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What is your measure?

Posted by Theresa7 
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What is your measure?
December 08, 2009 12:26AM
What is your measure? As in your measuring stick, ruler, yardstick (meter-stick?).

When I was in the institutional church, some of my measures were:
The number and types of activities I was involved in,
How much I “served”,
Did I have the right doctrine,
How much did I read my Bible and pray,
Did I follow all the “Godly Principles for a Righteous life”,
...and so on.

Now obviously, some of these were stupid, selfish, and evidence of my attempts to earn grace. But what about the “right doctrine” one? After all, we have to believe certain things in order to be saved, right? I mean we have to believe the basics, like “believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord”, don't we?

Well, what about a mentally disabled person? Do they have to meet this same standard of belief? Or are their different standards based on our mental capacity?
Or what about someone in a distant jungle who has never heard of Jesus? Do they have another standard for what they have to believe in order to be saved?
That just doesn't sound right.

Now, maybe there really is an answer; maybe there is a standard of trust that God requires and its just too complex for me to grasp or express here. But for the times and questions like these for which I have no answer, what can I hold onto? Well, answer or no answer, I know I can always hold onto one thing: the character of God. Doesn't that put your heart and mind at rest?

Everything else seems to change. My interpretation of Scripture, my opinions, other people's opinions, “right principles”... My paradigm has shifted so many times over the years, its dizzying. Everything that can be shaken is being shaken. So, what does NOT shake? What are we left with; what doesn't change?

All I've come up with is... The character of God.

WWJD? People ask “What Would Jesus Do?” But what most really want is a list of principles or rules (i.e. measures). Knowing ABOUT him from a book will give you principles, but to understand what he would do in the moment, we must know his character. This “knowing” can only happen in relationship; getting to know what he is really like, his heart, his love, his desires, his compassion, his true character, this will help us know WJWD.

Any good, right, noble, or praise-worthy concept or principle can distract us from knowing Jesus. As soon as we put an “ALWAYS TRUE” stamp on something (other than the character of God), it becomes an idol / a principle / a measure, and it takes the place of Jesus. -- At least for ME it does, and I've seen it happen with others, too.

A few years ago I met a group of people who seemed so free. They were free, but for ONE measure that ruined everything. Their measure? Living in Community. I don't think they even realized it, but living in community had become so important to them that they questioned the salvation of anyone who chose not to live in their commune. Living in Community, their measure, was their standard for judging a person's salvation.

Living in Community probably started out as a marvelous, Jesus'-Life-Affirming blessing to them. But it became too important. They forgot the Gracious Love of God which allows people to fall short of ALL standards. They forgot that the character of God sets the foundation for everything else – even the “good” stuff.

What “good” stuff should we hold higher than the character of God?
What if He challenges the “good” stuff we hold dear?
Then, what will you HOLD to?

Onyx's signature:
In necessariis unitas, (in essentials unity),
In dubiis libertas, (in doubtful things liberty),
In omnibus autem caritas. (but in all things love).
~Augustine of Hippo~


The more changes I go through and the more times my paradigm shifts, the more I believe that the TRUE “essential” is GOD himself. He has revealed himself (and IS revealing himself) to us in so many ways.

Thank you, Papa, that I can learn to KNOW and HOLD to you and who you are as my foundation. Even when I don't know the answers and I fall short, who you are never changes. Thanks.
Re: What is your measure?
December 08, 2009 05:46AM
Good Post!
Quote
T 4 terrific
WWJD? People ask “What Would Jesus Do?” But what most really want is a list of principles or rules (i.e. measures). Knowing ABOUT him from a book will give you principles, but to understand what he would do in the moment, we must know his character. This “knowing” can only happen in relationship; getting to know what he is really like, his heart, his love, his desires, his compassion, his true character, this will help us know WJWD.
Knowing the right thing to do in the moment: $64,000. Knowing the living God who tells you to do something different this time: $ Priceless.

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Well, what about a mentally disabled person? Do they have to meet this same standard of belief? Or are their different standards based on our mental capacity?
Or what about someone in a distant jungle who has never heard of Jesus? Do they have another standard for what they have to believe in order to be saved?
That just doesn't sound right.
Often wondered about that myself; but then I remember, "For those whom have received much, much will be asked...", so those who have stratospheric IQs are asked to use them to benefit others with their intellect, and the opposite is true, some who are total vegetables are not required to do anything but be. Yet in both cases it is just what we are ASKED(implying relationship), or not, to do, it does not bear on their salvation. So salvation is not their work, but his. And Romans 1:20 hints that there is knowledge of God outside of being told directly by another human and understanding it. Or from having a set of scriptures. Scripture available to all of us is a really modern invention.
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The more changes I go through and the more times my paradigm shifts, the more I believe that the TRUE “essential” is GOD himself. He has revealed himself (and IS revealing himself) to us in so many ways.

Thank you, Papa, that I can learn to KNOW and HOLD to you and who you are as my foundation. Even when I don't know the answers and I fall short, who you are never changes. Thanks.
Amen

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: What is your measure?
December 08, 2009 01:44PM
<writing quickly on my way out the door to work>

Your topic, T, brought to mind Ephesians 4:13, which in my version talks about "till we all come to...the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Kinda wordy, so I looked it up in The Message:

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Eph 4:13, The Message
We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.
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Thoughtful Theresa
What “good” stuff should we hold higher than the character of God?
What if He challenges the “good” stuff we hold dear?
Then, what will you HOLD to?
I will hold to him and his love. I will "grow up healthy" because I'm nourished on his breath and blood. Not on my performance or "usefulness" to him.

Thanks, T, for a good topic.
Re: What is your measure?
December 14, 2009 01:28AM
Does God have a measure for me?

He is my creator. He knows what I was designed for.

If I look to Him, does he tell me how to measure my worth? Does He reveal to me, my purpose?

His instruction manual give me a few clues...

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength; and love your neighbour as yourself.

Go (be) into all the world and make disciples of all men.

If the second instruction follows the first, then is my purpose/measure 'simply' to love Him, love myself and then love others; thereby fulfilling the later wherever I am?
Re: What is your measure?
December 14, 2009 01:33AM
From what i understand ..

God pours out His love without measure

I would suppose there is a growing measure of how much i trust Him

and the only other measurement is how i measure others which would be measured back to me?

my two mites

Hope you all are well .



Re: What is your measure?
December 15, 2009 12:34AM
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Wifey
Does God have a measure for me?
...
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength; and love your neighbour as yourself.

Go (be) into all the world and make disciples of all men.

If the second instruction follows the first, then is my purpose/measure 'simply' to love Him, love myself and then love others; thereby fulfilling the later wherever I am?

Trouble is, I CAN'T do this. I may try, I may want to, but I'm gonna fail.

I think God has desires for us -- desires that are in our best interest, for relationship(s), and for the condition of our heart. Maybe even desires for our participation in bringing others along in their journeys, But I don't believe God has a standard / a measures for us.

After all, I think he knows we can't measure up, and that's the point of sending Jesus.
my
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