Building New Gauges
We men love to measure things. And we have, at our disposal, highly accurate gauges for measuring just about anything, including the progress of our lives. I mean, we never have to wonder which careers are most prestigious; which jobs are most coveted; which neighborhoods are most exclusive; which vacations are most glamorous; which cars are most luxurious. Our culture makes sure its gauges remain well calibrated.
“Listen carefully . . . and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world . . .” (Mark 4:24 MSG).
The problem is, such things are not proper for measuring the progress of any life. There’s nothing wrong with careers or communities or cars, in-and-of themselves. They’re just not appropriate gauges in this context. Using them is like using a thermometer to measure the weight of a steel beam. It doesn’t work. Likewise, improper gauges won’t work for us, for measuring our lives as men. We must create and calibrate new gauges, ones that can properly measure our lives, because they measure the right stuff—like how we’re doing as husbands, as fathers, as friends, as neighbors; and how we’re doing toward becoming the men God intends us to become.
Okay, so what do we do?
Build new gauges for yourself, brother, ones that measure things like . . . how many nights you are home for dinner; or how often you sit down and pray with your wife or girlfriend; or how often you have conversations with your sons or daughters about their dreams or their fears; or how often you meet with brothers in community; or how often you drop what you’re doing to spend time with friends in need. Get practical. Build a simple spreadsheet, for example. Or create a calendar. Do what makes sense for you, but start measuring, today.
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Jesus had been invited to dinner by Simon, a Pharisee, but an uninvited guest showed up as well. a woman with a sinful reputation. Weeping, the woman used her tears to wash Jesus’ feet, wiped them with her hair, kissed them and anointed them with perfume. These acts of devotion were humbling in their own right, but even more so since they were done in the presence of Simon, who knew the woman’s reputation and was surprised that a reputed prophet such as Jesus would allow such a wicked woman to touch him.
However, Jesus turned this into a teachable moment for Simon, pointing out that the woman had shown great love while Simon had not even shown Jesus customary courtesies of the day. anointing oil for his head, a kiss of greeting and water for his feet. The woman’s love and devotion, on the other hand, was born out of genuine repentance, faith and gratitude for the forgiveness she had received for her many sins.
Do we love much or do we love little? The sinful woman serves as an example of how we respond to the reality of past sins, even sexual sins, in our lives. Regardless of how we might compare ourselves to others, the overriding reality is that we have been forgiven much. If we fail to believe that we are forgiven, or if we somehow think that our sins were not that big a deal, our lack of love will become manifest. If we truly embrace the forgiveness we have receive from Jesus, our love and devotion will be unstoppable.
Much or little? The choice is ours.
From Wisdom Hunters Devotional:
To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever. Revelation 5:13
We tend to think less of those who want us to think more of them. People who demand praise or require affirmation for every little action are emotionally unfit. An enlarged ego has to be told how much it is esteemed. A small ego esteems others better than itself (Romans 12:10). Yet, the Lord Almighty expects us to praise Him. Why? He is all sufficient, but God knows we are not—we are needy. When we praise Him our life perspective is healthy and we are motivated to pray.
Furthermore, the Lamb (Jesus) accompanies God the Father who sits on His heavenly throne, surrounded by His Spirit (Revelation 1:4). This heavenly expression of the triune God causes the spirit of Christ followers to exclaim accolades of: “praise, honor, glory and power for ever and ever.” Our home in heaven is a worship fest of God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. Just the mention of the name Jesus stirs our soul to thanksgiving and wholehearted devotion. Praise points us to the Lamb who was slain for our soul’s salvation. Praise expresses gratitude.
John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
Moreover, praising Jesus is our opportunity to tell people about Jesus. Just as we praise a film, “You have to see this movie” or a book, “This book will challenge your thinking and make you a better person”—thus we praise God so others might experience Him. “I still have issues, but since I trusted Jesus as my Savior I have forgiveness, peace and purpose.” We release our inner praise with outer thanksgiving to the Lord. Praise consummates our full appreciation of Christ.
What is the purpose of praise? It is soul alignment for those saved by the grace of God. It is offering up to our Lord and Savior—not what He needs—but what He deserves and desires. The Lord knows our praise of Him is what’s best for us. Praise Him for His majestic creation—for He is the Creator. Praise Him for His precious children—for He is their heavenly Father. Praise Him for His good gifts—for He is a generous Giver. Praise Him in the morning—praise Him in the noon time—praise Him when the sun goes down. Praise His holy name!
“Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name” (Psalm 30:4).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise you with my full devotion for the fullness of your love for me.
Application: How can my praise of God influence others to praise God?
Related Readings: Psalm 103:1, 146:1-2; Malachi 2:2; Luke 10:21; Romans11:36; 1 Peter 2:9
Our natural eyes are given to us to help us function and communicate in the natural world, but they have another purpose. to help us perceive the beauty and glory in the natural world that bear witness to the nature, character and purposes of God the Creator. We all know that natural eyes, if they are blinded or otherwise defective, can block or distort the light that is intended to guide us. This is true in the spiritual world as well.
One way this happens is when, as Romans 1 explains, we exchange divine glory for natural glory, and things such as female beauty, affection and sexuality take on an exaggerated importance to us because they have been separated from other things which are supposed to be part of the male-female relationship, such as genuine love and covenant. Romans 1 goes on to explain how we can even be “given over” (essentially, addicted) to increasingly wicked behavior, because our “bad eye” has distorted our perspective.
The way out is to reverse the exchange we have made through repentance, acknowledging God and making a conscious choice to value divine glory over natural glory. Only then will our “bad eyes” become “good eyes” again, allowing our bodies to be filled with light instead of darkness.
Read Matthew 6:22-23
This blog is bi-product and a testimony of how far I have come as a person and a believer. 2 years ago, I started this blog in an effort to gain more notoriety and affirmation as a Pick Up artist Guru or whatever. Every post from that blog is in the archives of this site. So every believer is free to go back and re-read some very graphic and personal post I made about myself and how I feel about things in my life at the time. For the future the content of this blog will be all about CHRISTIANITY.JESUS. and Information and how to deal with certain issues in certain parts of your life. Whether it be transitioning from HS, College or dealing with the workplace. That’s what this blog is geared towards, helping the believers strengthen their faith and be better Christians.
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