August 7: “Living in Light of Eternity”

8 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Ezra 4:24–6:22
1 Corinthians 3:5-23
Psalm 29:1-11
Proverbs 20:26-27

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

1 Corinthians 3:12-13 (NLT): “Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.”

Reflections from Scripture:

First Corinthians 3:12-13 tells us that there is a Day of Judgment coming, so we had better live our lives in light of that day.

There are two Judgments after death, one for Jesus-followers and the other for those who failed to trust in Jesus for eternal life. Jesus-followers will be at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10-122 Corinthians 5:9-10), and unbelievers will be at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

Everyone who finds themselves at the Great White Throne Judgment is lost. No one at that judgment will ever step foot into Heaven. That judgment determines the extent to which the unbeliever will be punished, and it is based upon how they lived their lives. (Notice in Revelation 20:12-13 that it says they will be judged “according to what they had done.”).

Everyone who finds themselves at the Judgment Seat of Christ is saved – they are trusting in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life. No one at this judgment will end up in Hell. That judgment determines the extent to which the Jesus-follower will be rewarded, and it is based upon how they lived their lives. 

Notice in 1 Corinthians 3:12-13 that various types of material illustrate how the saved lived their lives. 

1 Corinthians 3:12-13 (NLT): “Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.”

Some of the material is valuable and represents those actions that glorified our Lord. Yet, some of our behaviors are like “wood, hay, or straw” and will not survive the judgment because they were done with wrong motives. There are no rewards for these sorts of works.

Friend, if you are saved, you aren’t simply going to Heaven. There is coming a time when you will be judged as you stand before the Throne of God, and He assesses your life. It will be a judgment of grace, but it will also be an accurate assessment of how we lived our lives. I suspect that at this judgment, we will be able to see how much of our life we wasted – and God will have to wipe tears from our eyes (Revelation 21:4).

So, live today for Jesus. Do the things He has told you to do. Believe the things He has told you to believe. And make sure that you are doing what you do with the right motives (see Matthew 6:1-18). Finally, realize that our God is a God of grace, so go boldly into His Throne Room (Hebrews 4:16) through prayer, seeking whatever you need to live this day for Him.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, help me to live by faith and not by sight. Enable me to live not for today but in light of eternity. Keep before me the fact that I will one day stand in Your presence as You assess my life. I want to hear you applaud as You look at me and say, “Well done!” So help me live in obedience to You and Your Word, submission to the Holy Spirit, and do everything I do with motives that are pleasing to You. On my own, this is impossible, so I am relying upon You to do this work in me as I do my part. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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