“CAN YOU MEASURE ME?”                                  By Pastor YAU

Text: Ephesians 4:11-16                                             November 5, 2006.

 

INTRODUCTION:

1)   “Dad, can you measure me?”  When our boys were growing up, we used to measure their growth by marking a chart on the door posts near the kitchen, one on each side. We drew a vertical line from the ground up to 5 feet and made marks of every inch from 3 feet up. We used a pencil placed on their heads and made marks on the line and wrote the dates next to it. Every time we took their measurements, it was always an exciting time to both of us, parents and children, because we all wanted to see how much they have grown and growing is always exciting. Many of us are surprised to see children of our friends seem to grow up all of a sudden, but it’s actually a continual process.

2)   Measurements of growth: Growth is a popular term in the world today. Everybody wants to see growth: economic growth that can create more job, capital growth for those who invest in stocks and mutual funds means more money in their accounts, income growth means more money for the family to spend on needs and wants and population growth means national strength: officially the USA’s population has reached the 300 million mark at 7:45am, Tuesday, October 17, 2006, to become the third largest nation on earth. Growth is a wonderful thing. You plant a tree or some flowers, you want them to grow. You have a child you want him/her to grow. It is natural that we expect growth on things we do or have. But how do we know that things are growing unless we use some kind of indicators to measure them.

 

MODERN DAY MEASUREMENTS: The following are some of the common ways people are measured today:

1)   How much education: In this intellectual society, education usually is the first thing people notice about you when they meet you the first time either in person of through communication. That’s why many people will put their degrees after their name on their name cards or at the end of their email to affirm their status. I am for education and do admire those who work hard to earn their degrees. It is appropriate to recognize achievements in education. But using education to measure people may not be the best way on what that person really is. Education is only one side of people.

2)   How much money: While some people may openly disagree that money is used as the measurement, most people do rank people that way: the size of salary, the size of his house, the kind of car he drives, the brands of clothing he wears and the place he use to go for lunch. Measuring people with money reflects the modern day driving force of making more money whatever it takes. While being rich is nothing wrong, using money to measure the value of a person is far from accurate or meaningful.

3)   How much fame: Fame is status among people be it local, national or world-wide. People who have money will look for fame or name. They want recognition beyond their circles of life. There are many ways to get your name out for recognition: joining a prestigious club, running for social or political positions, doing things that make big news in a good sense, etc. Society has ways recognizing people who have extraordinary contribution to certain things such as science, fine arts and sports. While recognition given to people who have outstanding contribution is meritorious, fame does set them apart from the ordinary. So, people are measured by fame. Some even spend money to put their name in the “Who’s Who” publication thinking that will boost their name.

4)   How much power: This power thing is closely related to position. It could be position in a small organization like a church or a civic club to the presidency of a nation and everything else in between. We see state governors or US senators want to run for president, Congressmen want to run for senate seats. Millions of dollars are spent just to get in position of power. In business world, position in a company means power and control.

 

PROBLEMS OF WORLDLY MEASUREMENTS: The measurements most people use are of little value. Here are some of the reasons:

1)   They are self serving: Most of those who pursuit the measurements are aimed for personal benefits regardless of what they may say to the public. All of the above indicators and many others people want to be measured are self serving and not serving the public. It is selfish in nature and purpose. Therefore there is little meaning in them besides the person him/herself.

2)   They are man-pleasers: The above list of measurements and many others are made to please men both the pleasers and the pleased. In fact, most of us don’t really care who has what and much less are impressed by what they have. On top of that, there is no end in pleasing people. What is new and pleasing today will be old and nothing tomorrow. One thing may please someone but has no effect on others. Trying to please or impress people is always a losing business.

3)   They are empty in nature: All the above measurements and others may satisfy the desires of the person who pursues them for a little while but none of them can stay long enough to create meaning of life. That is why we have seen many of those who are highly educated, rich, famous and powerful lived miserable life, ruined by drugs and reckless life style and some even took their own lives. Things from the world can never truly satisfy the thirst and hunger of the soul.

4)   They have little Christian value: I say they have “little” Christian value to give some a little comfort, but in fact, they have no value in Christian principles at all. While all that we have including education, riches, position and power are all gifts of God, when we use them to measure people and rank them on their growth in those areas, we miss the important Christian value of life. God seldom, if ever, value people based on the above mentioned indicators. Those who were ranked high in those indicators may not be ranked high in God’s purpose on us. None of those things will have any value in heaven. Christian values are lot more lasting than any of these.

 

YOUR GROWTH GOD’S WAY: (Ephesians 4:11-16)

1)        Growing your gifts from God: (4:11-12) In these verses, Paul encouraged Christians to grow their usefulness by developing the gifts God has given them: Preaching, evangelizing, teaching and pasturing and many others. The gifts of God are like seeds that need to be fully used to grow their potential. Seeds that are kept unused will never fulfill their purpose. God has given to each one of us different kinds of gifts and He expects us to make use of them properly and diligently to maximize the potential of them. Paul also indicated that the primary purpose of growing your usefulness is your service in building up the body of Christ which is the church. Look at your church today: How much and in what way have you contributed to its growth? What part of your gift have you rendered in serving God through the church?

2)        Growing the fullness of Christ: (4:13) The full image and beauty of Christ are possible if Christians will strive forward in unity and knowledge, in maturity and wholesome life style. When we first accepted Christ, we were all baby Christians. God expects us to grow in unity by our relationship with one another; in knowledge by learning from His word in His church and in our homes; in maturity by exercising self discipline in our words and deeds and in attaining the full measure of Christ in our everyday life. When the full image and beauty of Christ is seen in us by people around us, we become channels of blessing to others so they will be drawn to God through us to receive eternal life.

3)        Growing in Christ, the Head: (4:15) The Bible teaches us that it is very important that we recognize Christ as the head of the church (Eph. 1:22) and of all individual Christians. We are to grow in the knowledge and practice of this truth in the church so everything we do in His church is subjected to His direction and for His glory. If Christ is truly the head of the church, we are all His servants and there is no one who may claim to be the head of the church. We are to seek His will and follow His guidance in doing His work. When Christ is the head of our lives, we are to seek His direction and to obey and follow His lead in all the things we do. How much is Christ the head of your church and your life?

4)        Growing in functions: (v.16) “From Him the whole body joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work.” Paul tried hard to tell us that no one ligament can build a house, so, no one individual Christian is capable of building God’s church. It takes all part or all ligaments to join together, to hold each other up, to support one another in love and to have each part doest his job faithfully and diligently that the body of Christ, the Church, will be built. To fully grow the functions of each one of us, we need to work together in humility, harmony and cooperation for the purpose of building the Church of Christ. How much are you functioning with other Christians in the building of God’s church?

 

CONCLUSION:

1)   Have you measured yourself lately? If you haven’t, why don’t you do it now? If you have, what is your measurement? Are you growing as you should? If not, find out why and remove the obstacles and begin to grow.

2)   What is your basis of measurement? What kind of measurement do you use to measure your growth? Do you use the worldly standard or the biblical standard in measuring your growth? Is your growth honoring God, helping to build God’s church? Are you growing more like Christ?

3)   The choice is yours: we all want to be functioning and useful. Get the right kind of mindset when you measure yourself. Follow God and His measurement and your life will bring lasting results for yourself and others. Don’t follow the world, follow the Lord Jesus.