Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Plumb line- Part 1

Part 1

As the year began there was  the obvious talk of goal, resolutions etc .I found myself being drawn to two passages in the Bible, one of which I will mention today. This is the famous passage of Philippians Chapter 2.  I find that there is a constant competition from various quarters, fighting to get my attention, mind space, affections of the heart and my devotion. I find it of great value  to align my heart to the plumb line of scripture as my point of reference. I find it brings balance and peace.

As I have been meditating on this passage I found myself asking myself many questions and reminding myself of many truths I have heard being taught over the years. I found this of great value. So, what is it that I have been meditating upon?

Allow me to share some of my quiet thoughts with you.
Phil2:1-2. 1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

Verse 1: “If you have any encouragement..” “If”??? This is obviously a rhetorical statement that does not an answer to justify it. If is stating the obvious – of course I have received encouragement. What one may ask?
·       Any encouragement in Christ” – here is what I have received – my sins have been forgiven – past, present and future. I have a relationship with God where I can talk to him and He talks to me. My salvation is secure. My prayers are answered. Since I belong to him, He fills me with His Holy Spirit who empowers and energizes me to live a Godly life.
·       “Comfort from His love” – is that even a question that needs asking? Of course I Have been comforted knowing His faithful love will never leave me. His love is complete and unconditionally accepting. His love for me took Him to the cross. Yes I am comforted by His intense love for me that is unending and pure.
·       “If any fellowship with the Spirit” –Oh yes!!!The Holy Spirit unlocks the doors to untold mysteries, abilities thus tapping into the power of God in order  for me to live the Christian life: to conquer temptation and sin, to release the stranglehold of darkness of sickness and so much more.
·       Tenderness and Compassion –Paul is appealing to a minimum level of charity that ought to be in very Christian heart. Am I not capable of some measure of compassion and tenderness? If so, the following is something I can do.

Since I have been the recipient of the above it surmises that I am able to the following : to be like minded, having the same love, being one in Spirit and purpose. This is an action packed, loaded passage. I’d like to think about it phrase by phrase as I seek to align my heart to this plumb line of truth.

·       Like minded- Does this mean “uniformity”, becoming a clone? Does this mean there is no room for originality? By no means! Grace celebrates unity in diversity.
So what does it mean? Put in another way I think it means being of “one vision/intent”. It’s not pulling in different directions, in other words, having one goal, working together toward a common purpose. It’s a willingness to put aside the much exalted and celebrated individualism for a common good. It’s willing to compromise wisely, its willingness to let go, to give ground to another’s point of view or way of doing things.

·       One Spirit – Paul is really emphasizing this maybe because it was a very real issue for the Philippians. Is it not one today too? This means being united – not divided over issues i.e when a leader says something about being involved in a certain project/vision , we are quickly able to  align our minds, wills and heart to support the leader in that call, not getting all “super spiritual” and saying, ”I’ll have to pray about it”. A church or organization will make very little progress with that attitude in the ranks.This I think has more to do with whats going on inside my heart - my attitudes.

·       Purpose- the same as above but its attitude with the hands and feet. Am I running in a different direction or am I putting my weight behind that one purpose therefore being effective?

There is so much food for thought here. But I’d like to draw this part to a close quoting one of my favourite authors, Charles Swindoll.

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

I would like to play that one string well making sure it aligns itself and is in tune with the Word of God.
To be continued in PART2 CLICK HERE


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