The pit of my stomach rehashed my loss. I replayed the scenario chiding myself for not being more assertive. I’d told the Apple tech my computer stored all of my talks, articles, manuscripts, records—and much more. “Please don’t wipe it clean unless you know my backup has them.”
He glanced at the back-up and said, “You’re fine.”
“You can see the files?” I pressed.
“You’re good. Your files will be back in two hours,” he said.
Ten techs and as many days later, no one had been able to retrieve my files. The tech at another company listened to my story and pointed to a poster that reminded everyone to “back up your backup.” Where had this warning been when I needed it?
Our Work Will Be Tested
It hurts to lose your work. Even burning a home-cooked meal stings. The Bible warns us against the pain of loss.
If anyone builds on this foundation [Jesus Christ] using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Cor. 3:12-15 NIV).
Paul was writing to a problem-filled church. These believers squabbled over all sorts of things. He wrote, “I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1 NIV).
These immature believers continued to employ the same worldly tactics (wood, hay, and straw) they’d used before knowing Christ. Their strategies caused turmoil in life and loss at the end of the age. How can we avoid their errors?
How to Create Work That Lasts
One day, God will test our work too. He’ll reward the gold, silver, and costly stones. But the wood, hay and straw will burn up. What constitutes “gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw” today? Jesus shows us.
- “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Col. 3:13-14 NIV).
- “Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear” (Lk. 21:33 NLT).
- “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing” (Jn. 6:63 NASB).
God rewards Christ-centered, Word-grounded, and Spirit-powered work. Here are some questions to ask when we’re in doubt.
- Does this project, conversation, or relationship honor Christ?
- Do my choices and strategies align with the Word—or the world?
- Am I working in the power of the Holy Spirt or striving through self-effort?
Work That Produces Happy Endings
Flesh and faith battled while I waited on my computer. My flesh replayed “if only” and “what if.” But faith whispered, “Trust God. What if this loss will bring Him glory? Isn’t that your life goal?
After two weeks of waiting, I received the call to pick up my computer. Butterflies flitted through my stomach as I drove to the shop, but peace filled my heart. A young tech handed me my computer and asked me to go through my files. He’d manually retrieved all he could salvage.
My most important files were there!
My computer saga showed me the agony that accompanies loss. God used it to remind me that how I live determines the value of what I do. Loving people and honoring Him in everyday life is my most important work. And that work will sparkle through eternity.How I live determines the value of what I do. Loving people and honoring God in everyday life is my most important #work. #faith Click To Tweet
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Three 2020 Fall Bible Studies to Equip Women
Final week to register.
- Little Women, Big God: The women in Jesus’ genealogy faced big problems with little power, but they discovered a bigger God. This fall, I’ll be leading an eleven-week online study for women on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. EST on Little Women, Big God. September 15 we’ll kick off by going through the introduction and personality test. Contact me to sign up or learn more. Let’s focus on our Big God together!
- Give Yourself a Break: Could there be a better time to learn how to enter God’s rest? Ginny Wilson will be leading a ten-week study through Give Yourself a Break on Thursday evenings beginning September 17th, 2020. They will meet from 7 to 8:30 p.m. EST. You can join locally or tune in through zoom. Contact us to sign up or learn more.”
- Little Faith, Big God: Let the ordinary people from Hebrews 11 show you how to live strong and finish well. Denita M. Thomas from God 1st Ministries will be leading an online group through Little Faith, Big God on Thursday evenings from 7-8:15 EST beginning September 17, 2020. You can register online at God1st.org/small-groups. Registration Deadline: September 13, 2020