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. Amos 7:7-8
Standing along a street in Cairo, while waiting for a bus, I couldn’t help, but stare at the building. It was so out of plumb that I had to take a picture. It obviously had not been built to plumb and was leaning heavily to my left.
A plumb line is a cord with a non-magnetic weight attached to one end. When the cord is held in such a way that the weight can dangle freely, an exact vertical can be determined. Painters and carpenters use plumb lines to keep their work straight. It is difficult, while in the middle of a project, to determine a true horizontal or vertical line without an objective measuring tool, so a plumb line is employed. A plumb line applies the law of gravity to find right angles, to indicate the most direct route from top to bottom, and to keep things plumb. A plumb line doesn’t change or move with the whims of the carpenter. It remains true, and all work must line up with it or risk being crooked.
When God said He was setting a plumb line among His people, He was declaring an end to their attempts to justify their crooked ways. The Lord was setting the standard. God does not negotiate His laws. He does not change with the whims of culture. God’s moral law is the plumb line against which we determine right and wrong. Just as a carpenter’s plumb line is not subject to the opinions or the frustration of the worker, so God’s moral standards are not subject to the opinions of man. Wise people are those who line up their lives according to God’s plumb line rather than trying to move it to satisfy their own agendas.
As I look around our contemporary world, we have lost our plumb line. Our plumb is leaning to the post-modern culture and our ways are crooked. We are going for cultural popularity rather than God’s Biblical standards.
The Bible tells His people to pray and seek His face, turning from their wicked ways. Then God will hear from heaven, forgive our sins and heal our land.
Of Lord, may it happen now.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
The Seminole Heights Baptist Church steeple was a commuting landmark hovering above the Hillsborough Avenue exit since the interstate was built. The church was razed over the summer. But the steeple — a piece of it at least — has been given a second life.
Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe owner acquired the top of the steeple, known as the spire, and had it delivered to the parking lot across the street from her restaurant. Deming then had the spire transformed into public art. “We thought it was important to save this piece of Tampa history and keep it in the public,” Deming said. “We’re proud of how it turned out.” She said “this piece is about growth and change, just as it has taken on a different role from a religious symbol to a piece of art. It is about women and the role of women.”
Another loss for Christendom
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What makes someone great?
Greatness in our culture is typically measured by personal achievement and public acclaim.
An athlete who wins Grand Slams or Super Bowls is “great.” CEOs and politicians are measured by the “Three P’s”: performance, popularity, and possessions. For pastors, the standards are similarly alliterated: buildings, budgets, and baptisms.
Sacrificial service is seldom considered. I know pastors who are serving in smaller congregations and towns, but whose ministries are remarkably effective. Police officers risk their lives for us every day, but we seem not to recognize their service unless one of them makes the sacrifice all are willing to make.
In our confused and broken culture, it is as if we must decide between public excellence and personal service. This is a choice Jesus did not need to make. Jim Denison
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In the comic strip BC, the caveman is having a crisis of faith. He cries out, “God, just show me YOU exist, and I’ll believe.”
Suddenly there’s an earthquake. A volcano erupts. Lightning strikes. Finally, a rainbow appears.
In the last frame the caveman is still pleading, “Please, God, just show me a sign!”
Some people will never believe regardless of the evidence. It reminds me of the philosopher Bertrand Russell who said that if he did meet up with God, he would challenge God by arguing, “You did not give me enough evidence.”
Actually, God has given us plenty of evidence. In fact, it is so apparent, so obvious, so visible, that the Bible does not argue the existence of God, it simply assumes it. And the worthy Ancients simply acknowledged what they observed and gave God the glory, honor, and praise for who He is. Ken Weliever, The Preacher Man
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One of the best summary comments on 2020 I have seen is how the world has turned upside down because now old folks are sneaking out of the house and their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors! What a total reversal of life!
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
There’s no shortcuts to success on the field or in life. Quarterback Tom Brady
The Pro-Life Movement Cannot Stop Until Every Human Life is Respected. Albert Mohler
Speak when you are angry, and you will make the best speech you will ever regret! Laurence J. Peters
Freedom of speech lets us know who the idiots are. Anonymous
Today, the same idols in the Bible are worshiped. Dan Shock
Coincidences are when God chooses to remain anonymous. When God doesn’t want to be out front publicly, He’ll work behind the scenes providentially. Ken Whitten
Church is not a place we come to. It is what we become. Daniel Henderson
It is not a coincidence that we are witnessing a tragic rise in secularism along with our material prosperity. Jim Denison