True to Plumb

Bible+and+plumb+line.jpg (1500×873)

I am setting a plumb line in the midst of My people.  —Amos 7:8 NKJV

“An army of the world’s top climatologists agree: manmade global warming is a fraud.”

I clicked the link to read the article then Googled the subject. A whole slew of articles popped up addressing the topic, some claiming manmade global warming is a scam, others insisting climate warming is, indeed, due to human activities.

Who to believe?

It’s like the “eggs are bad/good for you” debate. It seems for every theory, there’s an opposing one. Both sides use scientific studies to back their claims.

But theories change, don’t they?

I don’t know about you, but I want to build my life on something that doesn’t change.

What doesn’t change?

Truth.

But how do we know what’s true and what’s false? What basis do we use?

Me, I use the Bible.

There are those, I know, who don’t believe the Bible is God’s Word or that it’s relevant to us today. It’s like the global warming controversy and the debate over whether a certain food is good or bad for the human body. We look at the argument on both sides and choose.

I choose to believe the Bible is the Word of God and use it as the rock upon which I build my life-house.

Why?

First, because the Bible shows us our Creator’s standards. Like a plumb line. When a wall is built to standard and is straight, it’s said to be “true to plumb.” If it isn’t, it’s “out of plumb.”

“You can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself,” sang the late Rick Nelson in his hit song “Garden Party.” That might sound like a good philosophy, but think about it: What would the world be like if each person’s main focus was to please himself first, and “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25)? We’d be out of plumb.

Second, the Bible, unlike man’s theories, is enduring. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8). “Forever, O LORD, Thy word is firmly fixed in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89). I want a life based on something that isn’t fickle, something that won’t change with every new study or theory.

Third, because God’s Word is enlightening, “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). It gives me guidance, wisdom and knowledge. It lights my way in a world that’s getting darker and darker, clearing up the confusion that often besets me as I travel life’s road.

Fourth, because God’s Word is effective. God Himself said His Word will not return to Him void but will accomplish all that He desires for it to accomplish (Isaiah 55:10–11). It’s living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword and penetrates to the hidden places in our beings—our thoughts and attitudes (Hebrews 4:12)—the very places that need changed and cleansed.

 And finally (not finally really, but finally for the sake of brevity—I have only so many column inches here), God’s Word teaches us what is true and to do what is right. It makes us realize what’s wrong with our lives and how to correct it (2 Timothy 3:16).

Either we’re “out of plumb” or “true to plumb.”

Which are you?

 Help me, O Lord, to be true to plumb. Amen.

Read and reflect on Amos 7:7–15 and Luke 6:46–49.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God, © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Happy Endings

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and End.  —Revelation 22:13 NIV

“Mom, you’re not reading the ending of that book first, are you?” my daughter asked me one day while I was reading.

“Yes, I am,” I said. “I want to make sure the ending is to my liking. This way I don’t waste time reading something that doesn’t have a happy ending.”

A voracious reader since I could open a book, I can’t remember when I started checking out story endings first. But as an adult, I read the first chapters, and, if the book holds my attention and I just can’t stand the suspense—which is most of the time—I flip to the back and skim the last few pages. I find out if the heroine gets the man she loves, who the villain is, and if the story has a happy conclusion.

Many times I’ve started a book but haven’t finished it because I didn’t like the way it ended. While I can take bittersweet endings, I dislike sad ones. There’s enough trouble in the world. I read to escape from the ugliness of humanity, the dire headlines, the bad news that bombards me all day long.

Even worse than sad endings, though, are “open” endings, where the reader decides how a story concludes. How wishy-washy! I need to feel a sense of closure that the story has come to full circle and is complete. An open ending isn’t really an ending; rather, it’s just a gaping hole where the reader is never satisfied—at least this reader.

Not that I live with my head in the sand or the clouds, and I certainly don’t live a storybook, fairytale life. I’ve got problems too. Reading is my oasis in this desert of bad news. Just for a little while, I can forget the headlines, the heartaches, the dishes, and the dust and immerse myself in something I know will end happily.

There’s another Book I enjoy reading with an ending that fulfills all my expectations, gives me hope, and satisfies my soul: the Bible, God’s Word. Reading it, however, is not an escape from ugly humanity. Instead, I see humanity at its worst. I also see in its time-tested lines the love of the Writer for the ones who rebelled and caused Him and the world so much grief. In the chapter on Calvary, I see God at His best.

But the story doesn’t end at Calvary, or on the first Easter, or on Ascension Day or Pentecost. It doesn’t end with the killing of Stephen or the martyrdom of those first believers. It continues for centuries that stretch into millennia.

And it isn’t a mystery. Rather, the Bible is a love story of a great and merciful God for His sinful, rebellious, obnoxious, selfish, stubborn creation. Penned throughout the saga of mankind are definite clues how this tale will end: The heroine gets the One she loves, the villain is defeated and banished forever, and those who trust in the One who came to save them live happily ever after.

Thank You, Lord, for showing me who the winners are in the drama of man. Thank You for revealing the ending so I may find satisfaction and fulfillment in my life’s story. Amen.

Read and reflect on Revelation 21 & 22.

From God, Me,& a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God, (c) 2017 Michele Huey.