MEASURE UP FOR THE NEW YEAR


We are entering a brand new year, never before used or entered
 into. We can only know what is ahead as God reveals it to us.
We do have limited vision into the future as we study His Word.
One thing we can depend on...God is faithful. We know that each
 day will have twenty-four hours and the seasons will continue;
 time will be measured until eternity arrives. This would be a good
 time for us to see just how we measure up against Godís standard.
 If we are less than the 'full stature of Christ,' this new year
 would be a good time to make necessary corrections.


"for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity
of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man,
 to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ"
 (Ephesians 4:11).


Have you noticed how much we must rely on 'measurements'?
Our clothes and shoes have sizes which we match with our
measurements if they are to fit. If you build a house, the blueprint
has measurements for every room and area. When you travel, you
look for road signs that tell you how close you are getting to your
destination which is measured by miles. You bought enough fuel for
your car to get you there by the gallon which was measured at the
pump to tell you how much to pay for it. We schedule work and
 pleasure by measuring time. We just canít get away from
 measurements. They are everywhere.


God has measurements too. In fact he established them to begin
with. Sure, we humans have done the calculations to determine
how to measure things, but they were there all the time. We only
discovered them; we didnít invent them. God has drawn up some
very specific measurements, and we can find them in His Word.
If there is a fitting problem it lies with us. We just donít want to
do what is necessary to 'measure up' to the 'full stature of Christ.'
 It will cost us something, it will take more effort than we are
committed to make. God doesnít give up on us though. He just
 keeps His measurements before us and keeps reminding us to
reach for the 'stature of the fullness of Christ.'


While visiting friends in a western state, I went to a Farm Bureau
 meeting with them. The Bureau gave out 'four-foot yardsticks.' It
has come in handy many times when measuring to see if a piece of
 furniture would fit in another spot in the room, etc., but I have to
keep in mind that the distance measured is four feet, not three.
If I used the stick as a standard, I would be altering the
measurements. Commercial measures are standardized. They have
to be; otherwise, we would never know if what we are buying is
what we really want or not.


My sister recently bought a refrigerator. They measured the height
 under the cabinet where it would sit but forgot to measure the width.
 When the refrigerator was delivered, they discovered that it was
too wide for the space and had to alter one of the cabinets to make
 it fit. It is important that we take accurate measurements when
buying carpet for the home, fabric for sewing and just about
everything else in our lives.


What if measurements were not standardized? You could buy a
 'gallon' of milk and end up with three quarts. You could buy a
 pair of size eight shoes and find out when you get home with them
that one is a seven and one is a nine. There are some things that
can be substituted. In fact, I have a chart in my kitchen that tells
 me I can substitute certain ingredients for others and arrive at the
 same results in my cooking and baking, but even they have
measurements. To achieve the desired results, I have to adhere to
the chart and use correct measurements. Need I say more!
Standardization of measurements is absolutely necessary.


"I am the Lord your God; Walk in My statutes, keep My
judgments, and do them" (Ezekiel 20:19 NKJV).


The 'fullness of Christ' means to be like Him with no empty spaces.
 Spaces not filled with His fullness are traps for enemy invasion.
Several years ago at Kentucky Camp Meeting in Lexington a little
 girl sang a song that said, 'Donít let the Devil ride; heíll want to
drive.' His aim is drive us, fill empty spaces and control us. The
only safety we have is to be filled with the Spirit. Satan has no
defense against the Blood of Jesus and the power of the Holy
Spirit. "He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world"
(1 John 4:4 NKJV). Growth is progressive. We are constantly
being expanded to be able to contain the fullness of Christ. As
we walk in His Light, more Light is given and our capacity to
contain His Truth is increased.


We canít measure ourselves by someone elseís 'four-foot
yardstick.' The measuring device for the fullness of Christ is His
Word. Any other standard will give a false measure. Any prophesy,
any inspiration that cannot be accurately measured by Godís
Word must be disregarded. God will never contradict His Word;
He will uphold His Truth and it will stand forever.


I am about five feet, four and a half inches tall. If I were to use
my four-foot yardstick to measure my height and considered it to
be the standard three foot measuring device, I would only be a
little over four feet tall. I canít measure myself by someone elseís
 calling and anointing. My calling and anointing fit me, because that
is what God gave me to do. The Body of Christ has many parts
and each part is essential to the Body to achieve 'fullness of
the stature of Christ.'


"Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually"
(1 Corinthians 12:27).


God has proportionately measured each individual member of
His body to be perfectly joined together for the good of the whole
 and for His glory, and He has done so in a 'more excellent way'
(1 Corinthians 12:31, 13:1)... the way of Love. Godís standard
measure is Love. He IS Love; it is His very essence. We can never
come to the measure of the fullness of Christ without that one standard...LOVE. Love lets us see how necessary other members
 in the Body are and to appreciate their uniqueness and importance.


"that there be no schism in the body, but that the members should
have the same care for one another"
(1 Corinthians 12:25 NKJVK).


We are all of equal importance according to Godís measure. Let
us walk in Love to reach the 'stature of the fullness of Christ.'
Love is Godís standard measure, and we must adapt ours to His
which will always be true and accurate.


"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not
parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave itself rudely, does
 not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice
in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes
all things, hopes all things, endures all things.~~"


"Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 NKJV).


A great way to begin this new year would be to get out Godís
measuring device 'His Word' and apply it to ourselves, set a
goal to reach the "stature of the fullness of Christ" and lovingly
encourage and help others to do the same.
 

Delores Adams
Copyrighted. All rights reserved.
December 30, 2003

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