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Practically Perfect in Every Way

 

When I was 6 years old Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke hit the big screen with Marry Poppins. We had the album, and I grew up listening to the music. Probably every time it came on television, back in the days of 7 channels (hey we were lucky, we lived near NYC – much of the world had one or two if they were lucky) we were watching on our old black and white TV. When I was parenting my own kids we got the video and played it over and over again. This story is part of me.

So when I hear Jesus say

Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matt 5:48 NASB)

I think of Mary Poppins pulling out here tape measure and measuring the kids. Then she reached down to her foot and stretched it up to the top of her head and looked at her exact measure. It read: “Marry Poppins, Practically Perfect in Every Way.”

Mary Poppins aside, what are the implications of these red letter for us today.

The word perfect is the Greek word “Telios” which means to be complete, mature, lacking nothing in your training or preparation for life.

What Jesus is saying is that Christian maturity is measured, not in how much of the Bible you have memorized, on in how perfectly you fulfill all the rituals that your church makes you walk through – it is not how often you come to church, or how many ways you volunteer, how many committees you serve on, or whether you teach Sunday School or work in the nursery. It is measured in how much you look like your Father.

The mature Christian looks just like Jesus. And Jesus promises that this will result in the same kind of abuse that He suffered. In John 16 He tells us that people will think they are doing God a favor when they kill us.

Can a Christian be perfect?

Every Christian is in a walk toward maturity, but every Christian can be perfect. How so? As we walk in what God is showing us today, we are walking in the light. This is all that God requests of us. We are never to look at other Christians and compare ourselves to them, NEVER!

The Father knows where we are, and what we need. He will never expect more from us, than we are ready to give Him. Especially since the only things of value we can give Him are things He has given us to offer.

This is not true of Satan. Satan is the one who compares us to each other, and makes us feel inadequate, or superior. That’s right – superior. There is nothing but evil in comparing ourselves with others. No good can come from it. Jesus tells the parable of the 2 men who pray, and it is the religious man who says, “I thank God I am not like other men” and goes home the same way he came out – completely untouched by the hand of God.

We started this chapter (and this blog) with the poor in spirit, and this is the essence of it – I do not think of myself as better than those around me, or useless because of my youth or inexperience. God has each of us in a place and will bring us to “perfection” via a walk of perfection. We can be perfect as we become perfect!

Perfection is walking today in what God has put in your path. Jesus only did what He saw the Father did, and that was perfect.

Perfection is not the inability to sin, but the ability to obey God in the moment. [Tweet This]

I hope this helps.

Thanks for stopping in today.

Walk with Jesus today.

Ben

 

0 thoughts on “Practically Perfect in Every Way

    1. Ben Nelson

      Yes, I like how you put it - and that is probably where i fall down the most - I try to manage behavior and miss intimacy.
      thanks Greisy!

      Reply
  1. Jennifer N. Buczynski

    I've got to hear that song now! lol.
    The temptation to compare plagues me! The Lord recently revealed to me that I often feel insecure...so I guess it makes sense that I would be so tempted to compare to see how I'm doing. Father save me from comparisons!

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Oh man, I do too Jenn. And in both directions. One day I am better than everybody, then there is a hiccup and I am a failure.

      I have to get it in my head that I am just supposed to get up close to Jesus and forget the rest.

      Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Thanks for the Big Blessing from BB! - I gratefully accept. It is good to know that the Lord knows when it is time to work on various areas in our lives. As long as we stay connected we can keep growing, and i am convinced He is please.

      Reply
  2. Caddo Veil

    What a wonderful post, brother Ben--you always help us to keep walking in Him, to feel reassured and encouraged. God's love is really BIG, isn't it?!! May He bless you and the fam abundantly--love, sis Caddo

    Reply
  3. francisdrakeprivateer

    I only just put the following verse on the previous blog I was reading, and I then read your post!.
    Heb10v14
    For by one offering, he has perfected forever them that are sanctified.
    I like being perfect forever, even though my behaviour needs to do some catching up at times

    Reply
  4. Debbie

    I was so encouraged by perfection being the ability to obey God in the moment. May more and more of those moments come! Thank you, Ben, and God bless!

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Yes, It seems preachers like to use Christ's words to put some vague condemnation and feeling of failure into our hearts, when His words are supposed to be life - right?
      Bless you right back kiddo.
      Ben

      Reply
  5. meetingintheclouds

    2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that Christ TOOK my sin and GAVE me His righteousness - (What an amazing exchange!) I am clothed in the righteousness of Christ, therefore I am perfect.

    Now, I know I (I, myself) am not perfect: I am far from perfect, but as long as I am in fellowship with my amazing God, I stand before Him in Christ's perfection. That is my STANDING. My STATUS at times varies, but thankfully my Father draws me back to Himself in repentance and confession and once again we are in fellowship.

    Ephesians 4:13 tells me that God is working in me, perfecting me, and that His goal is for me to become "nothing less than the standard height of Christ's own perfection" (AMP). What a day that will be, when we "shall be LIKE HIM" 1 John 3:2.

    What an amazing God!

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Yes - Our God is an Awesome God. I am learning that though I often fall, or turn away from God, I actually am able to obey moment by moment in many more moments. Perfecting - and becoming perfect - one of those wonderful tensions of life.

      Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Hey - thanks for you kind words, and thanks for stopping by, and even more for lending your voice. Always great to meet a fellow servant (bond slave) of Jesus!

      Reply
  6. Kate Kresse

    Ben~ thanks for following my blog. I love what you wrote today, and this "God has each of us in a place and will bring us to “perfection” via a walk of perfection. We can be perfect as we become perfect!

    Perfection is walking today in what God has put in your path. Jesus only did what He saw the Father did, and that was perfect." really hit my heart today. It is so easy to beat ourselves up about our lack of progress in becoming perfect. But you are right, our quest to become perfect is also the goal. so very well said ~ kate

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Kate - thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation.

      This message can be hard to get for me because so many folks in the Church spend a lot of effort reminding me how we can't be perfect.

      This liberates me to walk without condemnation.

      Thanks again.

      Reply

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