Saturday, April 9, 2022

In Context: Building for Eternity

This year Good Friday and Tax Day are the same day.

It’s easy to mistake one as being about eternal things, and the other as only being about temporary things. In truth, both can be about eternal things.

In the well-known passage about eternal rewards Paul wrote to the Corinthians, actions with the wood, hay, and straw can have as much of a possibility of lasting for eternity as actions with the gold, silver, and precious stones. The difference is in the foundation on which we are building—Jesus Christ.

Any eternal treasure laid up in heaven is stored there using the temporary things of earth. If you pay your taxes with integrity because of the integrity of Jesus Christ, you are building on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

Some may object asking a question Jesus asked, “if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same” (Luke 6:33). They are correct. Now, think about those paying their taxes with integrity in cultures where corruption is normal and expected, or where they may be persecuted? Are they doing good expecting good in return? Then, that same action of paying taxes with integrity is more obviously done as building on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

The difference isn't in the circumstances. The difference is in the purpose: building on the foundation of Jesus Christ. The sinners that “do the same” aren't building on that foundation.

When preachers and missionaries learn the Word of God and teach it to others, they are building on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

When lawmakers, staff, lobbyists and citizens seek to make laws that honor God and are consistent with His Word, they are building on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

When businesses seek to make good products and provide good services with justice for all people because that is what God's Word teaches honors Him, they are building on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

Not all of those things make for overt evangelism, but all things built on the foundation of Jesus Christ have eternal value. One plants, another waters, and God gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6).

Father, we ask you to give all Americans hope and a sense of purpose beginning with this season of celebrating the Resurrection, that their actions can be done to bring you glory and hold for them eternal value. Expand our vision of understanding Your generosity explained in Your Word. Move people that need to be moved from places where they are not free to build fully on that foundation in Your Son, Jesus Christ, to places where they are fully free to build on the eternal foundation.

“Whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.” (Ephesians 6:8)

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