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The Daily Word of Righteousness
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 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. (I Corinthians 3:11-13)
Things never can satisfy the human heart. Only love can satisfy the human being. Streets of gold, precious stones, mansions, are worthless apart from love. With love the poorest of circumstances becomes a heaven.
Doesn't the Book of Revelation portray a city of precious stones and gold? Indeed it does. These symbols of value are just that—symbols. The gates of pearl portray the gateway to God that is created in us as we suffer in patience—a gateway to God for other people. It is our priestly role.
The precious stones are the virtues that are formed in the Bride of the Lamb by the pressures and heat that come upon us in the will of God. The street (singular) of gold is the way of faith—the way in which the righteous of all ages have walked and continue to live and move and have their being.
Is there an actual city? We believe there is, but its value is not found in precious stones and gold. There are innumerable stars in the heavens above us, all created in a moment by the Lord God. If God so desired He could at any instant create a million stars of diamond and a second million of pure gold, and make all this wealth available to us. If He did, diamonds and gold would become so plentiful they no longer would have exceptional value.
How much would a large ruby be worth if rubies were as plentiful as sand?
God made some elements scarce so we would have a symbol to use for value. But true value is found only in the human personality. True value in the human personality is its ability to relate to God and to people in love, in joy, and in peace.
The fruit that is borne in us as the result of the Life of God being formed in us and dwelling in us is as follows: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. The fruit of God's Spirit is one but it has nine dimensions. Of what meaning or use would any of the nine be if there were no God and no person other than ourselves in the world?
Paul, in the thirteenth chapter of the Book of I Corinthians, speaks of what is perfect. What is perfect is God's love. God's love will come to us in full measure at the appearing of Christ from Heaven. Then we shall know as we are known because we will be dwelling in love. Then we shall see clearly all that God is and does.
To be continued.