Links Daily Devotional

A Narrow Escape

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 Corinthians 3:14-15, NIV)

On Wednesday of last week, the women of the University of Washington captured the ultimate reason to celebrate in the college game: they won the NCAA Championship. But that is cutting to the chase.

The reward of eternal life is great, but Paul suggests something extra is in store for those who build well.On Tuesday in the semifinals, the Huskies were on the brink of elimination. The best-of-five matches format was tied 2-2, but Washington’s Sarah Rhee trailed UCLA’s Louise Ridderstrom by three with three to play. Rhee, though, won the sixteenth and seventeenth with birdies, then the eighteenth with a par. The match headed to extra holes where from a greenside bunker at the nineteenth, Rhee holed out to win. It was the narrowest of escapes and it propelled the Huskies to the national title.

Narrow escapes are exciting in sports. In life, they can scare the wits out of you.

Intriguingly, Paul painted a picture a narrow escape unto eternal life when he wrote to the Corinthians the first time.

We all have an opportunity to build on the one foundation, who is Christ, he told them. That is, as we considered last week when we addressed sanctification, there is work to be done in this walk with Jesus. Paul was making a case for building well.

We might, he said, choose the finest materials—gold, silver, precious stones—and build a life that not only appears excellent but can stand the most demanding tests. And those tests will come. We have a God who refines with fire and whose very goal for our lives is to perfect us.

But what if we choose lesser materials—wood, hay, stubble? These of course will be consumed in that refining fire. But even those who build with these weakest of materials will narrowly escape unto eternal life if those materials are laid on that one foundation.

Yes, our salvation is secure, no matter what kind of a stumbling botch job we make of our walk with Jesus. That’s because the walk is with him and he will not leave us or forsake us.

The reward of eternal life is great (far better than a national championship!), but Paul suggests something extra is in store for those who build well and, shall we say, “escape widely.” Let’s endeavor to be among them!

Jeff Hopper
May 30, 2016
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