Did you hear the news about Michael Phelps, the great swimmer? Last night he broke the record for the most medals of ANY Olympic athlete. He now has nineteen in all and still has the opportunity to win at least three more before the games are done this year ! Quite a feat when you think about it.
When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, who had their own Olympic style games, he wrote twice in two books about the accumulation of heavenly rewards: “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones. . .every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” [1Cor.3:12-13] & “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ: that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” [2Cor.5:10].
The imagery is standing before a judge and being evaluated by him as to our conduct in the “game of life” here. The evaluation begins at conversion or as Paul put it, the “foundation”, or when we first began our relationship with Christ. If we have built up works that are of value to Him which can only be things we have done FOR and BY Him then they shall stand the testing fire of His critique, and if, no matter how well intentioned we have done things otherwise (to be seen of men, to lift up us, simply going through the motions, etc.) these will be “burned up”. Fortunately this examination will not be about our salvation, since that is a done deal at Calvary, but it should motivate us daily to live in the power of His Spirit and conduct life in a way that truly glorifies the Lord !
When life here winds down for you and you then go to that “heavenly bar” you will medal if you have built a life for and through Him, simple as that ! We tend to think of the “Bema Seat” as a time to dread, I’d like you think of it otherwise, a time to delight about. And then when we receive our “medals”, it will be time to lay them at His feet, because apart from Him we could truly do nothing. But in the meantime, this is a new day, YOU have a great opportunity to rack up some medals for and by His enabling – go for the GOLD !!!