Strive for Perfection, Just as Christ is Perfect!

Scripture: Matthew 5

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matt 5:48 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

At the conclusion of a chapter devoted to telling us how to live a true Christ-like life, Jesus tells us that we are to strive for perfection like the only perfect One – Himself. I feel like there are several things to consider here:

  1. In Character: When we continually sin and just shrug it off to excuses like: “Well I’m sorry, after all I’m just human” or “It’s OK, I know that God will forgive me”or “Well, there’s always another chance for me to try and do this right”, then I believe that we are giving in to being a child of this world and accepting the pitfalls and weaknesses of this world rather than placing our faith solidly in the hands of the almighty and striving wholeheartedly to be like Him. Let’s aspire to be as much like Christ as possible. He will see our sincerity and help us through our human flaws;
  2. In Holiness: In striving to be more like Christ, we will find that love for, and service to others, become a priority in our lives. God showed mercy and love even to those who hated Him and chose to fight against Him. Look at how He healed the soldier in the Garden of Gethsemane. Let’s remember that we are chosen by God to carry His love into this sick world and represent Him in all of our interaction with sinners.
  3. In Maturity: Christ-like maturity doesn’t happen instantly. Just like we expect more from a teenager than we do from a child, or more from an adult than we do from a teenager because of the years of maturing into adulthood, so it is as we study God’s Word, learn more about Him and how we can become more like Him. We should be showing signs of maturing more and more each day. Friends, we don’t mature into adulthood strictly by what we learn in school – we learn it from our everyday living. So it is with maturing as a Christian – don’t depend solely on what you may learn from a weekly sermon. Get into the Word (God’s book of instruction) and learn daily what it is that God is teaching you that day to help you mature in Him.
  4. In Love: We must seek to love others with the same love that Christ loved us. He gave His life for us, while we still hated Him, while we plotted to kill Him, while we spat in His face and mocked Him. We weren’t deserving of His love, yet He gave it all to show His love for us. That’s the kind of love we must have for those that we come into contact with daily.

Christ calls us to rise above mediocrity and be perfect even as He is perfect. When we strive for this perfection we stop accepting anything less. One day we will be perfect, just as He is perfect!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that I serve the only perfect one. My desire is to daily grow to be, or mature to be, more like You in every way. This means that I am striving to also be perfect. This requires my daily time on Your Word and my ultimate desire to overcome the things of this world that will distract me in every way possible. However, I have the confidence in knowing that I serve the only One who could give me the strength, wisdom, desire, boldness and power to overcome the sinfulness of this world and strive for ultimate perfection in You. Please give me a constant desire to be more like You so that others may see Jesus in me and want to also know You. thank You for providing such an example for me to follow and mature in.

Who Is Your Serpent?

SCRIPTURE Studied: Genesis 3-4

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman.5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” Gen 3:1-5 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

God provided a perfect world for Adam and his family to live in. He provided everything they would need to eat, and the beautiful garden/atmosphere in which to enjoy life. Although it is tough for us to recognize this today, but God has also provided everything we need today to feed ourselves, and He has also given us the beauty of this earth to enjoy. God established commandments/rules for Adam and his family to follow, much like we find in God’s Word today for us to follow. Adam’s family wasn’t satisfied with all that was provided, so Eve chose to follow what a serpent told her to do. Cain, out of jealousy for his brother Abel, and out of spite for the correction handed to him because of his giving to God, killed his brother. This is not much different to what we do today. Like Eve, we would rather listen to our daily horoscope or a palm reader, rather than looking into God’s Word for answers to our problems. Like Cain, we quickly find someone else to blame our actions on, and we will quickly eliminate anyone that stands in our way of progress or success. We may not murder, but we gossip about, or try to disqualify the individual in order to lower the acceptance of that person in the eye of the one we are trying to please. As in the day of Adam, God still provides everything we need today, and He has given us His book of instructions to follow. We often tell our child that we can give them direction from the advantage point of experience. In God’s Word we can read story after story about experiences such as this one today that shows us what happened when God’s commands were not followed. We have the advantage point of the experiences detailed in the Word, but like in Eve’s situation we allow some serpent to lead us instead of God and His Word.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because of what He said here today?)

Father, I realize this morning that I may try to cover up my deeds to those around me, but You know my inmost feelings and the desires of my heart. You know all about the ‘serpents’ that I allow to rule my day and guide my thoughts and actions. Please may You find me useful in Your kingdom and therefore constantly looking for ways to overcome the evil one. I must take this life very seriously, because You have only given me one chance to walk this road. May I not wander from the path You have established for me and may I always seek Your favor to overcome the ‘serpents’ that will seek to destroy me, my family, my church family and those that I love. You are greater than all the situations that I may face today, please be my guide, protector and lord so that I may stay focused on You and Your desire for my life. May You receive honor and glory for all things accomplished through me today!