Call to Obedience
CALL TO OBEDIENCE is a monthly letter to challenge you to live a godly life. Subscribe today to receive your free monthly copy, and don't forget to click to our archives to read past issues of the Call to Obedience. Below is our current issue for this month.
CALL TO OBEDIENCE #391
"God is a God of Measure"
By Pastor Reimar A. C. Schultze
Out of necessity, God is a God of measure. If He were not, this universe could not have begun. Everything in it is precisely measured out in terms of time, space, substance and energy. Consider these factors for each planet and add the centrifugal and gravitational forces together to bring them all into harmony, and you know that God is a God of measure.
Then consider the diversity of species. There also God shows Himself as the God of measure. What should be the proper size of a mosquito’s stinger? What should be the right number of elephants in a herd? What should be the speed of the gazelle: fast enough to escape the lion most of the time, but not so fast that the lion starves? How do you measure things out for each species so that none will drive another to extinction? God is a God of measure. What shade of green do you put into the leaves of a red oak compared to those of an apple tree? Are you getting the picture? Are you getting excited about God’s smarts? Well, you should! You know where I am going here, don’t you? Since God deals in nature with such precision; what makes you think that He will deal with you in any other way?
This caused ancient man to pronounce from the rooftops: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard (Psalm 19:1-3).
Do you realize that during the first 2500 years of man’s habitation on earth, he was without the Bible? What he saw in nature and what he heard from God in the inner voice was enough for him to be saved and to walk with God as Enoch did. Millions of men made it to Paradise in those first 2500 years. And there in Paradise they met Jesus, who applied His blood to their souls and took them in a glorious procession to the throne of God.
Yes indeed, ancient man sat on his rooftop beholding the stars in the heavens at night and the beauty of an eagle flying in a crimson sunrise, and chimed in with the words of David: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God... (Psalm 53:1). Ancient man had no trouble connecting with God or finding a sanctuary he was sitting in one where every bush was ablaze with God and every creature looked to God for its daily sustenance (Isaiah 6:3, Psalm 147:9). Again by what he saw and by what he felt in his heart, he knew God as long as he was wise enough not to suppress that knowledge and worship creation rather than the Creator (Romans 1:18-25).
In contrast, how pitiful is modern man who, having polluted the heavens, sits in his concrete cubicle crammed with plastics, synthetics and electronics, who has never seen the God of the ancients nor tasted of His goodness, saying, “There is no God.” He is as a fish declaring that there is no water, as a bird denying that there is air, like a mole testifying that there is no earth, like a man or woman saying there is no mother or father.
Now enough of that! We see God is a God of measure from His first published book: the universe. We also know that God is a God of measure from the written Word of God. We know Him to be of such character by the way He gave the measurements for the ark and the temple, and by the way He interacts with us. Let us look at them in that sequence:
1. The ark: And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. (Exodus 25:10).
2. The temple: He measured the east side with the measuring reed, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about. He measured the north side... He measured the south side... He turned about to the west side, and measured ... He measured it by the four sides... to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place (Ezekiel 42:16-20).
3. His people: God cares about everything. He is not indifferent about anything. He gets involved in details whether you are preparing for a sermon to be preached to thousands or whether you are building a birdhouse. The Psalmist says, The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men... he considereth all their works (Psalm 33:13-15). He is not indifferent whether you go to a ball game, cut wood or go to a prayer service. He cares. He takes note (Revelation 20:12).
a) God measures our diligence in giving.
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again (Luke 6:38). He measures what you give to Him so that He can measure what to give back to you. If you give to overflowing out of your resources, He will return to overflowing out of His resources.
b) God measures our diligence in forgiving.
For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you (Matthew 7:2 Amplified Bible). If you want God to be gracious unto you, be gracious unto others. Jesus had every right to condemn the people who called out, Crucify him, but He said, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34). They crucified Him out of ignorance (Acts 3:17).
My friend, more often than you think, you also do evil things out of ignorance. Dear one, God watches, God hears and God measures. The one who does evil towards you likely does not know any better, since he does not know Christ, or does not know Him well. Remember in past times you too were such a one. Watch your heart and what comes out of your mouth. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment (Matthew 12:36).
God does not miss details. He likes it when we pay attention to details. Remember that He said: If you are faithful in very little, I will put you over ten cities (Luke 19:17). God measures. I know you don’t want to be measured, but like it or not, God measures you every day it is for your own good. There can be no Judgment Day unless God measures. Judgments are based on records. That is why God collects records every day. He wants to judge righteously. If you love God with all your heart, you will please Him and you will not need to fear the judgment (1 John 4:17-18). Only criminals fear the judge.
c) God measures out blessings according to the measure of our obedience.
Deuteronomy 11:13-23 gives a long list of blessings given to His obedient people.
d) God measures out the proper amount of grace for us.
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ (Eph. 4:7).
Here it is again. Yes, I know that God gives some things without measure, such as forgiveness to those who repent, but today I am writing about things that God measures. He does not give the same measure of grace to each person at all times. His measure of grace to each one of us depends on our calling, our gifts, our circumstances and His plan for us to become vessels of His glory. If He were to give us more grace than we need, we would become proud; if too little, we would wither and die. God did not give Paul the grace he wanted for his thorn in the flesh to be taken away. But He gave Paul enough grace to endure it so God could keep him humble and deepen His relationship with him for Paul’s greater usefulness (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).
The summary of the whole doctrine of grace is as follows: “God’s grace is always sufficient for you.” He will measure out enough grace to take you through whatever you need to go through. It seems at times He will let you go all the way to the brink, like He took His Son to the very edge of total collapse at Gethsemane, but in the end there was grace sufficient: an angel strengthened Him. That angel is still there, my friend, to help you.
And finally, God does not throw His grace about liberally like it is worthless. Because it is most precious and purchased by blood, it is given by measure. All who abuse it have reason to fear.