How do we compare and contrast the teaching of Jesus in our lives? Often we try to keep to the ‘measuring’ line of Jesus under our own effort. The truth is, the way to keep our ways pure and right in the stead of Jesus our Lord is to surrender to him and his ways…
16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
will never be stricken with panic.
17 I will make justice the measuring line
and righteousness the plumb line;
23 Listen and hear my voice;
pay attention and hear what I say.
24 When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually?
Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?
25 When he has leveled the surface,
does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin?
Does he not plant wheat in its place,
barley in its plot,
and spelt in its field?
26 His God instructs him
and teaches him the right way.
27 Caraway is not threshed with a sledge,
nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin;
caraway is beaten out with a rod,
and cumin with a stick.
28 Grain must be ground to make bread;
so one does not go on threshing it forever.
The wheels of a threshing cart may be rolled over it,
but one does not use horses to grind grain.
29 All this also comes from the Lord Almighty,
whose plan is wonderful,
whose wisdom is magnificent.
Isaiah 28:16-17, 23-29
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Nestled in the prophecy of Isaiah are these words which look toward the coming of Jesus: see I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone. This imagery comes back in the New Testament relating to the establishment of Jesus as the cornerstone of the spiritual house of the children of God.
And we see how important it is to live within and under the teaching of Jesus. In his justice and righteousness we have a measuring line (the plumb line) against which we can lay our lives and our work. How do we compare and contrast the teaching of Jesus in our lives?
I don’t know about you, but often I don’t measure up. Often, my line is crooked compared to the Lord. Are you like that? If that resonates with you, perhaps you, like me, try to keep to the plumb line of Jesus under your own steam and effort. If we do our best, it will work out. If we strive for righteousness, we might be able to be righteous.
This is a trap. I have fallen into it. Have you? The way to keep our ways pure and right and just in the stead of Jesus our Lord is to surrender to him and his ways.
Think about the farmer. We see that for every crop and for every season, there is a specific way for the farmer to prepare, plant, nurture, harvest, and process the crop. God instructs the farmer in the right ways. The secrets of success come from the Lord Almighty, whose plan is wonderful and whose wisdom is magnificent.
How do we get into Jesus’ way for our lives? We surrender to him. We ask him to live through us and not for him to bless our living. When we live the Christ-life, we will reflect and represent him. When we strive in our own strength, we will sow and reap of our human effort.
It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me. May it be so today.