Metronome: The Measure Regulator Spiritual Law

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
-Matt. 7:2, Mark 4:24, Luke 6:38

Metronome: from Greek metron ‘measure’ + nomos ‘law’

There is a spiritual metronome in your life that you set and it affects you.  If you are charitable, you will receive charitableness back.  If you tolerant, you will receive tolerance.  If you are a lover, you will receive love.  That is the spiritual law of the metronome.  You set the measure of how you are going to treat others and it comes back at you.

“For in the same way you judge others”, says Jesus, clarifying his statement, “do not judge”.  Jesus is saying not to condemn, not to be uncharitable.  Jesus is not saying that we are not to discern and evaluate right and wrong, and call out destructive, dangerous or injurious behavior.

In community, when we call out someone’s sin, someone’s destructive, selfish, injurious to others, or dangerous behavior; and that person says, “don’t judge me”; they are wrong.  Jesus, or any good rabbi, would say, “yes, you have every right to call them out on wrong behavior, or lies, or cheating.” That is not blocked by Jesus statement to not judge and is actually a loving thing, calling for the sinner to repent and trying to repair the ripped fabric of the community.

When Jesus says, “for in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”, he is saying, “be charitable”, “be kind”, “be generous”, and “be tolerant”.  Wrong is wrong, like when people hurt other people,  But, when people are just different, or bump you, or forget something; be gracious and charitable.

Christians are supposed to be known for their love for each other.  Love covers.  You choose how charitable you will be when other people step on toes or disappoint.  Will you measure out grace, be charitable, tolerant, and generous?  If so, that will come back to you, says Jesus.

There is a saying that, “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.  You make lemonade by adding sugar.  The lover, the forgiver, the gracious one; adds the sugar of graciousness, charitableness, tolerance, and forgiveness to every small and large bump or offense from others and sweetens their life and the lives of those around them.

The harsh person gives lemons back, when given lemons; and what do they get?  A sour life.  Imagine a mirror that comes up in front of you each time a frustration from another person, a small or large offense, or a disappointment comes your way.  What you put out comes back to you.  It’s that simple.

“What you get will be determined by what you give.”

Jesus says, “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.”  You get to measure your generosity, your time with God, your commitment to God; and by that measure, you will get back.  Your giving results in your getting.  If you are not getting much, it is because you are not giving much.  It is that simple.  Change your measure and what you get will increase.  It is up to you.

If you want something you have to give it.  Need friends?  Be a friend.  Need money?  Give money.  Need love?  Give love.  It goes on and on.

The normal Christian life, that few of us walk in, is a life of overflowing generosity.  Another secret of the kingdom is that what you give, you get back more of than what you gave, so that your cup runs over.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

The rub is when we think we don’t have something to give, whether is is time, money, love, prayer, or any kind of helps.  When we give, when it is a little bit uncomfortable, even sacrificial; and we give anyway, with joy from Jesus, something happens.  God does something.  Something comes back to us.  It is a principle of the kingdom of God.

The part about, “with joy from Jesus”, means that when we feel scared, uncomfortable, even selfish; we can die to self, and live to Christ.  We can turn to Jesus in our hearts, doing a “what Jesus would do”.  It is as simple as that.  Our flesh says, “I’m too tired”, “I don’t have extra money”, or “I don’t have time”.  But if we give out of our poverty, there is a reward.  We do not just give to get, but we give to get to give to get, to give.  Get it?  It is the generous lifestyle

If you start living this way, the word will get out that you are the one to come to for prayer, money, counseling, friendship, and a host of other things.  The phone rings, people constantly might approach you.  What then?  You will be in Jesus’ dilemma of needing rest and needing to get away.  You and Jesus will rest together and you will get away together, but persistent people will hunt for you, because you are so generous.  Jesus in you will give to then, and then you will get some more rest.

Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)

Who is like you, Lord God of heavenly forces?
Mighty Lord, your faithfulness surrounds you!
Your throne is built on righteousness and justice;
loyal love and faithfulness stand in front of you.
-Psalm 89:8 & 14

I have an announcement to make.  God is always faithful.  Great is God’s faithfulness.  It is part of God’s character.  God is trustworthy, reliable, and loyal.  God is so faithful that you and I can always put our faith in him.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

God is always faithful.  Every good and perfect gift comes from God who does not waver (James 1:16-18).  If you are in the pits, depressed, down and out, beat up, or suffering; there are still new mercies coming to you from God, a glimmer of hope, because God is always faithful (Lamentations 3:1-33).  You aren’t grabbing at straws, but holding onto Him.
Paul encouraged the Corinthians three times that God is faithful (1 Cor. 1:9, 10:13, 2 Cor. 1:18).
Paul told the Galatians that we are made righteous through the faithfulness of Christ (Gal. 2:16, 2:20, 3:22).
Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider was called Faithful and True, and he judges and makes war justly. -Rev. 19:11

In the book of Revelation is not merely John’s Revelation, but it is The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:1).  The book of Revelation, chapters 1 through 19:10 are in a sense an introduction to the revelation of Jesus Christ.  John declares that Jesus is faithful and true.  If Jesus is anything, in his nature, he is faithful and true.  That is good news.

As a Christian, you are putting your trust, your faith into and onto a person who is faithful.  It is personal and it is relational.  We trust the Bible, because it is God’s word.  But it is the person whom we put our trust in.  It is personal and it is relational.

Semper Fidelis is Latin for Always Faithful

God is always faithful.

Faithful One so unchanging
Ageless One You’re my rock of peace
Lord of all I depend on You
I call out to You, again and again
I call out to You, again and again

You are my rock in times of trouble
You lift me up when I fall down
All through the storm
Your love is the anchor
My hope is in You alone

-By Brian Doerksen

God is Good – Tobias

You are good and you do good.  Teach me your statutes!

The Lord is good, a haven in a day of distress.  He acknowledges those who take refuge in him.

-Psalm 119:68, Nahum 1:7

Tobias or Tobit means “God is good”.  The book of Tobit is the story of God’s goodness.  Tobit is a good man  who has a good son, named Tobias.  Good, meaning godly.  Tobit has themes of the importance of family, angelic help, spiritual warfare, romance, inheritance, prayers for divine help, hospitality, revering the dead, and it is the only book of the Bible that features a pet dog.  I highly recommend reading Tobit.

The Signal: The Ensign of God

On that day, the root of Jesse will stand as a signal to the peoples.  The nations will seek him out, and his dwelling will be glorious.
On that day, the Lord will extend his hand a second time to reclaim the survivors of God’s people who are left from Assyria and from Egypt, from Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.
God will raise a signal for the nations and gather the outcast men of Israel.  God will collect the dispersed women of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
-Isaiah 11:10-12

There is going to be great clarity in the earth about salvation.

The earth will be like a valley of battle for the souls of humankind.  Up on a mountain or high hill, there is a rallying banner or ensign, that serves as a signal.  That banner or signal is Christ.

Christ, The Lord Jesus Christ, who is the root of Jesse; is the banner, the signal, the ensign of God, beckoning humankind to salvation.

We know that salvation is through Jesus, but somehow that simple message has not gotten through to the whole earth, but that is going to change.

It’s like the signal is going to change.  People have been looking for the way, the green light to go to God.  They have only seen red, but that is about to change.  People who’s deepest desire is to find the way have not found it, but it is going to be made clear.  The people will see Jesus as the way and will rush towards him.

The word that most modern translations render as “signal”, was translated as “ensign” in the King James and Revised Standard Versions.  The Hebrew word is “nace”, which means a flag, sail, or flagstaff; a signal, a banner, pole, ensign, or standard.  It is something that gleams from afar.  It is something conspicuous as a signal, like a flag fluttering in the wind, or a beacon raised.

Trade The Weight of Your Troubles for The Weight of God’s Glory

Cry out to, call upon, pray to, call on me, or call for help

Whenever you are in, in the day of, or in time of trouble.

I will deliver, help, and rescue you.

Then, you will or shall, honor me, glorify me, or give me glory.

Psalm 50:15 (CEB, ESV, MSG, CEV, & NLT*)

God wants us to trade the weight of our troubles for the weight of His glory.  God loves to deliver his children over and over, again and again.  God wants his children to live in awe of Him, giving him glory and honor, daily.  

But we must do something.  We must cry out to God when troubles or adversities come into our lives.  Deliverance and giving glory to God on a daily basis are not automatic.  Joseph M. Scriven wrote about this in his famous hymn:

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Are you missing out on the peace of God?  Are you needlessly bearing pain that God has made provision in Jesus to deliver you from?  Carry it to God.  Cry out to God.

“Jesus paid it all”, as another old song states, but I have to give God a call, in order to get relief from the encroaching, uncomfortable, troubling adversities that come my way.  You have not because you ask not

When we are in trouble, we are tempted to focus on it too much.  We are tempted to dwell on the trouble, talk about the trouble, maybe complain about the trouble, and live with it.  We might get bitter or embittered and even resent God for the trouble.  We might even build a theology of personal suffering around our adversity.  We are giving our troubles or adversities more weight than they are worth.  We’re weighed down with them.  We’re saturated with out troubles or sorrows.  We might even let our troubles define us.

In all this, we have forgotten to do something that God advises us to do.  We forget to cry out to God for deliverance.  The short prayer, “help, God”, or “God, help”, is a good prayer!  The shorter version is, “help”.  We might pray once, call out one time and nothing changes; so we give up and accept the negative as our inheritance.   The word does not say that when you cry out, God will not deliver you and you will not honor God.  No, it says the opposite of that.  The word says that when you cry out, God will deliver you from trouble.  It comes down to, are you going to believe the word? 

There are delays sometimes.  Prayer is not magic.  We are admonished to pray in all circumstances and to live a life of worship and prayer before God.  Prayer and worship are not events or times and places, but your life as a child of God. As children of God, we cry out, call upon the Lord and trust Him as a lifestyle.  God delivers.  It’s one of the things God does.  God may deliver you immediately or after some time.  

We are not self-sufficient.  Nor are we people whom God “sets and forgets”.  We are and remain God’s children and God is an active father who is involved in his children’s lives.  We need to get that, before we move on to anything else.  Are you living a life that witnesses, “He loves me”?  Do you know you are loved?  Do you know that you are special to God and God cares about the smallest details of your life?

What is the most important event in the Old Testament?  The exodus, the deliverance from Egypt.  God’s people cried out for a long time before he delivered them.  Sometimes there is a waiting and a continual crying out, with massive disappointment, but God hears your cries.  God’s plan for deliverance and the answer to your prayers is massively beyond your imagination.  

When God delivers us and breaks the chains off us of our troubles and sets us free, the weight of his glory descends onto us and we worship him with out entire beings and give our lives to God on deeper and deeper levels, living a life of awe and thankfulness and obedience to God and intimacy with God, knowing in an experiential way, that God loves us.

*
Cry out to me   whenever you are in trouble.  I will deliver you     then you will honor me.
Call upon me    in the day of trouble.             I will deliver you    and you shall glorify me.
Call for help     when you’re in trouble.          I’ll help you           and you’ll honor me.
Pray to me        in time of trouble.                  I will rescue you    and you will honor me.
Call on me        when you are in trouble.       I will rescue you    and you will give me glory.

Psalm 50:15 (CEB, ESV, MSG, CEV, & NLT)

God has judged and The Government of God

They sang the Song of Moses, servant of God; they sang the Song of the Lamb:

Mighty your acts and marvelous,
O God, the Sovereign-Strong!
Righteous your ways and true,
King of the nations!
Who can fail to fear you, God,
give glory to your Name?
Because you and you only are holy,
all nations will come and worship you,
because they see your judgments are right.

“Great and awe-inspiring are your works,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
king of the nations.
Who won’t fear you, Lord, and glorify your name?
You alone are holy.
All nations will come and fall down in worship before you,
for your acts of justice have been revealed.”

“Lord God All-Powerful,
you have done great
and marvelous things.
You are the ruler
of all nations,
and you do what is
right and fair.
Lord, who doesn’t honor
and praise your name?
You alone are holy,
and all nations will come
and worship you,
because you have shown
that you judge
with fairness.”

Revelation 15:3-4 (The Message, Common English Bible , & Contemporary English Version)

I believe that these two things are happening.  God is judging and God’s government is arising.  The two go hand in hand.  God’s judgements do not have to mean complete destruction.  That is what we think of sometimes when we think of God judging.  But judging can just mean rendering a decision and turning you over to consequences.  Judging can mean disciplinary action.  Judging is also justice.  People doing wrong are brought to justice.  They get caught and stopped and punished.

God wants to save the world.  God wants to wake up deceived people.  God “brings the bottom up”, for people who are in denial about their need for Him.

God’s government arising is the kingdom of God breaking into the earth and overturning the works of the devil.  As God’s government appears or is seen and heard, people are called to come to God and begin serving God.  The message Jesus preached and sent his disciples to preach was the kingdom of God.  Repent, for the kingdom of God has come.  The King is a good king.  We become his subjects and serve him.  We then come into his army and under his care and protection from his enemies.

I imagine that the government of God is going to be an emphasis among Christians in the days ahead in that there will be a revelation and deeper understanding of the government of God.  Christians that are Christians in name only will come under God’s government full-time in their lives and be more active in the Kingdom of God and kingdom activities.  These renewed believers will find themselves in the army of God with not only offensive but also defensive weapons that will protect them in ways that they would not have been protected if they were only audience members and consumers in Christian culture.

Orientation

What’s your orientation? Orientation has to do with what you are pointed towards. A simple compass points north. It points north when you are moving north, standing still, or moving in a different direction. Christians are pointed toward a person who is Christ. Seems obvious, but we need to be reminded of the simplicity and genius of God’s plan. You point to, follow, believe in, put your faith in, give your life to and daily pursue Christ; you are a Christian. Christian means Christ-follower. To follow means to be oriented towards. Simple yet deep. It’s personal, relational. Great God of man. He calls us and adopts us to be his children in and through Christ. We were lost and God showed us or revealed to us his love in Christ. Christ died for sinners and we received salvation or rescue by Christ. We became one of Christ’s disciples which means followers in that he is teaching us God’s ways for people to live. Christians have Christ orientation.

We get disoriented in life. Sometimes we get disappointed and we have to re-orientate. Sometimes Jesus or God seems distant. We have God’s word to re-oriented us and we have the fellowship of fellow sojourners to encourage us. Sometimes we get disillusioned, confused, angry, depressed, afraid, or feel thrown overboard and upside down under water. We need to re-orientate. Go back to the simplicity of walking with Jesus my savior. I don’t know about this or that, but I know he loves me. Orientation. It is affirmative, but not just an affirmation, but truth; the truth that I’m growing in throughout my lifetime.

Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones (that’s me) to him belong. They are weak, but he is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.

But wait, there’s more. Jesus also says that he won’t leave us feeling like orphans, or feeling at a loss of him (John 14:18). So he asked the Father who sends you the Holy Spirit to comfort you, help you, guide you, empower you (John 14:16-19). Who is the Holy Spirit’s favorite person, favorite subject? Jesus.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus by Helen H. Lemmel

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conqu’rors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

The church is a menagerie

The French word menagerie is often used to describe a collection of wild animals kept in captivity. Menagerie can also be defined as, “a diverse or miscellaneous group”. Menagerie comes from “menager”, which means “to keep house”, or “to husband”. The word husband has at it’s core, the idea of care-taking: “animal husbandry”, for example. It doesn’t mean being married, but caring for.

The church is also a menagerie, a diverse group of people, completely miscellaneous. I think that the fact that a diverse group is together in unity is a special attribute of the church.

I looked at two French translations of the New Testament and did not find the Greek word for household translated to menager or menagerie, but I really like the way that the CEB (Common English Bible) translates 1 Timothy 3. It has the word household in it several times. When a preacher says, “in the house”, while preaching at a church meeting anywhere, he or she is correct. The NT does talk about the church as a house or household and it does not mean building; neither a church building nor a house, but the people of the church are the house (of God).

1 Timothy 3 (CEB)

Supervisors in God’s household

1 This saying is reliable: if anyone has a goal to be a supervisor<sup class="footnote" value="[a]”>[a] in the church, they want a good thing. 2 So the church’s supervisor must be without fault. They should be faithful to their spouse, sober, modest, and honest. They should show hospitality and be skilled at teaching. 3 They shouldn’t be addicted to alcohol or a bully. Instead they should be gentle, peaceable, and not greedy. 4 They should manage their own household well—they should see that their children are obedient with complete respect, 5 because if they don’t know how to manage their own household, how can they take care of God’s church? 6 They shouldn’t be new believers so that they won’t become proud and fall under the devil’s spell. 7 They should also have a good reputation with those outside the church so that they won’t be embarrassed and fall into the devil’s trap.

Servants in God’s household

8 In the same way, servants<sup class="footnote" value="[b]”>[b] in the church should be dignified, not two-faced, heavy drinkers, or greedy for money. 9 They should hold on to the faith that has been revealed with a clear conscience. 10 They should also be tested and then serve if they are without fault. 11 In the same way, women who are servants<sup class="footnote" value="[c]”>[c] in the church should be dignified and not gossip. They should be sober and faithful in everything they do. 12 Servants<sup class="footnote" value="[d]”>[d] must be faithful to their spouse and manage their children and their own households well. 13 Those who have served well gain a good standing and considerable confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

Leading God’s household

14 I hope to come to you quickly. But I’m writing these things to you so that 15 if I’m delayed, you’ll know how you should behave in God’s household. It is the church of the living God and the backbone and support of the truth. 16 Without question, the mystery of godliness is great: he was revealed as a human, declared righteous by the Spirit, seen by angels, preached to throughout the nations, believed in around the world, and taken up in glory.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Timothy 3:1 Or bishop, overseer
  2. 1 Timothy 3:8 Or deacons
  3. 1 Timothy 3:11 Or wives, omit who are servants
  4. 1 Timothy 3:12 Or deacons

You ain’t seen nothing yet!

What no one ever saw or heard,
what no one ever thought could happen,
is the very thing God prepared for those who love him.
-1 Corinthians 2:9 (Good News Translation)

I think that we have no idea what God will do for us. I think that God is so generous that he goes beyond what we hope for. If we let him, he’ll do the impossible. He brings things out of nowhere. He always does things better than I thought possible, because that was my thought. Nothing is impossible for God. We can’t make something happen or make God do anything. Yet, anything is easy for him. We just have to love him and enter his world where all things are possible.

We as humans naturally give gifts to our children. How much more will God give to us?

Habakkuk 2:4 notes

Habakkuk 2:4b reads:

But the righteous shall live by his faith. (ESV & NIV)

But the person in right standing before God through loyal and steady believing is fully alive, really alive. (The Message)

Only those who live by faith are acceptable to me. (CEV)

The good man lives as he is faithful. (Moffat)

The righteous survives if he is faithful. (Charles Taylor)

The idea of faith in Habakkuk 2:4 is not talking about an inward, subjective feeling type of faith, but has to do with fidelity. He who has been justified, made righteous, is faithful.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑