HOW DO YOU MEASURE UP
Amos 7:7-8 (B)ehold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand. And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, a plumb line. Then said the Lord, behold, I will sat a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel.
A plumb is a heavy leaden-like weight. When attached to a cord it often becomes a plumb line, which can beused to measure the depth of water as well as the vertical exactness of a structure. It is the standard by which depth or height is measured as well as the vertical standard by which a wall or column is compared.
We find in the opening verses of this book that Amos lived in Tekoa, a town just south of Jerusalem. His prophecies took place during the reigns of Uzziah, king of Judah and Jeroboam, king of Israel. As with most prophets, he foretold of the calamities that would befall all Israel for their disobedience to God's commandments, as well astheir rewards for obedience. In the lesson text, God said that He would set a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel. In other words, God was going to accurately measure Israel. The question becomes, does Israel measure up to the standard of God's commandments? Was the Jewish nation true when compared to God's exacting plumb line?
The questions we should ask ourselves are, What is God'sstandard; how does my life compare to His standard; how do I measure up to God's plumb line? Once we know the standard, we should make a determined effort to conform to it; we should strive for perfection in the sight of God.
In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul tells us that, prior to His ascension into Heaven, Jesus gave spiritual gifts to men. And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. We further learn that He did this for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (See Eph. 4:11-13). Jesus Christ provided His body (His church), with spiritually gifted disciples to teach them the Christian standards whereby they were to live. These standards, then, became God's plumb line to them at that time, to all thereafter, as well as to us today. With these standards as our guide, we are to strive to become perfect; similar to the perfection found in Jesus Christ. We are to compare ourselves to the teachings of the apostles, prophets, evangelists, etc. that received, from Jesus, the spiritual gifts of teaching and edification through His Holy Spirit. These commandments of God are recorded, and preserved for all mankind, in the New Testament portion of the Holy Bible. God's word is God's standard; it is His plumb line by which we will be rightly measured.
Paul also warns of false teachings in 2 Corinthians 10. False teachers give false standards by which they want us to measure ourselves. Although we have been given our standard, as recorded in the New Testament, false teachers, of all ages, have added to, altered, compromised, and subtract from God's biblical standards. The standards taught by false prophets, if followed, will lead us into error. We would be measuring ourselves by an imperfect plumb line. Notice what Paul said regarding false teachers: but they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise (2 Cor. 10:12b). False teachers do not use God's Holy Word as their guide. They measure and compare their teaching to those of other false teachers. Therefore, their teaching is just as false as they are.
When taught, we have the responsibility to compare all teachings with the inspired word of God. In doing so, we will avoid using false standards as our guides.Paul continues this thought: For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification (2 Cor. 10:8a). He follows this by writing: But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you (2 Cor. 10:13). Paul is saying, God's Word is the authority, the guide, and the standard. These are God's standards. Those that teach otherwise are misguiding the world with false standards that will lead to eternal punishment.
How do you measure up to God's standards found in the bible? Is your life true to His plumb line?