A fixed standard. We have fixed standards when it comes to maybe mixing ingredients, when we have a to bake a cake or to make some sort of meal. We have a certain amount of flour, we have a certain amount of butter. That’s a fixed standard. We have to add into that mix. Maybe some of us are athletic and we have a fixed standard when it comes to the length of a football field or a basketball court. Those are fixed standards. Tonight I want to speak a little bit just for a few moments on a fixed standard in the word of God. Second Corinthians chapter number ten. And we don’t have time tonight to expand upon the whole chapter. One of the things I enjoy about Brother Dale, when he comes, he really takes his time going through a whole chapter and expounds each and every verse. I think I was warned I only have about 1520 minutes. I can be very careful to do that. So if you forgive me, I’m just going to share just a few verses tonight. Two corinthians chapter number ten. And again, just for context sake, this is one of Paul’s most intimate letters wife. It’s almost as if he’s having to vindicate or to vouch for his own ministry. There are individuals in his own churches that he’s helped to plant and to start that are basically going behind him and challenging his apostleship, challenging his motives, challenging what exactly type of person he is. So he has to try to vindicate himself. And we find this in Two Corinthians chapter number ten. And just a few verses tonight. I want you to look at verse number, I believe it’s verse number twelve. Notice what it says here. It says, for we dare not make ourselves of a number or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves. You know what he’s talking about? He’s talking about these individuals who’s challenging him behind his back. Well, sadly to his face amongst the congregations that have seen Paul labor in the Lord, that have seen Paul cry tears for their souls, that has given his own sweat in his labor to maybe build tents or maybe to share with them food, whatever it is these individuals are now taking advantage of him while he’s gone. And he’s talking about these individuals commending themselves basically being part of the patch yourself on the back club saying boy oh boy, I have so many master’s degrees or doctorates, boy oh boy, I have so many of these things. I have this big a congregation. Boy oh boy. These just they really think high of themselves. You know, John the Baptist wouldn’t be allowed in many seminaries today because of his accreditation. But let’s keep reading. It says basically we dare not make ourselves with a number or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves. But they measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise. Here it is. But we will not boast the things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God has distributed to us. A measure to reach even unto you, for we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reach not unto you, for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ. I want to share just a few moments about this measure he’s talking about, and it’s going to be challenging for us to hear. Let’s go to the Lord in prayer. Heavenly Father, we thank you for the scripture text today. We thank you Lord, for this number have come out. Allow us Lord, not to be so easily offended, but to be encouraged and challenged to want to do more. Allow us Lord, just to have your Holy Spirit lean to God, not only in my speaking, but the hearts that will receive your word in Jesus precious name. Amen. Again, I’m not going to keep you too long this evening. Just a few moments. I want to give you a few points on this measure of Paul’s. Number one, notice, if you will. First of all, this measure of Paul is personal. It’s a personal measure in verse 13. Don’t let that italicize word scare you. The writers were inspired. Again, not really inspired by Godly, Weenings, but to make the text understandable, it says our measure. He’s not talking about their measure anymore. He says our measure in verse number 13. And it says the measure that we have been given, it’s a personal measure to Paul. You see, we often forget that each and every one of us in this church house, we have a personal measure. We cannot hold ourselves to the standard of Paul. We cannot hold ourselves to the standard, even to the pastor. We have to hold ourselves to the fixed standard of ours. We each have a personal measure. It should not only just bless you, but also kind of give you a hesitancy that the Bible tells us in two Corinthians five, that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that everyone may receive the things done in his body according that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. What exactly are they going to be looking at? What exactly is God going to be measuring? Is going to be measuring your measure, your standard, your personal standard tonight. You see, again, like I said, it’s not the preacher standard. Though I can encourage you and preach you as you’re blue in the face, I cannot predict and I can’t make what your standard is, it’s not mine. Many of you guys probably think the preacher standards are too high anyway, or maybe on the other hand, it’s not high enough, at least for other people. It’s not the congregations measure. You see, if that was the way it was, we would say, well, I’ll start doing things when everybody else starts doing things that’s the congregation measure. And it certainly isn’t society’s measure. We look at the world today, how awful it is, how cruel it is. The world will have you think, number one, it’s not even worth it. And number two, there’s no use for it. Your measure, it’s a personal measure. Now don’t feel bad. Throughout the word of God, we’ve seen many examples of where individuals think that very way. In fact, if you remember, the Apostle Peter was challenged by Jesus Christ three times. There were three times he was feed my sheep. This is your measure, Peter, feed my sheep, feed my sheep. He even goes to far and says, you’re going to give your life, you’re going to be stretched and you’re going to be led by someone else. Which eventually would lead to what? His crucifixion. You’re going to die for me, Peter, that’s your measure. What did Peter say? You see, he saw good old John in John chapter 21, he said Peter saying, seeing him say it to Jesus Lord and what shall this man do? What about his measure? And Jesus was saying, I’m talking about your measure. We each and every one of us have a personal measure tonight. Here’s a challenge for you. Are you meeting it? Are you even reaching for it? Did you even know you have one? We all have a personal measure. Number two, notice if you will, the placement of this measure. See, not only is this measure personal, there’s a placement to this measure. In verse 13 it says, but we will not boast of things without our measure. Again, that’s personal. But according to the measure of the rule, which what, which God hath distributed, you see, this isn’t something Paul volunteered for, this is something Paul signed up for. If this is a good old Baptist church like our good old Baptist church is in the back, we usually have sign up lists. If you want to donate to this charity, if you want to sign up for this nursery work, if you want to make baked cookies for the next bake sale, sign up, you’re singing pastor, I don’t remember signing up for this measure. When exactly did this happen? Because you didn’t sign yourself up for it, god did. The word they’re distributed, it not only means divided, it means to assign. God has assigned you a measure. You’re saying, well, how did he do that? When did that happen? The Bible tells us in Ephesians, chapter two, verse ten, for we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. That verse right there, we all probably know by heart. That tells you right there, first of all, how you came of this measure. It says, in Christ Jesus, the moment you became saved, the moment you believed he died on the cross for your sins and he was buried in rose again, the moment you became a new creation, this new handywork. Guess what? You were signed up. You want me to scare you a little bit more? It even happened before then. You’re saying you’re asking not only how it happened through Jesus Christ being saved, and also in that verse of episode chapter two, tells you when it happened. It says which God hath before ordained. I love in the scripture how we’re given so many illustrations and literally so many true realities, how God created this world, how he thought about it, how he constructed it, how he manipulated. The book of Isaiah 4012 says this who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and meted out heaven with the span and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountain in scales and the hills in a balance. Speaking of God, think about this. While he was weighing, while he was measuring, while he was scaling, he also came up with a measure for you which he before ordained. He predestinated these good works, your measure, which he’s created you to do when he was making these beautiful mountains that he was talking about a brother was talking about West Virginia, how he loved all these hills, all these mountains. Think about when he made those. Even before he made those. He thought of you and your measure. And your measure. See, that gives you the how. That gives you the when. And I like this ephesians. Chapter two also gives us the why it says these good work so we may walk in them. You know what that means? That means do them, that you can live them. Christmas is coming up, and I’ve already heard my mother ask my children for Christmas list. Wish list. You know, we have the wish book. You realize that when God makes these good works, when he creates these measures for us, it’s not a wish list, it’s not a hope list. It’s not a if you get around to it list. It’s a do list. And it is God that has created you. You see, it’s a personal measure, but it’s also notice the placement of the measure God has done us. Let me ask you a question. What have you done with God’s measure? What have you done with God’s measure? Have you met it? Are you even reaching for it? Did you know anything about it? Number three, notice, if you will, here’s what I really you might step on your toes a little bit. Not only is it a personal measure to Paul, and not only is this measure a placement by God, but also it’s a practical measure. It’s practical. The Bible tells us here it says, for we notice in verse 14, for we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure. That basically means we’re not going above and beyond. We’re not doing things we weren’t called to do. No, this is what God has given us to do. I’m not doing more and I’m not doing less. You’re not asking me to do too much. You’re asking me to do what I’ve been created for. It’s practical. Now, I’m going to let you guys get a little secret, a little behind the curtain of pastors. Many times pastors can see there’s a lot of individuals in the church that are doing too much that are going beyond their measure. You know, I was reading this Facebook post about individuals talking about their heroes when it comes to the things of God, and they were mentioning all these great giants, Charles Spurgeon, and they even go back and suck up a little bit. And the Apostle Paul, you know, some of my greatest heroes are as a Sunday school teachers that say I’m going to teach every Sunday and every Wednesday because no one else does. I’m going to work at nursery because no one else will. Those are heroes. But listen to me, they’re being stretched in. Why? Because there’s so many individuals that don’t even care about that practical measure that God has created them to do that they could achieve so that we have. Everyone else was spreading thin and wearing out and being torn down, being discouraged. How many individuals in the church are just quitting? Because I heard one brother, it broke my heart. He says, you know what? I finally got back in the church, and the minute I got in there, they had me doing everything. Number one, praise God, I’m glad he’s doing something. But number two, what they say about the people who were there? They were doing nothing. It’s practical. God has created us to do these things. It’s our measure that God has placed and distributed and assigned to us one of the great, again, parables. Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Matthew. Chapter number 25. For the kingdom of Heaven. As a man traveling into our country who called his own service and delivered him his goods. And to when he gave five talents to another two and to another one. To every man according to his civil ability to what they could do. He didn’t give the one who he gave two five to. And he sure didn’t give the one five. The one that one could do. It’s practical. These measures are practical. Paul’s saying, I have went as far as I can even to you, to spread this gospel of Christ. Why? Because this is my measure that I can do. It’s practical. And lastly, you didn’t think I could do four points in 1520 minutes. Praise God, I can. You see, you cut out the jokes. That’s what you do. Cut out the illustrations and get right to the point, get to the meat. But this is a very challenging one. This is a very blessed one, this measure. Not only is it personal, not only is the placement important to know, not only is it practical, but number four, it has a purpose. It has a purpose. I think I heard my father say this one time in the message and I’m sure he’s heard it from someone else. Has it ever occurred to you that nothing ever occurs to God? He never comes up with some plan or some scheme that’s frivolous? That doesn’t mean anything. Everything he asks us to do and has called us to do here it is. And has commanded us to do, and it’s for ordained us to do. Listen to me. It has a purpose. Notice what it says here. It says, for we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure as though we reach not unto you, for we are come as far as to you also in preaching what the Gospel of Christ? There’s a purpose. There’s a purpose. You see, the gospel is still important. It’s still the utmost importance. You see, I’m saved already, preacher. I don’t need it anymore. Listen to me. The gospel is not just a saving mechanism, though it does save souls. Amen. It saves the lost soul. It redeems the lost soul. But here it is. It also reminds the lackadaisical believer of what Christ has done. You see, the Apostle Paul said this in one Corinthians 15 but by the grace of God, I am what I am. And his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain. Here it is. But I labored more abundantly than they are. Yet not I, but the grace of God which was within me. Again, this grace that God has shown and bestowed upon him. Disgrace of salvation, disgrace of mercy. This grace of calling what the chiefest of sinners to repentance. He’s saying, that’s why I labor. You see, it was still working on him. It wasn’t just to see me safe and get me out the door. No, no. I still think back to that grace and I’m still working. I’m still serving. It’s our fuel for the ministry. It redeems the lost soul. It reminds the lackadaisical believer, and it reinforces the young. You see, this is where it hits home to me. I see little Pastor Davis’s little boy there. I don’t know if it was him or not. I believe it was, but he came to one of Dale’s revival services and he came he was wearing a suit and tie, walked in. He was wearing a suit and tie, walked in. See, I can’t give my son ties. He’ll tie me up with them. I can’t do that. So yours is a little ahead of the game, but boy, oh boy. Our youth certainly is being challenged today. Our children are being challenged today. You’re thinking, boy. You’re right. The world is so evil, the school systems are so corrupt. Listen to you know what’s really even more challenging to these young people is seeing their mommies and daddies not caring about their measure. I’ve challenged everyone I meet when they talk about their children and getting into a ministry. I say, Listen, the children see their Sunday school teachers once, maybe twice a week. They see the preacher every once in a while when they’re not in children’s church having cookies. Amen. But they see you every day. What about your life? What about you? Azure represents the gospel of Jesus Christ to them. And we have to start from scratch. Now, people we live in a world listen to me. They don’t even know if they’re a boy or girl anymore. A young age, we’ve got to hit them with foundational truths early. And the greatest foundational truth we must hit them with is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not just to be saved, but to live through it and buy it. And more importantly for it. You see, this ministry he had, this measure that he was reaching for, this ministry that he knew God had given to him. This ministry that he took as his own. It had a purpose and that was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let me ask you a question tonight. Are we meeting our measure? Do you even care about your measure? Did you even know you had a measure? Listen, it’s personal. We all have one. The placement. God has assigned it. It’s practical. You can do it. And it has a purpose. One corinthians two. Two. Paul would come again. Paul was probably a great preacher to many of souls. He said this for I determined not to know anything among you say Jesus Christ and him crucified the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That was Paul’s measure. Praise God. We have them as well. Let’s close. Heavenly Father, we thank you Lord, for this challenge You’ve given to us from Your Word. We ask you to bless our hearts and minds and not as we continue this service that we will be continue uplifted and challenged and realized that we have a measure ourselves. Something that we have not created on our own, but something that you have gracefully and mercifully and purposely given to us. And Lord, that great purpose of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it saves souls. It encourages and challenges the believer. But it also is there for our children and our grandchildren. Lord, just challenge us as we continue this service. In Jesus precious name. Amen.