Posted on : Monday April 9, 2012

By Ken Stalls, BCM/D President and Pastor of South End Baptist Church, Frederick, MD

Ken Stalls, BCM/D President and Pastor of South End Baptist Church

What a question. Measure up to what or whom? Do you measure up now? Did you measure up in the past? Will you measure up in the future? Does it seem to you that whatever measuring stick you use, it seems always to need adjusting?

When I was in college the second time, I had been out of school for ten years. I was not in the best physical condition of my life. My clothes apparently had greatly shrunk. After all, none of my older clothes fit. In the midst of all of this, I found out that I was required to take a physical conditioning class in order to graduate. It was composed of swimming and running. Running? I had not run since…I honestly did not remember running since high school sports.

I started out with the swimming portion of the class and did much better than I thought. That section with what seemed like a marathon of laps around the pool concluded with having to tread water in the 12-foot-deep section of the pool for 45 minutes. I actually survived and received an “A” for that section of the class.

The running was a different matter. I felt like I was dying with every step. My teacher who was actually younger than I was at the time made me a deal. He said that if I managed to run one and a half miles in a certain time and would lose 30 pounds (measured before and after by the coach in front of the class), he would give me an “A” for the course. I ran and ran and ran. I finally managed to be timed in the required time limit. I was actually faster than all but two other students, all of which were at least 10 years younger. Every thing came down to that weigh in on the last day of class. I was totally confident. I had weighed at home and I knew that I had made the goal by at least five pounds.

The teacher called the whole class together and had me step up on the scales. It was one of those old scales with the big round dial right in front of you as you weighed. I watched and was horrified to see those scales reflecting that I not only did not reach the goal, but in fact, had missed it by over 10 pounds. I began to complain to the teacher that something was wrong with the scales, only to hear him saying, “Yeah, sure. We all buy that; right, class?” When I turned around they were all laughing, and it was then that I noticed that the teacher had his foot on the back of the scales. I did make the goal and got an “A” for the class.

Sometimes, it seems that life treats you the way that teacher was doing me. The harder you try the further behind you seem to be. It is as if someone is going around constantly changing the measuring stick of your life.

The Good News is that we have something incomparably better with our Lord Jesus Christ. He says that we don’t have to measure up when it comes to our salvation. The fact of the matter is that such a thing is totally impossible. It is only by God’s Amazing Grace that we are saved. All who come in repentance and faith in the work of Jesus Christ will be saved and none will fail to make the grade with Him. What a blessing to know that in God’s eyes, we do measure up because Jesus has already measured up. God’s grace is sufficient and always will be. That is Good News. Why not share it with someone in need of it today?

Thanks for the continued blessing of serving as president of our convention. May you be totally blessed by our Precious Lord every day.