Leveling up with spiritual Plumb-lines

“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

 

The plumb-line is a weight, usually with a pointed tip on the bottom, suspended from a string. Plumb lines (aka plumb bobs), are used as a vertical reference line, or datum. Their accuracy is absolute.

Plumb-lines always find the vertical axis pointing to the center of gravity. The plumb-line ensures a structure is centered and aligned. The Latin word “plumbum” is the root of the English word “plumb line.” It is translated to liquid silver. 

By aligning their measurement to the immutable force of gravity, Plumb lines are never inaccurate. 

plumbLine_stockphoto

There is an allegory to our spiritual walk. Instead of gravity, we rely on the unchanging power of God. 


Rev. Joseph J. Clifford writes,

“By what plumb-line do we measure our lives and our community? What tells us that things are aligned, that life is where it needs to be? How do our plumb-lines compare to God’s?”

 

A plumb line is a weight suspended from a string used as a vertical reference line. 
The homograph of the metal lead is the leadership lead… 

PlumbLines_OurDailyBread

 

As I seek the Lord’s leadership in my life… How will I center my faith?  Will I be a tape measure? We have all used tape measures but they can be flimsy and inaccurate in unsteady hands. 

As I seek to center my spiritual practice, will I be a Level? Surely Levels are stronger than tape measures and infinitely more accurate?  According to Hammer Addict, “a level’s measurement can go bad. Over time or after a hard drop, a level can get out of calibration and could give a false reading.”


The truest, most solid measurement is the plumb line. The plumb-line of grace, servant leadership, anchored to a God’s power. This power is greater than even my ego! This power of God is true and always points to absolute center.

Because of Grace, the power of the plumb-line is always true.

 

By what plumb-line will you measure your life/work/spiritual practice? 

How will our choice of plumb-lines compare to God’s? 

How do we align or realign our plumb-lines? 

 

For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel—these are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth.” ~Zechariah 4:10

 

 


References

Amos 7:1-15

Hammer Addict (2021). https://hammeraddict.com/can-a-level-go-bad/

Herrick Kimball, (2018, June 9). Plumbobs Don’t Lie. [Video File]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/Qzxu2Ttr2dk

Jones, K. (2021, July 11). Sermon Notes. 

Lifespans and Plumb Lines. https://ourdailybread.org/article/lifespans-and-plumb-lines/ 

Solomon, R. (2014). Apprenticed to Jesus: Learning from Him, Living like Him. Armour Publishing. 

 

 

If you would like to Learn More, click to this post: https://www.crosswayfellowshipchurch.org/sermons/2019/09/the-plumb-line 

 

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thoughts on Philippians 4:13

Today, my graduate student Kortney shared Philippians 4:13 as her “Go-To” Bible verse. In God’s gentle nudging in life, this verse was also an integral part of my day too.

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

This verse and the book of Philippians also appears to be God’s “Go-To” book and verse for me today too. This morning, our Bible scholar explained that the Apostle/Teacher Paul wrote this verse while in jail. Paul was chained in a crowded, drafty Roman jail cell. The jail did not provide clothes nor food. Paul relied on others for these essentials. 

Although under continuous scrutiny by guards, Paul continued his mission. During one prison term, he even converted one of the Philippian guards (Acts 16:25-40).

Our Bible scholar shared that Philippians was one of the happiest letters that Paul wrote. Despite terrible conditions and the imminent threat of death, Paul exclaimed: “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Thoughts slammed hard at me as I listened. Despite the foreshadow of death, Paul looked beyond his circumstances. My high school friend, Tracey and I have joked about the crisis cavalcade of 2020 and our 2020 Bingo board (and mine has actually morphed into an alphabetized 2020 Bingo list). 

However, as bad as 2020 has been, for almost all of us, we have been blessed to be at home. Our response to the pandemic has occurred in our homes, far away from drafty Roman jails. We have been at home. 

So, the question for my grad students today is “What one positive thing can you do this week through Christ who strengthens you?” Only a positive action for the upcoming week through Christ who shares His strength. Sometimes folks almost exclusively identify with the negative aspect of circumstances, going all the way back to the manna days.

It is therapeutically advantageous to follow Paul’s lead and hold fast to what is good, which is my own “Go-To” verse.

“What one thing can you do this week through Christ who strengthens you?” 

 

 

mid-week surge of grace ~ Psalm 45:3

I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. ~Isaiah 45:3 (NIV)

 

I will give you hidden treasures
        and wealth tucked away in secret places;
    I will reveal them to you.
        Then you will know that I am
        the Eternal, the God of Israel, who calls you by name.
~Isaiah 45:3 (The Voice)

 

Here are four reminders about this verse from Kay Warren:

  • God has concealed riches in the darkness of suffering.
  • God has the power to intervene in our darkness.
  • God will be close to us in our darkness.
  • What we know leads us to worship.

You can watch Kay’s message here

 

 


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Nuances of Intention from the book of Isaiah

Because of Grace, we have assurances of our place in His Plan from the book of Isaiah:

“It is the same with {God’s} word. I, {God} send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” Isaiah 55:11 (NLT)

 

Notice the intentionality of His Plan from New Life Version translation

“My Word which goes from My mouth will not return to Me empty. It will do what I want it to do, and will carry out My plan well. Isaiah 55:11 (NLV) italics added

 

…and the declaration of His Plan from The Voice translation

“So it is when I {God} declare something. My word will go out and not return to Me empty, But it will do what I  {God} wanted; it will accomplish what I {God} determined.” Isaiah 55:11 (The Voice translation) italics added

 

Because of Grace, we are invited to His Plan.

What verse(s) remind you of His Plan/His Grace?

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