He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, he will give eternal life.
You cannot ‘work’ your way into heaven; salvation is a gift and is obtain by faith alone. Works are the product of our faith, the manifestation of our relationship with God. They will be judged by fire – and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. Will your work survive or will it be burned up?
Just as ‘works’ will not get a person into heaven, they will also not keep a child of God out of heaven if they don’t survive the test, which I definitely find reassuring. My intention is to build with gold, silver and precious stones to honour God and bring glory to His name. But as I look back over my life, I can see wood, hay and straw. The key, of course, is not to give up but to have patience in well-doing.
As long as we have breath, we have the opportunity to become more like Christ and display the glory of the Saviour. Remember Galatians 6:9, ‘And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up’.
Even though the gift of spending eternity in the presence of God far outweighs anything we could possibly give, we should, nevertheless, continually strive for works of gold, because He deserves nothing less.