Philippians 3:12-14 (NLT)
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Nobody is perfect. Many people are good. Many folks claim to be godly. Some strive to be holy. But the truth remains, no one is perfect outside of Jesus Christ. Don’t worry there is still hope. Faith allows us to enter the race to possess perfection made available through the Blood of Jesus. No, you have not achieved it. It doesn’t matter who you are. Pride tells us that we may be close but the truth of the matter is we have all fallen short of the glory of God and our only hope of salvation and sanctification is the Lord. (Romans 3:23) But before you get comfortable and cozy in your inability to meet God’s Glorious Standard, please understand you have not been released from your calling. In fact, when you made the commitment to exchange your life of sin for the Lord’s Resurrection Power that gave you a new life, you made a promise to God. Forsaking all others, I choose you to be my Way, Truth and Life. How are you doing with that commitment? Many people made New Year’s resolutions two short months ago that they have failed to stick to. It happens all the time. Caught up in the emotion of a brand new start, they embark on a journey and soon lose their way. Although no one is perfect, we are all called to perfection.
Matthew 5:48 (NLT) But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Some people think that grace is an excuse for one’s inability to be perfect. But that is far from the truth, grace is our empowerment to strive for the purification, holiness, excellence and perfection found in Christ and become legitimate Children of God through His Blood. Grace allows us to continue the pursuit of perfection as we live in such a way that is conducive to spiritual blessing. It is a call to righteousness. But this is not how we perceive it or live it most of the time…
Matthew 19:21-22 (NLT)
Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
The young man wanted to follow Jesus. Religion was not enough. He did everything the Law of Moses requested yet still was unfulfilled. He was blessed with many possessions as obedience produced God’s Harvest in his life so much so in fact that when Jesus said to be perfect is to be willing to go and sell ALL your possession and give the money to the poor to insure ALL your treasure is in Heaven. THEN come and follow me. The young man could not do it walking away unfilled, discontent and imperfect. Imperfection is a lacking of one’s soul that can only be filled by the Spirit of God gifted to us by His Son. Jesus opens the door to the Presence of God in our life but we cannot haul all our garbage and idols. You can only take one thing. What is your one thing today?
Psalm 27:1-4 (NLT)
The LORD is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me,
when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident. The one thing I ask of the LORD—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.
The days of my life far exceed the seventy or so I am promised here on earth. While I am alive and breathing on this planet, only three things are eternal – faith, hope and love. (I Corinthians 13:11-13) They should be my focal point. Faith keeps me bound to the Lord Jesus Christ unmovable and unshakeable only compromised when I choose to let go of it taking hold of human reasoning or worldly philosophy. I am granted access to live in His Presence but my inability to disconnect from my possessions tangible and intangible on this earth prohibit me from the treasure that I have in Heaven. Faith becomes wasted on things we want that will pass away with time rather than reserving it for the things that are eternal like salvation. Hope is constructed on a foundation of faith based solely and completely on God’s Word, Will and Way. Yet, I hope for things that regularly occur day by day. The faith that I have been given by God has tremendous potential to blossom and become a mighty oak of righteousness that will bind me to confident hope in Jesus Christ that will produce a life of reckless and random love as this world has nothing else for me. Perfection is closer to the abased than the abounding because they have more capacity for God to fill with His Amazing Love. Is the One Thing you ask of the Lord and the One Thing you seek most to live in His House ALL the days of your life? Faith and hope are not for this world but the salvation that is to come. God allows us to exercise and use our faith to strengthen it and allow it to grow. But faith reaches its full potential when salvation is our destination and sanctification is our prize. Outside of that hope is useless because He has provided all that we need. The Lord blesses our daily life. We have everything we need to prosper. He has healed every disease. What is the problem? Wasted faith? Empty hope? Need perfection? Everyone does. Are you living according to faith, hope and love?
I Corinthians 13:9-13 (NLT)
Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
The greatest thing that will last forever is love. Our knowledge of God is partial and incomplete. It doesn’t matter how much time you study God’s Word. Hours of prayer still do not offer a clear picture of the enormity of God’s Love and Concern for each one of His Beloved Children. The more time I spend trying to get to know God the less I realize I really know. Anyone who thinks they understand all of God’s Way and His Perfect Will are wrong. Our knowledge is partial and incomplete (period). By grace, we have faith to continually invest in the process of getting to know the Lord, confident hope only in His Ability, Promises and Intentions toward us, and His Unfailing and Conditional Love that must continually flow through our life as it is the Blood of Jesus that covers our sin and allows us to live in amazing grace. Perfect clarity will come when we finish the race and claim our prize. We will know everything completely when we meet the Lord face-to-face. Be very wary of know-it-all Christians because it is not biblical. To live in the Presence of the Lord requires a heartbroken to sin and a teachable spirit ready to receive because we have nothing of value to give except that we were given by God! Love covers a multitude of sin. (I Peter 4:8) Just ask Jesus! He is coming to claim His Bride. It is a love story headed toward happily ever after for those who choose to live by faith, hope and love.
Ephesians 4:15-16 (NLT)
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
The only way to strive for perfection in life is to find ways to be more and more like Jesus Christ. He is the Head of our body. He makes everyone fit together perfectly. He does this with love so that by grace in spite of our sin, failure and insufficiency we are able to be complete lacking no good thing. (James 1:2-4) It will require your patience because the Body of Christ is made up of multiple personalities. It will take endurance. This race of faith is a marathon not a sprint. The altar is not your destination, Heaven is. Your life is a series of processes to remove those meaningless things that are hindering your faith, stifling your hope and robbing you of love. God’s Way, Will and Word are always wrapped in love. Preachers, apostles, teachers and disciples must live a life wrapped in faith, hope and love to secure the hearts and minds of the Body of Jesus Christ which was His Goal when asked His Father to give Him those who belonged to Him. Salvation is our ultimate goal. Sanctification is only obtained when we finish the race. You are not perfect. You have the potential to be perfect. It is a long and winding road called the Highway of Holiness. It can be a lonely journey sometimes but it is the one thing we must seek the most. It is paved in faith, hope and love. If you are seeking to live in the Presence of God and stepping on others to get there, you will never make it. Jesus Christ is coming back for His Bride.
Isaiah 26:2-4 (NLT)
Open the gates to all who are righteous; allow the faithful to enter. You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the LORD always,
for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.
Those who understand there is no such thing as “perfect” in the world in which we live have gained wisdom that will lead them to the Cross and obtain the righteousness Jesus has promised. The faithful can enter the Presence of God leaving the things of this life behind and grabbing a glimpse of His Glory. The Lord promises perfect peace to those who trust Him. Do you trust Jesus today? Do you have faith that extends past this life into Eternity? Is your hope confident that He who is promised will deliver on that day? Then let love be your mission as you work diligently to share His Word, His Will and His Way tempering everything with the Unfailing Love of Jesus Christ. You will live in perfect peace! You will arrive at perfection – one day!
Psalm 19:7-8 (NLT)
The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living.