Topic: 1 Corinthians 3:12 - 15
Faithful servants will receive their complete reward following Jesus' return and the resurrection of the righteous. Although we might taste heaven before that day, the full impact of our life cannot be measured until Christ's judgment. For instance, consider the example of Oswald Chambers. This preacher is still having a powerful ripple effect on the world almost 80 years after his death: his words in My Utmost for His Highest have affected me, my writings may have impacted you, your witness will reach someone else, and so on. Only God can measure the actual extent of an individual's influence.
Christ will not judge believers by their sin - it has been forgotten. (Jeremiah 31:34) Instead, He will ask His children for an account "according to what [each] has done, whether good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10). We won't be judged on how well our conduct matched our understanding of good and bad; instead, our actions will be assessed on the basis of whether they count for God or for personal gain. We may be quite surprised at the many actions we carried out as a natural extension of our love and desire for a godly life but which Jesus will credit as service to Him. Likewise, the deeds we performed for the applause of men will burn up like hay and stubble in a fire. (1 Corinthians 3:10 - 15)
The life we live now determines much about our eternal future. Our capacity to reflect God's glory into eternity is either expanding or diminishing by our works. Therefore, we do well to serve wholeheartedly, anticipating the day we will give our account.