Christmas is past. The new year is ahead. And what will 2016 look like? This is the time of year to catch up on sleep, enjoy some special time with friends, and also step back for time to reflect. What has happened in your past year? What did it count for?
Paul writes about a long-term goal in 1 Corinthians 3:10-17:
“10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”
The temple was a wonder of the ancient world, beautiful to see. Later, cathedrals were the work of people over the course of decades. And all good buildings have plans.
And God calls us temples. We are collectively the Body of Christ – the physical representation of Him on earth at this point. But we are also individually the places where God sends His Spirit. And the way we live will effect us for eternity. We can build our lives with things that will last, or cheap materials that will get torched. And the things that God cares about (love, forgiveness, humility, patience) are very different from what the world calls valuable. What plan are you using to build?
Look back on your year. Pray over the year ahead. And as you do some slow 360 spins, don’t forget to smile: God is at work no matter who or where we are, and it can only get better as we learn to work with Him.
God, thank You that You use us to show Your love to the world. There are so many places I falter. God, I like the shiny, cheap world materials. Please help me to build with things that will last, and show Your glory to the world. You are good. Thank You for how You work in our lives, even when we are least expecting it. Please help me to recognize that in the year past. I can’t wait to see what You will do in this coming year, and the plans that You are unfolding. Please help me build Your way even if I do not understand the final picture yet. To You be the glory. Amen.