Measuring Up

Jesus is the cornerstone: the one to which we should strive to measure up with in justice and in righteousness. Instead, we have swayed and used earthly measurements of righteousness, aligning ourselves with ideologies of the world rather than the call of God. We have neglected the perfect builder to align our hearts to what is true and centered.

In Isaiah 28:16 – 17,  we learn God’s preferred tools of measurement – the measuring line of justice and the plumb line of righteousness. The passage reads as follows:

“Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem,  a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken. I will test you with the measuring line of justice and the plumb line of righteousness. Since your refuge is made of lies, a hailstorm will knock it down. Since it is made of deception, a flood will sweep it away.”

This is a lot to chew on, so I will help break this down. First, a corner is where two lines meet. If Jesus is the Cornerstone, the two lines that meet are the horizontal measuring line of justice and the vertical plumb line of righteousness.

Now that we have that established, what in the world is a plumb line? A plumb line is used by builders to find a true vertical or 90 degree angle. It is found by using a weight suspended from a string and it is a vertical reference line to ensure a structure is centered. As they find the vertical gravity, they ensure everything is right, justified, and centered. 

When building structures, builders focus on finding the plumb line so that the structure would not lean one way or another. They want to ensure the foundation would set up the rest of the structure to withstand  anything that would come against it. 

Let’s reread Isaiah 28:16 “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic. 

We have allowed earthly measurement tools to replace God’s Word and Holy Spirit’s guidance. If He is that perfect cornerstone, then we are to build upon His foundation. We cannot go one inch to the left or right. For a wall falls in the direction in which it is leaning. We are to have our lives measure up with the example Christ gave us throughout His life to the point of His crucifixion. 

Our lives should embrace the immense bold lines that God calls us to measure up to. What measurements can we use to see if we as disciples are measuring up to Jesus the Cornerstone – the ultimate standard of justice and the plumb line of righteousness? Let’s look at His response:

Matthew 22: 34 – 40 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Can we be real? 

Have you ever acted like a Pharisee or Sadducee? If you aren’t familiar with these groups, they were those who studied the Law – a set of religious rules that were intended to help the people of Israel live out their lives correctly in front of God. They can be seen as the bad guys in the Bible, but maybe you have acted in this way before. Asking all them questions, giving counter arguments, and bringing in man-made measurements to establish what is right and wrong. But guess what, Jesus said hey there hold up let’s condense all of this! Here are the TWO measurements you need. Look vertically up, are you loving God? And look to those to your left and your right, are you loving them too? 

AND what IS LOVE? Come on y’all 1 Corinthians 13 isn’t reserved for weddings. 

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

Have you been proud or rude towards your neighbor who thinks differently than you? Do you uphold a record of wrong done in the short term or the historical long term? Do you rejoice or are indifferent to the pains of people that have suffered and are suffering? Do you let political opinion beat out the truth that we are to love others no matter what and above all things? 

We must first look to the precious cornerstone – Jesus Christ in order to build a sure foundation lest we fall left or right. We are called to know Him in relationship by reading His word, praying for guidance from Holy Spirit and being in community with those who are doing the same. He will guide us to love Him better and to love our neighbors like ourselves.

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