~reflections~musings~inspirations~insights~and life lessons learned by one who is
whole-heartedly, steadfastly, firmly in HIS grip~

Romans 1:6 "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes..."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Perfecting Process

I began this morning thinking wouldn't it be wonderful if we were perfect? If we never said anything that hurt someone's feelings... if everything we did or attempted to do produced good results... now that would be a wonderful life would it not?

It would be fantastic to never disappoint anyone, especially God, our family, friends, and even strangers. Then maybe we wouldn't be disappointed in ourselves either. It is such a sinking feeling to realize that something we've said or done has damaged our witness to the lost and dieing. I mean, really, why are we held to such a high and great standard that the world, the worldly think we should be perfect, flawless? It sometimes gets so tedious... this searching, this striving for perfection.

I decided to do a little research...
Hebrews 10:12 "But when this priest [Jesus] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13-Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14-because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. 15- The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: 16-"This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds." ~NIV
It is the innate knowledge of the laws that brings on the disappointment in ourselves, and if we are honest, in others. Even the unsaved, godless, worldly population is aware of these laws; therefore when we claim Christ, claim the title Christian, profess to live as Christ... every flaw is noted... every mistake... every sin... logged for later exposition. It so reminds me of the bumper stickers I see on some people's cars, "I am not perfect - just forgiven."

Of course, Matthew 5:48 states "Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect." I have been a Christian for over twenty years and I have never accomplished that! Maybe that's what the author of Hebrews was talking about when he referred to, "those who are being made holy." I had to do a little more searching. Then I came across one of my favorite verses.
Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will." ~NIV
Ahhh, yes... it is a process, THE process... this living a life for Christ.

I remember when I first became a Christian immediately somethings changed - automatically - they just disappeared. Then as I studied the Bible, it was like I was looking at my life, my actions, my words under a magnifying glass... once I got all those things taken care of I was comfortable, thinking...now this is living the Christian life - and you know what? It was at that time God turned up the magnification and showed me there is still more to take care of.

Now please do not get confused here or take what I am saying wrong... I know that I am saved by grace, once and for all, and that these little corrections, this pruning, is not working out my salvation. It is simply the act of daily dieing to self so I may live for Him. Focus on Him...seek Him...please Him... for truly that is where the perfecting process takes place.

The more I read the more I found that perfect or perfection related to love. Not the love that is casually tossed about in the world but unconditional, true love... or should I say, the Truth Love. The Romans 12:9-21 kind of love... the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love. For now we know in part then we shall know fully even as we are fully known...

I'm feeling a little better now... I am resolved to run this race, this marathon that is the life of a CHRISTIAN - this march toward perfection, tempered in forgiveness and love - continuing to seek and search and do - always moving forward into the life for which I have been called. And so, I leave you with this challenge...
Hebrews 12:1-3 " Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witness, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus, the authr and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your soul." ~NKJ

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