A Low Standard Has Few Rewards
Are You Setting Your Standard Too Low?
Don’t you think you should try to improve your standards?
After this lesson, perhaps you will.
Too often, standards are set too low.
With such low standards, how can anyone excel?
How can we improve if we do not continue resetting the standard?
We should always be looking for improvement.
That way, we will better ourselves.
There will always be records that are considered impossible to break, yet somehow, we come to realize that records are meant to be broken.
Until May 6, 1954, the four-minute mile was thought to be impossible. On that date, Roger Banister did the impossible. And, within just a few weeks, several others had also run the mile in less than four minutes. We had set the standard for distance races too low.
The record for the “high jump” back then was 6 feet 10 inches, and the height at which the “bar" was set for the beginning of international competition was usually 6 feet 4 inches. A brash young man came on the scene declaring that competition should begin at the official record height of 6 feet 10 inches. He did not get his wish, but for the next eight months, national and world records were broken, some by that brash young man. Today we look upon those old records as an indication that, with proper training, athletes were capable of more than we had realized. We had set their standard too low.
Jesus Is The Standard
Jesus set a standard of spirituality for us that has been largely ignored.
When men and women discuss their “religion,” it is apparent that they have set the “bar” far too low.
It appears that most people believe that being a Christian consists of merely believing in God, attending a religious service three or four times a year, not abusing their children or stealing from their neighbor.
Surely, no one can look at where Jesus set the “bar” for righteous living and compare modern man’s standard.
We read in Isaiah 55:8-9 that : “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts”.
Since Jesus is God, His ways are higher than our ways.
And we are told in 1 peter 2:20-22 “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth,”
Jesus, the Son of God has set a standard for us that is much higher than man’s.
Notice from the passage we just read that Jesus “did no sin”.
What higher standard than that for us to set our sights upon.
Because the passage also tells us “that you should follow His steps”.
Now how does that compare to the standards we have set for ourselves?
Someone may suggest that God never expected man to reach such a high standard.
However, just as in the “high jump,” man does not excel until he sets his sights on a standard that is higher than it has been in the past.
Jesus lived a life that is worthy of our imitation, and the following traits He possessed should also be ours:
He Was Obedient To His Father
"I do always those things that please him,” John 8:29.
“As the Father gave me commandment, so I do,” John 14:31.
We should learn that if Christ pleased the Father by keeping His commandments, so we also will please God if we do the same.
“If you love me, you will keep My commandments” John 14:15.
His Love Was As Great As The Fathers
“Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him…be thou clean,” Mark 1:41.
“Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him!” Mark 10:21.
God loved us and gave us His Son (John 3:16).
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. Romans 5:8
He Possessed Moral Courage
“Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this He, whom they seek to kill? But, lo, He speaketh boldly” John 7:25-26.
“[He] was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” Hebrews 4:15.
Jesus spoke boldly about God and His kingdom.
The apostles spoke boldly about God and His kingdom.
We should speak boldly about God and His kingdom.
He Did Not Shrink From Responsibility
“He said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? know ye not that I must be about my Father's business?” Luke 2:49.
“Jesus saith unto them, My food is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work,” John 4:34.
Paul felt the same way.
“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” 1 Corinthians 9:16
He Was Focused
“The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost,” Luke 19:10.
“Jesus said, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God,” Luke 9:62.
So we should be focused on the things of God also.
“If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth”. Colossians 3:1-2.
He Spoke Plainly
“Jesus…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” John 3:3.
“I said that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins,” John 8:24.
Paul was also very bold in his speech.
“But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things” 2 Corinthians 11:6.
He Was Willing To Serve
“The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many,” Matthew 20:28.
“He rose from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. and began to wash the disciples' feet, and wipe them with the towel,” John 13:4-5.
If we are to follow the example of Christ, we should serve also.
“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another”. Galatians 5:13
These and many other qualities serve as a role-model for us, giving us an example worthy of following.
And we are given the task of doing just that.
Where have you set the “bar” in reference to your life and your example.
Are you content to be just a “pew-warmer”?
Do you truly believe that in giving just your leftovers to Christ that you are “following His steps”?
Yes we have a high standard to live up to.
If you have not yet lived up to the highest of all standards, it is time you get started doing so.
Consider what the disciples went through back then.
Get busy with His work and promote the kingdom of Heaven to others.
Jesus needs workers.
May you be one of those faithful workers doing your best.
By Carey Scott from an article by unknown author
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