Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"His Standard, Our Standard"    

  With a hot, humid Gulf Coast summer drawing nigh, I purchased an electric fan last night that will help to prevent our air conditioner from running nonstop in the days to come.    

Actually, I bought not just any old fan, but a metal-bladed version that offers an interesting feature.  It sounds like the fans of old, especially like those my paternal grandparents owned when I was a child.  It also moves air like yesterday's devices, as opposed to occasional puffs and wisps of wind the newer, plastic-bladed fans struggle to emit.  I recall many mid-afternoon naps on summer days at my grandparents farm,sleeping comfortably to the soothing music of the fan's whiras rapidly moving molecules of air almost made their warm house seem cool.    

It seems hard these days to find products of the quality we once knew.  This may actually be an illusion based onembellishment of our memories, but in many cases it is actually true that things aren't made to the same standard as in days of old.  In many ways, we seem to be caught in a downward spiral of diminishing quality as "more" replaces "better" in our thinking and in our values.    

"The world passeth away" (I John 2:17).   

In such times, born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ do well to remember God's emphasis on quality, as opposed to quantity.  Indeed, we can seemingly do much for Him, while actually doing very little. The Apostle Paul went so far as to declare that we could give everything we own to feed the poor, but if we did so without the love of Christ, it would profit us "nothing" (I Corinthians13:3).  With God, "Why?" is always more important than "What?"  God's directs His primary gaze into the interior regions of our being, wherein we must hold to the highest standards and seek the finest quality - "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 23:4).    

The Lord Jesus Christ is the standard, and He is the quality.  "Walk, even as He walked" (I John2:6).  Upon first consideration, such truth casts us to our faces in despair upon the realization that we cannot in and of ourselves accomplish such a purpose.  Thankfully, further consideration lifts us with with hope.  "I will dwell in them, and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16).  When we believe, our Savior indwells by His Spirit to institute a work of grace-elicited quality - "He... hath begun a good work in you" -  and thereafter works incessantly to constitute His character, nature, and way as our character, nature, and way - "He... will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).  "Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, weare changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Corinthians3:18).  The work requires a lifetime, and the path to the quality of Christlikness is not always smooth and uninterrupted.  Nevertheless, our Lord moves upon and within us to install both His standard and His enabling as the purpose and the power of our hearts.    The pleasant draft and hum of a device that hearkens back to different - and in some ways, better - days blesses me as I write this.  More importantly, the experience reminds me that our Lord's standard of quality remains the same.  Yes, the Lord Jesus is the standard and the quality, and He works today in your heart and mine to make His way of heart our way of heart.

"The Lord looketh on the heart." (I Samuel 16:7)

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