THE MEASURING STICK

yardstick

 

When I was a small boy and life was oh so simple, we had a simple little tool that was in just about all the homes at the time and that was a “ yard stick”. This is probably the earliest of training I would have got on the task of tracking things. It had so many uses back then. As kids wanting to be grown ups we were very interested in marking our height on a door casing and measuring it. It seemed like the higher the number the more worth you felt you had. If you were to compare yourself to someone else ( which often was the case ) you had to keep and eye on their feet to make sure they were not on their toes.tape-measure-steel

It was used to measure all sorts of things in the house as well. Mom used to use it in the sewing room as she cut and sewed material to make clothes. Sometimes it got used on my behind to bring me back into line. Today we are obsessed with measuring thing. Not so much with yardsticks anymore but in building the tape measure is still used a lot. In business there is often a spread sheet that is used to track or measure. As I worked in the Dairy production facility I used a number of these to measure various things like cost per liter, or to track packaging usage and waste. These measurements are used to determine value and profitability. But what about you?Spreadsheet

How can you track or measure your value to your friends, family, business, church or neighborhood? The thing about measuring your value is that it has to be compared to someone else. The bible may teach us not to judge others but the world has us well trained in doing so. It’s almost funny to hear people say “ Hey don’t judge me!” as if they now have abandoned that type of thought. What they mostly mean is “Hey don’t call me on choosing to do what is wrong”. Life can really mess with one’s “sense of value” but our real value cannot be changed. Our worth is determined by what someone was willing to pay for it. Well God was willing to surrender His life for you so that makes each of us priceless. Just like governments print money and back it’s value God who never changes has put the price tag on your head. You have immense, incredible, value that never changes because God never changes.Contestants

The need to compare yourself to another is gone because when God designed you He put the same effort into each one of us. We all have things that we just seem to be good at and can touch others unlike any other. We also have weaknesses that allow us to work in community because we all have need of each other. helping fellow racer09ef8ed4  Yes God had a great plan in mind when He designed us and the world that we live in. So the next time you look in the mirror just remember that the Almighty perfect, unchanging God took the time to design you just the way He wanted to so you would one day reveal Him to a world who has forgotten the One who establishes value. So tonight that is what you find me……… Just Thinking

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I DID IT ALONE!

 

 

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I was at a men’s fellowship last evening and we were encouraged to dig into scripture to see if we could discover any information about Revival. The group is made up of men with different backgrounds and teaching. Most of the group are men who have retired from their working life. Anyway The facilitator went around the room to gather what everyone had gleaned. We concluded that prayer was a good beginning for anything including revival because as we know that if the Lord didn’t build it…..

As the evening went along I started to think about the days when my mind was so occupied with the strong feelings I felt for God. He was my everything and I knew it. I remembered and shared a vision the Lord gave me many moons ago when I really was just new in my walk with God. I was in worship at the first Christian Conference I had ever attended and decided to close my eyes while I sang to rid myself of the visual distractions.

Listening to judge

I suddenly found myself standing before a judge in a courtroom setting and I quickly realized that it was me on trial. I remember thinking how unjust this was because I had not committed any crimes and in my opinion was a pretty good person. So as I faced the judge I was expecting to be exonerated as there had to be some mistake made. The judge began to read the charges that were made against me. He read for a few minutes which seemed an eternity for me. With each charge listed against me I felt more & more hopeless. The charges were true and I felt such shame. My children were there in this vision and I wanted to close their ears to what was being said of their dad. How would they ever love me again knowing their dad was anything but good. My view of the courtroom became limited as I could no longer lift my eyes under the weight of this shame. I wasn’t sure who the people in the sitting area were but if they knew me and were routing for me they would have changed their mind and distanced themselves far from the likes of me.

Sitting in Court

As the judge finished reading the list of charges against me he then asked how would I plea. I thought to myself, Was this a joke? Everything read was true and there was no fight left in me at all. I just wanted to die and the realization of what I really was. I continued to stare at the floor when I heard the sound of a courtroom door opening on the left side of the room. I somehow knew it was Jesus as my gaze remained down as He entered the room and made his way over to my side. I wondered if He had heard all those terrible things against me and if He did then why was he standing here? The judge still waiting for me to give a reply looked at Jesus as Jesus speaks on my behalf and says “ these crimes are listed to my account now and not his. The judge hit the gavel and said “ Case Dismissed. With that Jesus put His arm around me and led the children and I out of the courtroom and I opened my eyes and was still in worship. I wanted to cry but still had enough fear of man not to but I was close to being in shock as it was so real to me. As I shared it last night the realness of it came back to mind. I did shed a few tears though I wanted to really cry hard as I recalled what state my life was in without Jesus.

Jesus talks in scripture about those who are luke warm being spat out of His mouth. As I thought about my fellow Christian friends I thought that’s the state we are in now. We are luke warm when we need to be on fire.

 

luke warm

So I pondered today why in the world we as well as many others would be luke warm? I think part of the reason for this is that I have lost sight of my daily need to walk with Him but letting Him lead the direction. If the sins were wiped clean before I became a Christian and I stood before the judge today things would still remain just as hopeless as they were that day. If all the sins I committed were wiped away except for those done in February I would still be sunk. Though I have been a Christian for years now I still desperately need God daily which is why He gave us His Holy Spirit.

It is my belief that many of us think that we are now in and so Jesus can wonder off and help those more in need. As time moves along I feel less and less thankful as I once again believe that this flesh of mine has been well trained not to sin any longer. I have a bible so I can just do what I think is right from what I read. This is such foolishness.

Lost

I should embrace Jesus and His sacrifice for me. I remain hopeless apart from Him. I continue to owe everything to Him. My good deeds have not somehow paid Him back. Besides one of the biggest mistakes we make is wanting to do this walk ourselves and in our own strength so we can show Father how well we have done on our own rather then leaning on Jesus everyday. Independence is about the poorest choice a Christian can make. He welcomed us into a new family so we really need to learn where we sit at the dinner table prepared for us.

 

table-full-of-food

PICK UP YOUR MAT AND WALK

Jesus

I was thinking about the man who was lying on his mat at the pool of Bethesda for 38 years. That is a very long time and very likely was the majority of this man’s life. His situation was one where it was all but impossible for him to get the healing he was looking. Apparently every once in a while an angel would come and stir the waters of this pool and the first person to enter in after this happened was healed of whatever their affliction was.

So this man was crippled so rather then walking or running to the pool after this happened he had to crawl. Picture this for a moment. He is waiting for weeks which turn into months and finally the waters stir. He gets excited, rolls off his mat and begins to crawl. Suddenly he is covered by dust caused by the people running past to get to the water first. His heart sank as hope is dashed and he crawls back to his mat. Over the next year or two this same scenario is repeated over and over I wonder how many attempts were made by him for him to realize that this was never going to be the answer to his problem. It’s like laying out your financial plan and having it based on first winning the lottery.

So when I read in John 5 that Jesus asks the man “ Do you truly long to be healed?” ( TPT ) it made me wonder. When I first read the question I thought “ what a stupid question “ but we know that Jesus is anything but stupid so what was he getting at. So this is what I think. In that situation I would have certainly lost hope of winning the race to the pool. Then I would have been faced with a decision. Since this won’t change anything for me what do I do from here? With no money his options would be few. The point is that if you want things to change you need to try something new. This man did not so I am going to assume that he gave up.

When people get stuck in life sometimes that just accept things as they are and make that place home. In the son who became the prodigal had given up at the pen feeding pigs his story would have ended much differently. His options were few as well but he had to try something even against the odds of his dad accepting him back rather then just accepting things as they were.

Today many people are suffering with all kinds of physical and mental health challenges. What do you do when they come? Well many people today are being diagnosed with XYZ and the person accepts this proclamation as their lot in life and they lay on their mat and watch life pass by. Now perhaps you don’t know Jesus at least not in a real way. Maybe you do but your prayers have not changed your circumstances and you see that as Him saying no to you. So then we just nestle into whatever it condition it was that the doctor told us we had. For some it becomes our new identity. I can join a club of fellow people who suffer the same affliction. If your condition is made legitimate then you may become a speaker on behalf of your fellow suffers. Perhaps if it is sympathy and attention you wanted but never attained it before well you may have found a way.

So Jesus asks “ Do you truly long to be healed?” I’m sure the man at the pool knew everyone around there and their relatives. He was still alive so someone took care of him by proving food and drink perhaps a blanket. What did this man know how to do besides beg? It had been a long time since he worked. His whole world would change if he were healed. There goes the handouts that he had grown accustomed to. One thing that many of us fear is change. We cannot predict how the change will turn out and that stirs up fear. What if there was someone who you could trust completely. Let’s say that person loved you more then you loved yourself. This person already had a plan for your life that if you followed it you would be completely satisfied. Then you could surrender your life to someone like that and not need to fear.  Jesus extending hand

So think about it. If you are sidelined with something and you just don’t know what you could do to change things then…. So Jesus asks “Do you truly long to be healed?”

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