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Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Amos 7:7-9

"The Challenge Of God's Plumb Line"

Message summary: May we all set our standards by using God's plumb line.

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"Thus He showed me, and behold, the Lord was standing by a vertical wall with a plumb line in His hand. The Lord said to me, 'What do you see, Amos?' And I said, 'A plumb line.' Then the Lord said, 'Behold I am about to put a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel'" (Amos 7:7,8).

Crooked switchYesterday we had the electrical part of our addition finished. Several times I asked the electrician, Aaron, a friendly man who has an amplified voice like me, if he was sure the receptacle, switch or light he was installing was level so he kindly put a level on it to make sure or to slightly correct his work.

I suppose if I were to get diagnosed I would have a slight case of Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in regard to things being level. I have been known to compulsively straighten pictures on the walls in people's homes. A crooked picture on the wall really bothers me!!! This characteristic was observed by others who graciously put up with my admitted oddities. When we left New England in early 2001 we had dinner at Jeff and Linda Reid's home, who had been very supportive of our ministry and remain friends to this day.

When I walked into their house they had purposefully made all the pictures on their walls very crooked and didn't let on at all. In their dining room as we sat down we saw a slight smile on their faces and a twinkle in their eyes as they tormented me! I was doing my best to hear Brooksyne's voice in my head saying, "Do not touch those crooked pictures". I can't recall whether I got up to straighten them or not. Eventually it became a laugh out loud joke they had pulled on me.

Most of us have a pretty good sense of whether something is straight with or without using a level but we often use one just to make sure. Sometimes due to my OCD I use two levels just to make double sure.

I value my tool collection I've acquired throughout my lifetime, including a collection from my dad when he was no longer able to use his tools.

Plumb bobA tool I rarely use is the plumb line. Generally a level works fine for the kind of home maintenance and improvement projects I do. But for big projects there is no replacement for the plumb line such as the pouring of concrete for our new addition. Our friend, Jesse, who not only is a farmer but also a mason worker, still uses a plumb line in his work and I will likely see it used to lay the brick on one side of our addition in several weeks.

The dictionary defines a plumb line as "a line (as of cord) that has at one end a weight (as a plumb bob) and is used especially to determine verticality." The plumb line employs the law of gravity to establish what is "plumb" (that is, what is exactly vertical, or true). In a sense, the plumb line is the vertical equivalent of the line level which of course also works for vertical.

The plumb line is an ancient tool dating back to biblical times used to determine vertical accuracy. Several Bible texts refer to the plumb line, including our daily text, and Jesus very likely used a plumb line when he worked as a carpenter.

A plumb line is standard. Everyone needs a standard that will keep them on the right track in life. Everyone needs a plumb line. The Word of God is a timeless plumb line for determining a center line in life.

We appreciate these thoughtful words from "I Will Stand", a Gold City song.

I see a nation on the brink, I see a people prone to think
That truth is like an ocean wave, changing with the tide.
But for me there has to be an absolute, a center line
And it's the Word of God eternal, the cornerstone of Christ.

Indeed, for so many, truth is like an ocean wave. Paul used the wave as an illustration in Ephesians 4 writing of those who are "tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine".

Today we pray that we ourselves and each of you will regularly examine your life using God's plumb line, the Holy Bible. Its teaching provides an absolute, a center line. "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

Let us determine to live by Biblical convictions, whether popular or not. The song "I Will Stand" has this powerful chorus that speaks of the believer's resolve to stand firm in one's convictions no matter what we encounter because Jesus is our Rock; He is our firm foundation.

I will stand upon the truth of Jesus
He's the reason I'm alive
So how can I not live to make Him known
I will give my all to make it count
With no shadow of a doubt
Who He is, Who I am
I will stand!

Be encouraged today, Hebrews 3:13

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, when Jesus declared to His disciples, I am the way, the truth, and the life a plumb line was drawn for them and for us. When we want to know what is the truth and what is a lie, we can measure it against the words of Jesus, who Himself is the truth. Many people define truth based on their emotions, opinions, experience, or current philosophical views. But Jesus is truth incarnate—the perfect expression of His Father and therefore the absolute embodiment of all that is true. For that we are thankful. Amen. 

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Will Stand"  Watch on YouTube  Gold City

Bedroom after electric, flooring
Our new bedroom is nearing completion. Yesterday the electrical work was done along with the floor and trim. In fact this room is essentially finished but of course when the construction is done we will remove the debris outside and grade and reseed the lawn! This Friday the plumbers are projected to finish and then a final "punch list with Ed, our general contractor.

Bedroom after electric, flooring, mini-split unit
This photo is in the other direction. We chose to keep the original brick exterior wall for an inside wall and painted the brick. The mini split provides both heat and air conditioning. (Excuse the worker on our office side sweeping!)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version and a variety of other versions.

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