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

The only two people I’ve ever known who are perfect are Jesus and my wife. Jesus is God, so that explains why He’s perfect in every way. My wife is perfect to me because she was God’s choice for me, and He never makes a mistake. I’ve always known God was perfect. My wife’s perfection was a mystery for a while, but in this season of our lives, has become crystal clear.

Of course, perfect can be thought of in many ways. We think of clothing that is a perfect match. Or furniture that fits perfectly in a room. Or someone may get a perfect score on an exam or in a game. But when it comes to human beings, perfection is something that has escaped us all.

Photo by Ikowh Babayev on

Yet, even though none of us are perfect in the same sense as Jesus – flawless, sinless, completely holy, and above reproach in every detail of His life – because of the grace and mercy of God, we can still be perfect in the sense of forgiven and made completely useful in the carrying out of His eternal purposes.

In the above verse, perhaps the best definition of “perfect” would be “complete, whole, mature,” all of which we can be through Christ our Lord. Another way “perfect” can be seen is “wanting nothing necessary to completeness.” As it relates to our relationship with Jesus, He is all we will ever need to be all He desires us to be.

While those of us who are in Christ are “perfect,” as we’re viewed through His royal robe of righteousness, gratefully, literal perfection is not God’s demand. What He does require is faithfulness. Hebrews 11:6 says: “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.”

So, if you’re interested in pleasing God, which I am, you’ll want to know what “faith” is. Again, the author of the Hebrew letter explains in 11:1: “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” The whole of Hebrews 11 gives vivid illustration to what faith looks like, through examples of many “heroes” of faith.

But what about me and you? What does faith look like for us? The author anticipated our question, so in chapter 12 he writes: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

What might that look like? “We do this be keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” How does He do that? The writer continues by talking about the discipline of the Lord. What does that mean? It essentially means we might fool everyone else with our pious opinion of ourselves, but if our eyes aren’t on Jesus, the Lord’s going to call us on it.

Keeping our eyes on Jesus speaks to attitude and attention. Attitude because we have to realize that without Jesus, we’re incapable of exercising faith that will please God. If we wrongly believe we can please God without keeping our focus on Jesus, we’re only fooling ourselves. Then attention because whatever holds our attention gives direction to our life.

We’ll look at this more closely in tomorrow’s post.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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