We Need Neighbors Who Set the Bar High - Apples of Gold - August 20, 2012 -vi-
Apples of Gold
Radio Script for August 20, 2012
“We Need Neighbors Who Set the Bar High”
Hello, I’m Doug Apple…with Apples of Gold.
My neighbor is moving and my lawn hates me.
My neighbor was a lawn guy, the guy who fastidiously cares for his lawn.
He set the bar high for the entire neighborhood. His lawn looked so good it put pressure on the rest of us.
Now that he is moving, I feel that pressure going down – and I don’t like it.
I am not very motivated from within to take great care of my lawn. Oh, I’ll keep it trimmed up nice enough, but I’m not too concerned if it’s lush and green and thick. I’m not a lawn guy.
But I care more if I know my neighbor cares. If he sets the bar high for lawn care, I will try to live up to his standards – and that’s better for the whole neighborhood.
But what if no one sets the bar high? What if no one in a neighborhood tries to make his lawn look great? Well if no one does, the whole neighborhood will go downhill.
Someone has to set the bar high, and as soon as they do, the whole neighborhood benefits.
Now watch this. That also applies to other areas of life. We need neighbors who set the bar high.
In baseball I think of Albert Pujols. You hear about his work ethic and his standards of excellence. When he went to the Angels this year, his work ethic raised the bar for everyone.
In football I think of Tim Tebow. I read one article that said he was the hardest working man in the weight room. When he went to the Jets, I think he instantly raised the bar for starting quarterback Mark Sanchez.
We need people around us who raise the bar.
I remember as a young man hearing Jimmy Swaggart preach hard against adultery. His preaching raised the bar. Now I know he fell, and I know some people discounted his preaching, but that doesn’t change the high standard that was not Jimmy’s anyway. It was God’s. And that preaching raised the bar high for me, and it was a good thing.
Our pastors should raise the bar for us. Our elders and deacons should raise the bar for us. They set the high and good example, and their example puts pressure on the rest of us to live right and Godly and walk in the Lord’s ways.
Someone needs to be raising the bar, or the rest of us will let our standards down, sin will creep in, we will build our lives on sand instead of the rock of God’s truth, and we will all suffer for it.
Where should the bar be set?
Look at Ephesians 4:13. Here is the goal, that “we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
Wow. I completely love that phrase, “…to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
The New Living Translation says, “…measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.”
Jesus set the bar impossibly high, but then He empowers us through His Spirit inside of us to walk in His ways as we submit to Him.
But then as the body of Christ, and His congregation of saints, we influence one another. We have a mighty influence on each another!
So let us raise the bar. Let us live up to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us kick our sin and our flesh to the curb, and walk in His holiness, and His love, His mercy and His grace, His fire and His Spirit and His light.
It’s all in Christ Jesus, my friend. He is the perfect man, “the measure of the stature of the fullness.”
So let us look to Him, and let us set an example for the others. Let us be the neighbor that raises the bar in our own lives, and then watch, just watch how it makes a difference to everyone around us.
When one neighbor raises the bar for himself, it subtly raises the bar for everyone else.
Let us be the neighbors who raise the bar, for the honor and glory and praise of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
E-mail me: email@example.com.
May God bless you today! With Apples of Gold…I’m Doug Apple.
© 2012 Doug Apple
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