Sunday, June 30, 2013
How Do You Measure Up?
Amos 7:7 ¶ This is what he showed me: the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand.
Amos 7:8 And the LORD said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,
“See, I am setting a plumb line
in the midst of my people Israel;
I will never again pass them by;
Amos 7:9 the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate,
and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,
and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”
The Israelites were the wall that God had built. They were to be the strong and powerful wall that would protect his sanctuary but they continually chose to follow other gods. God was loving and patient and continually awaited their humility and return to him, but somehow they simply would not repent. Now the time was coming when they would have to face judgment. The plumb line would be used. This was a device used to measure whether a wall was straight or not. They would drop it from the top of the wall and this string with a weight on the bottom would hang straight and the wall could be compared to it. Anything that was leaning or bowed would be removed and a new section of wall would need to be built as its replacement. For the Israelites this meant judgment was coming. They were going to be measured by the plumb line -- and if they didn't line up they were going to be destroyed. If the wall no longer served the purpose for which it was created, it would be torn down!
The purpose for which we have been created is to be a true reflection of Jesus Christ in this world and the way in which we will be measured is against Jesus Christ himself. That is a rather sobering thought. If Jesus were the plumb line placed beside me, how would I measure up?
It's so easy, even as a Christian, to get caught up in all the flurry of life which surrounds us that at times we forget the true purpose of who we are we can stray away from the plumb line. This can all be done with good intentions and yet we can suddenly discover that we are no longer as close to Christ as we ought to be. Maybe we haven't been spending the time in prayer or in the word that we ought. This is the way that we learn more and more what it means to be like Christ. How would Jesus act in this situation? What would be Jesus' reactions to these events?
Those of us who call ourselves Christians are to be the wall that is the sanctuary. Together we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and it is our responsibility to be like Christ, but also to be his holy temple. What if God were to send his plumb line to earth today and pass among his people, what would he discover? Are we united in our desire to be measured up against Jesus Christ? Are we standing strong and firm in the face of the pressures of this world? Or has the time come when he says that he will send the plumb line in the midst of his people and if you don't measure up, he will not come through again. I'm afraid we've taken the plumb line too lightly. We've thought it's okay to be bend a little this way and that when finally the temple is no longer strong and may not be entirely filled with the Holy Spirit. The standard for being a Christian is truly to be a high one, for the standard is Christ himself. If the plumb line were to arrive today how would you measure up?
Lord, help me to seek your face and may you continually mold me into a reflection of you. Amen.