A Second Chance

Tim Beals

READ : 1 Corinthians 3:1-15

The fire will test what sort of work each has done. (v. 13)

Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) woke up one morning to find his own obituary in the local Stockholm newspaper. Surprised, he read it and found that the only thing of note mentioned was his invention of dynamite.

The newspaper had intended to print the obituary of Alfred’s brother, but when they mistakenly tapped Alfred instead, Nobel was dismayed to think that if he were to die, the world would remember him only for a potent explosive used for destruction.

He got a second chance, and decided to do something about it. Nobel initiated the now-famous annual award for the outstanding individual or group that promotes the cause of peace. The first Nobel Prize was awarded in 1901, five years after he really died.

If you had the chance to read your own obituary, what would it say? How would you want to be remembered? In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul compared our lives to a building under construction. How we build determines the result. If we stand for the truth and serve God faithfully, the yield is “gold, silver, precious stones.” If we live for ourselves, we produce only “wood, hay, and straw” – works that won’t survive the testing fire.

The choice is yours. You won’t get a second chance.


May we work today as if the results will last forever.