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"But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48, New Living Translation)
How's that for some Saturday morning encouragement? Really, Jesus? Be PERFECT? Who could possibly do that?
There are two answers to that question: Nobody and Everybody.
If by "perfect" we mean "sinless perfection" (never being or doing wrong, always making the right decision, never yielding to temptation), then we should just give up and tell Jesus, "Thanks, but no thanks. You are being completely unreasonable and there is no point in even trying."
But, what if that's not what the word "perfect" means? Actually, the word that Jesus used means "complete, mature, having reached a goal." The Amplified Bible translates Matthew 5:48 this way: "You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect."
With that understanding in mind, who could do that? Actually the answer is still, "nobody." Here's the kicker: God is complete (perfect) in and of Himself. We are not called to be perfect that way, and that's a good thing, since we can't.
But, if we find our maturity and completeness IN God, through Jesus, then to whom is that available? Everybody. This "perfection" is not achieved by what we do. It is revealed by what we do as we surrender ourselves more and more to Jesus, so that we are moving more and more toward fulfilling the purpose for which we were created.
Question: Which idea of "perfection" stimulates your walk with Jesus?
Leave a comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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