raise the bar

I was reading the story of the widow’s offering from Mark 12, and I really thought that’s what I would write about. But then I kept reading.

“As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” Mark 13:1

And all I could think was “we’ve set the bar way too low”. Impressing humans isn’t all that hard.

Got a lot of money? We’ll give you the best seat in the house and oddly enough, we’ll give you free stuff. Because you’re rich and we’re impressed and it makes perfect sense that dinner would be on the house.

Beautiful? Wanna know how impressed we are by your beauty? We will stop eating. Stop. Eating. And we will get cut on, injected, plumped up and rearranged so that we can look like you. Because you’re pretty. And we find that impressive.

Good at your job? So good you’re famous? Well then we’re gonna need your autograph, mister.

And if you’re a star in the sports world…forget about it. We are your best friend. We’ve got your back. Cause you hit that ball like a boss and that impresses us.

If you move us at all, you too can become the next best thing. The preacher, teacher, worship leader we all rave about and secretly wish we could be.

There’s a reason that the bar the world has set for impressiveness is so low. They don’t know God.

The Body of Christ has no excuse for a low bar. 

“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” Isaiah 40:26

We know this God. He lives in us and we belong to Him. He is our Father and we are His children.

He has always been and will always be. He owns heaven and earth. He spoke the world into creation and formed a man out of dust. He can make mountains melt like wax and He gave the seas their limits. Demons tremble and darkness flees from His presence.

He hung every star and He knows their name and He knows the number of hairs on every head and every time a bird falls, He knows.

He brought water from a rock and rained down food from heaven. He keeps the snow and hail in storehouses and He knows where the lightning begins. The sun and the moon, light and darkness…they all obey His commands.

He can feed 5,000 people with a few fish and some bread and have leftovers. He walks on water, tells the storm to calm down and brings the dead back to life.

He stepped out of heaven to take the punishment for our sins. He died for sinners so that He could call them friends.

And because death could not hold Him, it will not hold us.

There is no power like His power and nothing, nothing at all can stand against Him. Nothing is too hard for Him. His Name is above every other Name and in that Name the blind see and the lame walk.

He pours out His Spirit and we dream dreams and we prophecy and we call Him Abba. Papa. Father. He pours out His Spirit and we are changed and we know what we never knew and we see what we had never seen.

He is clothed in splendor and majesty and the heavens and the earth declare His glory and rocks are ready to praise Him if we won’t. Rocks will praise Him if we won’t.

His throne is in heaven and ten thousand upon ten thousand angels encircle Him, crying “Holy!”. And all of heaven is waiting and the day will come when they will wait no more. The seals will be opened and the horses will be called forth. The day of reckoning will come upon the earth.

And those who are His will see their salvation at last.

Beloved, we should raise the bar for what impresses us.

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