On one of our kitchen walls in our home, and probably in many of yours, we have a chart that has been there for many years. It has measured our children’s and grandchildren’s height over those years. The young ones especially enjoyed comparing their height to where their parents were at that same age.
Most good Study Bibles have a chart of Biblical weights and measures with the present day equivalents. We are familiar with talents, and shekels and maybe even omers, huns and baths. God has used different measures to teach us valuable lessons almost from the beginning. Noah had to obey God’s plan for the Ark exactly for it to save the passengers and animals from the flood. In Exodus the measurements for the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Testimony, the Priestly garments and may other holy articles are spelled out definitively. The offerings of olive oil and fine flour ( Lev 24), the value in shekels for redeeming firstborn children, and the number of Sabbaths until the Year of the Jubilee are delineated. The use of dishonest weights and measures angered God greatly. In Revelation we hear of a measuring of the temple with a reed like a measuring rod and many counting of days to represent years. ( Rev 11: 1-3)
There are, no doubt, many reasons God is so precise in his expectations—two of them are to teach obedience and growth. He admonished us to measure ourselves by attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ ( Eph 4:13) and the Father ( Eph 3:19). We are to grow up by: “Hating what is evil; clinging to what is good.” ( Heb 12: 9) “ Honoring one another in brotherly love.” ( v 10) “ Never be lacking in zeal…” ( v 11) “ Being joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (v 12) Sharing with God’s people who are in need. Practicing hospitality.” ( v13) The list goes on and on until the end of Romans 12.
How in the world can a Christian striving to please God measure up to these standards? We can’t, of course, but God knows from Christ’s experiences on Earth that we will need supernatural help and therefore gives us: Grace, sober judgment, various spiritual gifts ( serving, teaching, contributing, etc, etc.) ( Rom 12: 3-8) power, strength, the Holy Spirit, ( Eph 3: 16) love ( Rom 5:5) and a host of others. “He is able to do IMMESURABLY more than all we ask or imagine. ( Eph 3: 20).
In the game of life some people spend their whole life thinking they hit a triple, never realizing they were born on third base. After all, wasn’t that their prerogative? This baseball analogy could be applied to a financial, physical or talent advantage also. It could very well be extended to one’s geographical or chronological situation. Very few of the billions of humans who have lived on this planet ever had a time at bat, much less got a hit.
However, if one is a New Testament Christian, he or she has hit a home run spiritually speaking every day of their new life. Think of the prerogatives we enjoy. We did not earn our position on Team Jesus, He drafted us at a huge price—his blood. Our playbook has all the right moves to avoid failure and enjoy success. The Bible is available to us because of the love of God and the many teammates who died a martyr’s death.
When we “boot” the ball we can have the error (sin) removed from our record by admitting it and asking forgiveness. ( 1 Jo 1: 7-8) ( 1 Jo 2: 1-2)
Each of us in MVP for life in the eyes of our manager/creator. ( Mt 10: 29-30) (Jer 1:5) ( Jo 3:20)
This team is inclusive, (whosoever will) with new teammates joining every day. ( Jo 3:16) ( 2 Pe 3:9)
Our team is a close-knit group that loves and supports each other. ( Eph 4:3) ( Col 3: 13)
We don’t have to ever stay on third base thinking WE hit a triple, but trot right by it to home plate knowing that it is our prerogative because of Jesus Christ.
Remember our 4th of July party is today following morning worship. Burgers, hot dogs, and brats will be provided. Please bring a side dish to share. Invite a friend or extended family member to join us also. All are welcome. There will not be an evening service tonight.
It’s time again for our annual Fourth of July celebration at the Estes Park Church. We are hosting a wiener roast meal, starting about 5 PM. Visitors may bring a side dish if they desire, but such is not required.
Following our meal we will display our “talents” in the Karaoke singing that follows. Shortly before 9 we will enter into a patriotic devotional with songs and videos that remind us of the great things we enjoy in our country.
At 9:30 we will position ourselves (please bring folding or camp chairs) on our parking lot where we have a very good view of the great fireworks display over Lake Estes.
“GOD IS IN CONTROL”
When President Trump recently withdrew the US from the Paris climate agreement, Michigan Representative Tim Walberg made news. The USA Today on June 1, 2017 had an article entitled, “GOP Congressman on Climate Change: ‘God will take care of it’, if it’s real.” In the article, Mr. Walberg is quoted as saying, “I believe there is climate change. I believe there’s been climate change since the beginning of time. I think there are cycles. Do I think man has some impact? Yeah, of course. Can man change the entire universe? No.”
Of course, the real news here is that the media thinks it’s news when someone believes that God is in control and can take care of whatever He desires. Consider these verses from the Bible:
Jeremiah 5: 22 English Standard Version (ESV)
22 Do you not fear me? declares the Lord.
Do you not tremble before me?
I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea,
a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass;
though the waves toss, they cannot prevail;
though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
Psalm 145: 5-6 English Standard Version (ESV)
5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.
Let us always remember the words that Sam has preached to us, “God is in control and Jesus is the answer.”
By Ron Deffenbaugh