Will You Be Ready for the Inspection?
My family recently moved into a new house.
And before you judge my next few sentences, I want you to pay attention to the illustration I believe the Holy Spirit wants all of us to understand.
Our new home is beautiful. It’s a Victorian style with a wrap-around porch. One of the things I love about it is the coziness of its architecture. We lived in it three months before I hung a single picture, but you wouldn’t have noticed that right away because of the character of its design. In the middle of the house is a beautiful staircase with intricately carved wood banisters. It has two landings as it winds its way to the upper level. The house has many windows which overlook the beautiful landscaping the former owners spent hours designing and tending. I can honestly say I love our new home.
But… it’s wood, hay, and straw.
The Apostle Paul said, “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:10-13).
many of us build our lives like we build our homes
My point is that I’ve come to realize many of us build our lives like we build our homes — with wood, hay, and straw. And even if we’ve built well, and it’s beautiful in it’s design, it’s still just wood.
“If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:14-25). One translation says, “…just barely.”
Are we prepared to see our entire life’s work burned up just because we didn’t pay attention to what we’re building with? I don’t care how beautiful we make wood look — if it’s wood, it can burn. In the same way, I don’t care how great I look to you on the outside. If my heart is full of unforgiveness, lust, greed, or the like, it’ll burn and cost me later.
God is looking for lives built upon the principles of His Word:
Love, kindness, forgiveness, servanthood, unselfishness, and the like. In other words, God is looking for gold, silver, and precious stones. “Eventually there is going to be an inspection. If you use cheap or inferior materials, you’ll be found out. The inspection will be thorough and rigorous. You won’t get by with a thing” (Verse 13, Message).
We don’t need to take these instructions lightly. Do your own inspection now while you still have time to change your building materials. The Bible says God is merciful and even if all your life’s work is burned up, believers will be saved, but just barely. Is that what you want? To be just barely saved through the fire like a family who just watched their home burned to the ground and have nothing left to show but the clothes on their back? I think not. No one does.
So dig into God’s Word and see what He desires. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).
And one last thing… if we oooh and aaah over homes made of wood, hay, and straw, what will our Heavenly homes be like?
I know one thing for sure: the Master Builder never uses inferior materials.
This article was written by Daphne Delay who is an author, speaker, and podcaster with a passion to help this generation discover who they are in Christ. She is the author of Facing the Mirror, Facing the Enemy, and Facing God. Daphne also blogs nuggets of spiritual growth and encouragement regularly at
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