Success is the fruit of time and effort, but before whom are we seeking success?

“Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each one’s work. If anyone’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet only so as through fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 NASB2020


This passage describes the difference between the third soil Christians and the fourth soil christians Jesus refers to in His parable of the soils. The third soil Christian believes but bears no fruit. The worries and pursuit of the things of this world, comfort, prominence, security, popularity, all keep a man from bearing eternal fruit. It is so because both worldly success and eternal success require a man to invest himself greatly in time, talent, and treasure. The man who focuses on eternal success, the good soil, bears fruit according to his ability and effort, some more than others. Nevertheless, the man who focuses on seeing God’s kingdom come and His will being done on earth as it is in heaven, shall be successful in the eyes of God and therefore his work will be subsequently rewarded by God. What will heaven look like between those who received no reward from God and those who received different rewards from God? Different responsibilities for leadership certainly, Jesus makes this clear in His parable of the talents. Will we feel regret or remorse? I don’t expect we will feel pride or want to boast. If we love God most we will want to serve God most and if we are serving God most we will be working for God first. This working for God we call evangelism and discipleship. It is the daily process of leading people to Jesus and helping them grow in their faith so that we all obey Him more. The person who makes this work their first concern and priority will bear eternal fruit for which they will be eternally rewarded.

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