October 31, 2018: Anatomy of a S'more

What is the most important part of a building? The Foundation.

·         The foundation is what determines the size, shape and strength of the structure.

1 Corinthians 3:10-11 (The Graham Cracker)                

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 

·         This is addressed to Christians

o   The Foundation is already laid, it is Christ.

§  So, this is not talking about people that don’t know Christ, it is talking about those who already made the commitment to follow Him.

§  If you know Christ, the foundation is there. Now, you must build on that.

o   Now in order to have that foundation, it means that you must reject the foundation that is offered by the world.

§  Personal happiness, money, material things, the “American Dream”. All of these and more can be foundations to build your life upon.

·         In life, I just want to be happy

o   The problem with that is as you all know, happiness is fleeting. As soon as someone does something you don’t like, happiness is gone…and the foundation crumbles like sand.

·         In life, I just want to be rich… money can buy anything

o   Until the money runs out, or you realize that money really can’t buy everything. It can’t buy fulfilment or purpose. Again, the foundation crumbles like sand

·         In life, I can buy whatever I want. Things will make me happy.

o   It’s true that money or material things can make you happy, but as soon as the shine wears off, you are back to square one, wanting more stuff. Eventually you are left empty and without purpose. This too, is a foundation that crumbles like sand.

·         In life, I just want to live the American Dream.   

o   The American Dream is the belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a society where upward mobility is possible for everyone. The American Dream is achieved through sacrifice, risk-taking and hard work, not by chance.

o   Things that personify the American Dream:

§  Owning your own home

§  Owning your own business

§  Being your own boss

§  Access to education and healthcare

o   Problems with this- Just because you can claim some or all of these things, it still doesn’t bring your life meaning. Worldly success is not the measuring stick for purpose or fulfilment. This is why we see people that meet all of these criteria taking anti-depressants or even taking their own life.

§  Jesus speaks on these foundations in Matthew 7:24-27.

·         24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and [o]acts on them, [p]may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the [q]floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not [r]act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, and the [s]floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”

·         One person built their house on sand (worldly foundations). When they flood came, it washed the house away.

o   When we choose to build our foundation out of the sands of the world, the only thing that can happen is it being washed away with the storms.

o   So, rejecting the foundation of the world, we choose the foundation that is Christ. This is like, as silly as it sounds, choosing to have the graham cracker as the foundation of the s’more. If we were to put the marshmallow or chocolate as the foundation, it would melt and become a massive mess. Our hands would be covered in goop and the s’more would not be a s’more at all, but a mess. When the foundation of the s’more is the graham cracker, it is able to be what it was designed to be.

§  When we, as God’s creation, have Christ as our foundation, we are able to achieve what God has called us to be, because we are starting where we should.

o   The second builder built his house on the rock.

o    There is a reason that God is called the rock at least 58 times in scripture. It is solid, it is useful for protection, for building upon. Christ is called the chief cornerstone. The cornerstone was the most important part of the foundation. It is what supported everything else that was built on top of it. If Christ is not the cornerstone of your life, then your foundation will crumble.

·         But, back to 1 Corinthians.

o   Now that we have established what it means to have Christ as our foundation, let’s look at what we use as building material

The marshmallow and the chocolate-

·         When we are making a s’more, the graham cracker is the foundation, next we have the choice to put down the marshmallow or the chocolate. (The correct way is the put the chocolate on the bottom and then the marshmallow on top of it, then the other graham cracker.)

o   When we put the marshmallow on the chocolate, it is already warm and sometimes crispy or burnt on the outside and gooey on the inside.

o   The marshmallow is put in the fire. If we leave the marshmallow in the fire too long, it will burn up and fall off of the stick.

o   Depending on how long we leave the marshmallow in the fire dictates how it will turn out.

§  Depending on our motivation and driving force to live our lives for Christ, it will determine if we get rewards in heaven. Are our accomplishments going to be like the perfect marshmallow to compliment the chocolate, or a charred mess at the bottom of the fire pit, completely burnt and unusable?

·         In 1 Corinthians 3:12-13, we see this happen with our works.
12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, [
a]precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test [b]the quality of each man’s work

·         Depending on what you build with on top of that foundation that is Christ, will determine what type of reward you will get in heaven.

o   What materials are you building with? Paul gives us 6 different types of materials.

§  Wood, Hay, Straw, Gold, Silver, Precious stones (rubies)

o   Paul states that what we build with upon the foundation of Christ is evident.

§  How serious we take our faith, or with what motivation we have when we serve will shine through when we do.

§  If we don’t take our faith seriously, other people will be able to see it, even if we don’t.

§  When our motivations are not Christ and Him glorified, it will make even our greatest achievements like wood, hay or straw.

o   Paul tells us that when we stand before God, our works are going to be tried by fire.  This is not our salvation that is going to be tested, but what we have done with the life that God has given us.

§  There are things that we have done out of obligation, even though we really didn’t want to do them.

·         Waking up to come to church after you stayed up late the night before, only because your parent made you

·         Reading your bible because you have to

·         Being nice to people even though you hate them

·         Sharing the gospel, even if we really aren’t wanting to do it.

·         Going to a church event because you have nothing better to do

·         I’m sure you can add to the list.

o   Even though it is great that these things get done, you miss the blessing in doing them.

§  This is the equivalent of the last three materials that Paul mentioned

·         Wood – 190 degrees (about)

·         Hay—130 degrees

·         Straw—130 degrees

§  None of these things would hold up to a typical fire. They would burn up and become ash.

o   The earlier group of materials that Paul mentioned are much costlier.

§  When we do things for the glory of God, they may cost a little more now, but they will be worth so much more.

·         These are the times that even if we stayed up late the night before, we have joy in coming to church because it is an opportunity to worship with other believers, or to be fed spiritually. People can see that we actually want to be there

·         This would be like reading your bible with the expectation that God is going to reveal something more about Himself to you, or reveal something more about yourself. There is not this forced obligation to read the bible, but you get to read the bible and are excited about it.

·         Being nice to people even if they hate you. As followers of Christ, we shouldn’t hate anyone, so we are able to joyfully serve anyone because we recognize that they were created in the image of God, even if they don’t acknowledge it. So, because we know that when we serve the least of these, we are serving Christ, we can keep service in the proper perspective.

·         Sharing the gospel because we genuinely want to see our friends and others receive salvation and we want to see them again in eternity

·         Going to an event at church because you are genuinely excited about it and want to grow in your faith or relationships with the people around you

§  Knowing that the wood, stray and hay all burn at relatively low temperatures, let’s look at gold, silver and precious stones (rubies)

·         Gold—1948 degrees

·         Silver—1763 degrees

·         Precious stones—

o   Rubies—3632 degrees

o   Diamonds—6422 degrees

o   Safire—3722 degrees

The completed s’more- (1 Corinthians 3:14-15)

                Now that we have the foundation, being the graham cracker, the chocolate, and the perfectly cooked marshmallow, we can put the final graham cracker on top and have a s’more.

Let’s look at verses 14-15:

 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

o       If any man’s work which he has built on remains, he will receive a reward.

o   If we are doing things because of what Christ has done for us, if we are building on that foundation of Christ, correctly, we will receive a reward from God.

o   But, if we are not doing things for the glory of God, but only for ourselves, then it will not last and there will be no reward.

o       If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

o   All of the things that we accomplish, if they are not for God, will be for nothing.

So, the question that I want to ask you tonight, will your works survive the fire of God? When you stand before God and offer up everything that you have done in this life, will there be anything left?