Tag Archives: perfection

1 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10-11; Titus 1

In the New Testament, Paul shows the contrast in example (elders versus rebellious people)–because people are watching. He appoints Titus to select elders in each town.

An elder must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his wife, and his children must be believers who don’t have a reputation for being wild or rebellious. An elder is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or dishonest with money.

Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life. He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong. Titus 1:6-8, NLT (emphasis mine)

Because there are other influencers who are turning whole families away from God.

10 For there are many rebellious people who engage in useless talk and deceive others. This is especially true of those who insist on circumcision for salvation. 11 They must be silenced, because they are turning whole families away from the truth by their false teaching. Titus 1:10-11, NLT. (emphasis mine)

Circumcision isn’t a qualifier for salvation in my circles, but I do know people who imply that service, perfection, charity, etc. are markers of salvation. I feel cautious about sharing my bad-day feelings with them, feel pressure to push myself to serve/host/give sometimes at the cost of peace in my home (or in myself). In recent weeks, I’ve tried to balance so many things that when a child’s health problem (and lifestyle changing diagnosis) got put on top, I found I was dropping pieces–distracted, forgetful, stressed, overwhelmed, grouchy.

I kind of need a reset.

I look into an elder’s role, an example, and I see the starting block of faith/belief. So, I’ll start there.

Lord, you know the things that have been pulling me into so many directions they’re pulling me apart. Lord, I give you my heart and my life, because it’s safe (loved, precious) in your hands. Thank you for being able to handle my bad-day feelings and for giving me peace (especially when I dropped it all). Please speak into my life about discipline and wisdom. Thank you for putting so many people into my life to be an example and encouragement through this change.

Courtney (66book365)

 

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

1Chronicles 3,4; Hebrews 9; Amos 3; Psalms 146, 147

I asked a group of kids how they viewed the Lord–whether they saw him as a friendly neighbor or as a close brother. The answers were mixed, and I was ok with that. They are teenagers, and for the most part, have had few hardships in their lives. At least for me, it was through hardship that Jesus moved from a place of weekend worship to one of daily need.

Through regular time in the Word and prayer, and through life circumstances way out of my control–he told me he holds it all together.

The more time I spend with him, the closer we become–just like any relationship. I think of him throughout the day and look for him through his creation.

15 He sends his orders to the world—
    how swiftly his word flies!
16 He sends the snow like white wool;
    he scatters frost upon the ground like ashes.Psalm 147:15-16 NLT

I’m not perfect. I sin. I’m terrible at confrontation. I’m prone to worry. I eat too much chocolate. And I shake and tremble after a slight 23 seconds of holding a plank before I drop to the floor. Fortunately, he’s not impressed by strength.

10 He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse
    or in human might. Psalm 147:10 NLT

He’s all about heart.

11 No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him,
    those who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:11 NLT

Courtney (66books365)

This morning, listening to Hillsong’s Christ is Enough.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan

Matthew 5-6

Scripture

You have heard that it was said . . . but I tell you . . .
     (5:21, 22, 27, 28, 33, 34, 38, 39, 43, 44, NIV)

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  (5:48, NIV)

Observation

Jesus sure does know how to ratchet up the stakes.  “You have heard that it was said,” he proclaims . . . do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not break your oath, an eye for an eye, love your neighbor.  “But I say to you” . . . don’t get angry, don’t lust, don’t even swear at all, turn the other cheek, love your enemies.  Lest we miss the standard, he lays it out for us: “Be perfect” – just like God is perfect.

So, is Jesus setting forth an impossible standard?  Yes, absolutely.  To his audience of rule-followers who thought they could be “good enough” by following the letter of the law, he has a simple message:  you can’t be “good enough.”  The righteousness God desires will have to come from outside of you – it has to be God’s righteousness added to your account by God Himself.

Application

I meet a lot of people of who are trying to be “good enough” to get into Heaven.  They think that when they die, their good will be weighed against their bad and whichever side is heavier, wins.  Jesus is saying here, no, that won’t work — your good will be measured against perfection, and your only hope is to have His righteousness applied to your scale.

I have to say, I’m still prone to the “good enough” trap myself.  Even as a believer who has accepted God’s righteousness as a gift through the work of Christ on the cross, I still find myself measuring my “goodness” against others – at least I’m not as bad as him, or thank God I don’t do that.  Too often, I lose sight of the fact that the one I should be imitating is perfect and the only way I can imitate him is to let him transform my life.

Prayer

God, I want you to transform me from the inside out.  I want your righteousness to change me and to make me like you.  Help me to renew my mind constantly, to relinquish control of my life, to allow your love to shine through me.  Help me to be a conduit of your love to others and to point others to you.

(wordisalive)

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Filed under Matthew, New Testament