Living a life “plumb” with Christian values

Published 7:15 pm Saturday, May 6, 2017

By Larry Stover
Stover lives in Valley Grande and is pastor at Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene.

No one likes to get disciplined. Being sent to the principal’s office is not priority one on anyone’s list. When a police officer pulls you over for some infraction of the law, panic can set in until you look at your speedometer and realize that your “foot was through the firewall” and you’re in trouble now.

As Christians, we are prone to be regularly disciplined by God if we are walking on the wrong side of that fine line between servanthood and disobedience.

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God created us for a relationship with him. Mark 12:30 makes it clear that we should “Love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength.” To be recipients of his grace and blessings as we truly need them, we need to be found faithful to the teaching of Jesus Christ.  His grace will always bless our faithfulness and obedience.

Hebrews chapter 12 reminds us that “The Lord disciplines those He loves.” Just as a loving parents sets boundaries for their children, so the Lord has set boundaries for those who make a decision to follow him. Even in the final week of his earthly ministry, Jesus cleansed the Temple reminding Israel that they had changed this holy place among them into a flea market.

When we break our relationship with the Lord through disobedience or sin, the Holy Spirit will do everything he can to point us back in the right direction. We can accept the discipline and guidance or we can walk away from it. There are blessings to be received when we make good choices and penalties to pay when we reject his call to reconciliation.

The Old Testament Prophet, Amos, used the illustration of the “plumb line” to help Israel see their relationship with God. They had been living in disobedience for a long time. In Amos 7:7-8 we hear the judgment of God; “This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. And the Lord asked me, ‘What do you see, Amos?’ ‘A plumb line,’ I replied. Then the Lord said, ‘Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.”

What does that say to us today? God knows that our life will be at its best when we are in a right relationship with him. When we begin to drift away from his standards and values, we are in danger of many consequences that go along with making bad choices. In a sense, “we are out of plumb.”

Like the “Leaning Tower of Pisa,” our foundation can also be missing some vital components that are only found when we are reflecting Jesus Christ in our lives every day.  When our spiritual foundation is crumbling, we risk the consequences of breaking down our relationship with God.

The way we live our lives, practice our faith, and obey the commands of God can be represented by that tower.  If our life or our church gets out of “plumb” with God’s plan and purpose, we need to realize that a spiritual problem exists.

Scripture serves as our plumb line. If we will allow, the Holy Spirit will use scripture to get us back on track.

If you feel that your relationship with Jesus Christ is not what it needs to be, do some serious soul searching to see if you have drifted away from that relationship with the Lord that used to give you joy and enthusiasm about your faith.  Are you confident that you have been forgiven of any sin or disobedience?  Have you surrendered your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? If there is any obstacle or hindrance to your relationship with the Lord, do something about it.  Jesus Christ is always willing to forgive and help us to get back into focus.

Allowing your life to be in “plumb” with the standards and principles of God’s Word will make your Christian life “Simply Beautiful.”