Last week, I mentioned Preston asking if being baptized meant he had to be perfect. My response to him was under the mindset that technically on our own we can never be perfect. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells the crowd that they “must be perfect”, so I have some reconciling to do!
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)
Whenever we read the Bible and sense a contradiction or of something doesn’t seem to fit, we need to pause, pray over it, and seek to understand context. To go with this, I reflect on one of my core beliefs: I believe the Bible is the authoritative, authentic, complete, and accurate divine inspiration work from God Almighty. I also believe that the world wants to deceive us into thinking otherwise.
Another word for perfect is complete, and as I looked around for the word complete in the Bible I found it tied into one of my favorite descriptions for scripture. These two verses bring together the value of the Bible as well as why we need to read it and follow it; so that we may be complete (or perfect).
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Father God, we ask you today to supernaturally make us perfect as we repent and turn from our sin, as we look to your son Jesus for forgiveness, as we seek guidance from your word through the Bible, as we pray for Holy Spirit guidance. Thank you for your words that offer the Kingdom of Heaven for those who are poor in spirit, for comfort to those who mourn, and inheritance to the meek. We ask you to give us a hunger and a thirst for YOUR righteousness; that we seek you and not the world to satisfy us. Reveal to us where we need to show mercy. Give us pure hearts today so that we may see you. Allow us to be merchants of peace in a world full of war, anger, and hatred. Forgive those who persecute us for your sake, and teach us to forgive like you do God. Amen.