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Sunday, March 20, 2016

I Corinthians 3:8

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
For further study - I Corinthians 3:1-15

The apostle Paul, who wrote our reading today, also wrote to the Thessalonians about the Rapture of the church, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, and he told us of the sound of the trumpet, the shout of the archangel and at our Lord's shout, we will enter His presence. It is at that time in the future that the "Judgment Seat of Christ" takes place.

The Judgment Seat of Christ is when every Christian will be judged by Jesus Christ, John 5:22, for his or her labor for the Lord. It is at that time that we will receive either rewards or suffer loss of rewards.

The procedure for this awesome time before the Lord at the "Judgment Seat" is found in our reading for today. The reality that we will one day stand at the "Judgment Seat" is awesome as we consider the events that will unfold on that day.

Verse 12 tells us of the two categories of works that we will be judged for at the Judgment Seat.

There are the "wood, hay and stubble" works and the "gold, silver, and precious stones" works. Those wood, hay and stubble works are works we did after becoming a Christian. These are works that we have done in our own strength and for our own glory. The gold, silver and precious stones works are those works we did in His power, for His glory.

Let me remind you that works are not for salvation, but a result of salvation. Salvation is by grace through faith, Ephesians 2:8-9. Works are what follows because we are "created unto good works" after salvation, Ephesians 2:10.

All of our works from either category will be judged, actually by fire, and what remains will be that which indicates whether we gain rewards or suffer loss. Naturally, those wood, hay and stubble works will be burned up.

The gold, silver and precious stones works will be purified in the fire and bring us rewards for the works we have done for Him and for His glory and in His power.

These works are the "righteous acts" we do during our lifetime as a Christian. The righteous acts then become our "wedding garments" that we, as the bride of Christ, will wear when we are married to Jesus Christ.

This "marriage ceremony" will precede the "marriage supper of the Lamb," Revelation 19:7-9. It is exciting to consider the wedding garment we will wear at that ceremony for our groom, Jesus Christ.

However, it is a bit concerning to realize that one day, possibly very soon, at the Rapture we will stand face to face with Christ and have to respond at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This should motivate each us to get things in order so we will be ready to face Jesus. It could be today!

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to do all works in His power and only for His honor and glory.