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For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. Hebrews 10:10 (NLT)

What do you measure your life by? What we use as our standard is a reflection of our character. Compared to a person deep in the jungle of South America I may be considered very rich. Of course, by Bill Gates standards I’m very poor. I’m very tall compared to a two-year-old; very short compared to a sky scraper. I’m old…compared to a newborn infant; I’m young compared to God!

The problem with the ‘comparison game’ in our spiritual lives is that we only have two things to compare ourselves to. Either we compare ourselves to God or we compare ourselves with other human beings. We can say “Well, I know its wrong to do [fill in the blank] but at least I don’t fly planes into buildings. Or you can say “Sure, I know [fill in the blank] is wrong but at least I don’t molest children. The problem is, in God’s eyes sin is sin. Period. You can rationalize all you want, but if you are living anything but a perfect life you are living a life of sin.

The only other option is to measure our actions against the perfect, Holy, all-knowing, all-powerful creator God of the universe. When we measure our actions against him it’s pretty obvious what the results will be. It’s simply impossible as a human being to live a life that measures up to the plumb line of God’s holiness and perfection. Anything less than perfection disqualifies us from eternal life with God. Anything less than perfection in our relationship with our divine lover hinders that relationship.

The good news in all this is that when we have Christ in our lives God no longer measures our lives against his plumb line, he uses Jesus in our place. We can never meet God’s standards of holiness and perfection but Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for us makes us perfect in God’s eyes!

Will sin still hinder our daily relationship with our divine lover? Yes. But we can be forgiven. We can start over again. We can come to God and restore that walk with him because the sacrifice of Jesus’ blood forgives us for all time. That’s grace. Grace puts Jesus next to God’s plumb line and calls us holy!

Don’t compare yourself to others. Stop playing the rationalizing game, telling yourself it’s not your fault or ‘you know it’s wrong but…’ Stop living in failure thinking you’ve messed up one too many times. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross makes you free to live a love relationship with God that is free of sin and full of forgiveness for those times we fall short in our humanity.

PRAYER: Holy God, it’s easy to compare myself to the ‘really bad’ people in life until I realize that the only true measurement of right or wrong it the plumb line of your holiness. I’m a sinner. I fail. Sometimes I fail intentionally because I want it my way. Please forgive me for my stubborn desire to please me in my way. Empower me with your Spirit to live in right relationship with you. Thank you for the grace Jesus gives by taking my place next to your plumb line. Amen.


Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3

When we commit our plans to the Lord the Bible says that those plans will succeed. What a wonderful promise to look forward to! The reality is that for many of us the path we’ve journeyed along in life is strewn with the wreckage of failures, poor choices, ruined relationships and piles of debt. Not much success to be seen.

There are really only two options available for us. If our plans have met with failure then we have to conclude that either God isn’t able to fulfill His end of the bargain, or we failed to completely commit our plans to Him. There really isn’t a middle ground.

So, how can we insure success with our plans? First of all we need to think carefully about the word commit. Commit does not mean merely ‘running the idea past God’. It doesn’t carry the idea of telling your wife as you leave the house “By the way I’m stopping for a haircut on the way home today.” Commit carries with it a turning over the responsibility of our plans to someone else, in this case God.

A second aspect of commitment regards how our actions or plans match up to the plumb line of God’s character. The illustration of the plumb line, or plum bob, reminds us that while God loves us and has given us much freedom through Jesus Christ, there are some things that simply will not work in God’s Kingdom. If our plans and/or actions operate outside of these boundaries success as we know it can not happen.

Lastly, commitment of our plans to the Lord requires that we evaluate our definition of success. Success by the world’s standards usually involved numbers. The amount of money you gain from the action, the number of friends and/or other people you influence, the number of points you make. It’s all about numbers.

In God’s economy numbers don’t matter. Quality of character and relationships are the only thing that matter. If we took the time to look back amongst the wreckage of our past; if we pulled back the shattered dreams, looked underneath the broken relationships or pushed aside the pile of debt we would no doubt see the green shoots of new life. New life consisting of lessons learned, experience gained and wisdom acquired.

In God’s eyes that is success. Not that we won the race, but that we finished it. Not that we were looked on with respect by others but that we learned how to lean more fully on God. Not that our lives generated much wealth, fame and fortune, but that those who follow us will find the way to a living peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Giving your plans and actions over to God’s control is risky. But it is the only way in which we can be all that God wants us to be. As you grow in relationship with Him through prayer, bible study and fellowship you will find that your plans will align with His character and success will be measured by Him, not those around you.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I look behind me and the road I’ve travelled and see so many mistakes, so many poor choices, so many doubts, fears and times of rebellion. I’ve neglected truly committing those plans to you and they have caused pain to myself and those around me. Thank you for the painful lessons I’ve learned. Forgive me for arrogantly thinking I knew best. Empower me through your Holy Spirit to commit my ways to you in a real and practical way. Amen.

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