of hay. The wolf comes along and blows it down. The second little pig is lazy, too, building his house of twigs, and the wolf blows it down. But the third pig is a hard-worker and builds his house of bricks. When the wolf comes along, he fails to blow the brick house down. He tries three more times to trick this pig and the two brothers who have joined him, but is outsmarted each time. Finally, when the wolf sneaks down the chimney, he is outsmarted one final time--falling into a pot of boiling water that is waiting for him at the bottom.
Which little pig are you?
If you're building your house with money, I'm afraid that's just hay and twigs, my friend. It will not stand the test of time. Only a life built upon the strong foundation of faith in Jesus Christ will protect you in eternity.
What about your motives? Are they self-seeking? Or, are they humble and pure? When you give or do for others, do you do it so that the people who see will think you are all that and praise you?
When we hold on to our own way, what we fail to realize is that God's way is the way of blessing. It is true prosperity in every sense of the word. The joy and peace He gives are our constant companions. They are not dependent upon circumstance. When we follow Christ, His voice becomes distinct to us, helping us to recognize the wolf when he comes around.
The passage in 1 Corinthians 3 reminds us that the way we live, the materials we use in building our house--they matter. One day, the wind will blow upon your house and mine. Our works will be tested through the fire of our Lord's good judgment.
When that time comes, what will be left of your house?