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Striving for perfection

The world strives in its own ways for perfection in what does or what it thinks and they way they dress, look, and most of it is pretty superficial.  But Christians also strive for perfection to be like Jesus, and to know Him better.

Jesus made this statement:

48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

When I am cooking a meal that I like, like maybe spinach curry.  I put all the right ingredients, according to their measure from what I have been trained to do, and then I find that by God’s special touch, the food has come out perfect to my taste.

That’s the way God is with us.  He is the Potter and we are the clay.  He shapes us and molds us and perfects us into His very likeness and image, and each day He is delighted in the fruit that we bear and He says “perfect.”

John 15 says:  “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

Roses are very beautiful, but a good gardener knows that he has to trim the rose bushes for them to bear fruit.  He also has to water them and give them enough light.  The Word is the water, and Jesus through His Holy Spirit is the light.

Sometimes we go through valleys and ups and downs, but in the end that is because of discipline because the Word of God says, “No discipline is joyful, but is grievious and painful, but in the end produces peacable fruits of righteousness to those that have been trained by it.”

A sculptor is looking for beauty in his creation the same way God is creating beauty that comes from Himself within creation.  When the sculptor is sculpting He can mold the creation whatever way He deems fit, and when He is dealing with people, God shapes them each into a creation the way that He orchestrated and designed in His perfect will.  Some of the pieces may be abstract, or look kind of funny, or look misshapen, or may even be cracked vessels, but in them He is creating beauty.

Sometimes we are so bogged down by sin, guilt, and shame, that we do not see the beauty that God has created in us.  He’d rather us not feel sorry for what we did, then miss out on us seeing the beauty He put in us when He created us. We were fearfully and wonderfully made.  God knew us before we were in our mother’s womb.  We were knit so intricately and woven into pieces by perfect design, but He wants us to realize that design He created in us, after we accept the Holy Spirit in our life.  Before we accept the Holy Spirit, our righteousness is like filthy rags, but after we have the Holy Spirit, we take upon ourselves His righteousness, so we can no longer live in darkness, but obtain pure perfection which is in the light of Jesus Christ.

The Lord has given us joy, so we must not wallow in doubt, fear, unbelief, murmuring, complaining, and disappointments.  He is waiting for us to realize that all the time we’re missing just worrying about being disobedient to Him and being cast away from His presence.  Would a mother rejoice in a baby that refuses to love her?  Would a mother rejoice in seeing her child in pain?  No good mother would.  She would be grieved.  The same way our Heavenly Father is grieved when we don’t experience His love for us.  He is there for us when we need Him.  But sometimes when we are going through hard times we cannot see that so then in the journey to seek the perfection and complete maturity in Christ, we get weighed down by all these circumstancial things.

True perfection is a about an attitude of the heart, which can be shown by thoughts and words.  Your thoughts and words have to change before your deeds do.  You can do all the deeds, but if your intent and thoughts and attitudes of the heart are not right, then they are not going to bear the “perfect” recipe of delight to the Lord’s mouth.  He may have to go and sprinkle some more spices on you just so that you add up to that right flavor.  He wants you to be just right.  If we feed off Him, and take delight in Him, then it is a sure way channel to reach into perfection.  The more we rely on Him, and trust on Him, and just relax and not worry about trying to achieve and trying to grasp and trying and trying and trying….only to make mistakes over and over again, the more we will see it is about acceptance.  Like Hannah Hurnard says in Hinds Feet in High Places, – “Acceptance with Joy”.  The Christian life is the ultimate metamorphosis process, and without Christ people get lost in the way of finding what they are truly supposed to be like and in the end look for things that don’t really matter.  Each life is valuable and has purpose, and when we see a life wasted away, some of us look carelessly, and think, just another statistic, but to know what’s in God’s heart is a totally different thing.  That’s why Jesus had to come, because in the Old Testament God had rules for disobedience, and they did not follow, so instead, they gave a person, which is Jesus, who took on the personification of perfection and laid it down before us so we can grasp and attain it.  We are no longer living in this world of sin, but living as heirs of perfection of Christ through the Holy Spirit.

So all of this striving and reaching and attaining for perfection is in vain, unless you realize first why God created you, and your redeemed value in Christ.  It’s Christ’s mission to make you realize the redeemed value that you have in Him, and where you stand through His eyes.

There is wellspring of knowledge and insight, and presence, and perfection, of God through the Holy Spirit, only so much more than we can possibly hope to attain or seek in one life time, but Oh, to be with Christ, and to see the eternal salvation, that awaits us on the eternal side of this life, would bring joy.  We must also seek, therefore, on this earth to have that fullness of perfection in realization of the redemption of Christ, as we submit our own weaknesses and allow Him to make beauty and perfection out of them.  Because only out of Him does beauty and perfection lie.

 

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Perfect Love Casts out Fear

I need this message more than anyone I know.

Heavenly Father,

I pray that I am anointed to preach this WORD without fear, guilt, shame, or inferiority.  I pray for revelation and insight that will transform hearts and purify them as well letting them be able to receive the Truth of God’s Word.  I seal this post with the Blood of Jesus and let only what is suiting to Your purposes be fulfilled in me writing this post.  Give divine revelation and inspiration from the Holy Spirit.  Help me Holy Spirit not only to preach this WORD, but to see a transformation of my own life in this area.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

4 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the worldThey are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Verse 4 only applies to those people who have the Holy Spirit, which comes through accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Verse 6 points affirms the reading of the New Testament and validation of it.  The whole counsel of the Word of God is inspired by the Holy Spirit.  The He that is in you, is the Holy Spirit, and the he who is in the world is the devil.  We are coming into times when some people are going to start to be trampled on by what they believe and what we have believed before and thought was true and the very foundation that we were built on will be shaken.  So when you build your foundation on the rock, then you have solid footing and are able to face any circumstance that comes your way, but if your foundation gets tares along with the wheat, then only God can weed them out.

What is the foundation for the Christian faith?  Faith in Jesus.  This Faith is based on love.  Jesus said, “Be therefore perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”  Some people are bombarded with that statement.  How can I be made perfect?  How can I be like the Heavenly Father, who is so perfect and holy and people cannot stand to be in His Presence.  He is very holy, and how can we stand to be in His Presence?  Well the word there ‘perfect’ is from the word ‘teleios’ which is present tense. There is also the word ‘perfected’ which in the past tense is ‘perfected’.  For the sake of clarification  I’m going to bring out the verses backward.

1 John 4:20-21

Obedience by Faith

20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

It says here, brother, which means brother or sister in Christ.  I honestly believe that if you truly love God and possess the Holy Spirit you cannot hate your brother, or else you’ll end up feeling really bad.  You may not like what they do at all.  You may not understand why they do what they do.  You may see all the little things that they do, but you wouldn’t want to see harm in them.  You may want to set boundaries and space yourself away from them, but if they are in Christ and you are in Christ, you should make every effort to treat them the right way as to not dig yourself in to a bigger ditch and find yourself where it is even harder for you to be in that place with God.   This is how to put faith into action, and this is what is meant by James, ‘faith without works’ is dead.

1 John 4:17-20

The Consummation of Love

17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.

Take a close look at vs. 17 where it says because as He is- that means as the Father as, so are we in this world.  When we go to God we should not be afraid, because when we are afraid then we are tormented.  The way that our love has been made perfect is that we may have boldness in the day of judgment.   If you love your father and you know you have done something wrong you should be able to come to him and tell him I’m sorry for what I did, and not be afraid that he is going to hit you because of it.  There is no fear in love because fear involves torment.  So what about Philippians 2:12 ‘work out your salvation with fear and trembling”?  When cross-referenced with 2 Corinthians 7:15, which says “15 And his affections are greater for you as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him” a good Bible interpreter asks, “How can someone be afraid and trembling and receive them?”  So that means that it implies “excitement and respect”.  When you go to meet with God, there is a boldness knowing that you don’t have to be afraid.  In fact in this world if you’re a Christian there’s nothing to be afraid of, but we of course have fears and sometimes they are there for our protection, but according to these verses, you don’t have to be afraid of God’s judgment because that kind of fear brings torment, and not closeness with God.

Seeing God Through Love

12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

So now that we know that we can enter in boldly to Throne of Grace, without fear of judgment, and if we with our hearts love our brothers and sisters in Christ, and also showing love for the lost, then His love has been perfected in us.  So then we can abide in God and God can abide in us.  The enemy will try everything from negative thoughts, to toxic emotions, dead and dry seasons, condemnation and guilt or anything at all to take us away from realizing that God loves us as verse 19 says.

Knowing God Through Love

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to bethe propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

I’m going to express here again that this love is Agape, and it is the unconditional, self-sacrificing love which you can only get through Jesus Christ as it says in vs. 9.  It is not the kind of love between a boyfriend and girlfriend. Loving one another is the hardest thing to do.  Sometimes it flows so naturally out of us, and the other times it is so difficult. Forgiveness is the key to love.  Keeping this in the foremost of our heart that we need to love another and forgive them is essential.  You may not like what the person does, but don’t hate the person, or want to get back at the person.  Even if they are so wrong, the best thing you can do is pray for them.  Try to see the good in the person.  Try to see the best thing about the person you can find.

I want to say something to preachers, pastors, leaders, and teachers – You reap what you sow.  If you sow good seed, you’ll reap a good harvest, but if you sow bad seed, even the harvest that you have will dwindle away.  Bring words that build life and edify and build up the people.  Of course there are those that are called to rebuke, but there is a serious warning mentioned by Jesus:

LUKE 17:
Causing Others to Lose Faith—Matthew 18:6–10; Mark 9:42–50

1Jesus told his disciples, “Situations or (offense) that cause people to lose their faith are certain to arise. But how horrible it will be for the person who causes someone to lose his faith! 2It would be best for that person to be thrown into the sea with a large stone hung around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to lose his faith. 3So watch yourselves!

“If a believer sins, correct him. If he changes the way he thinks and acts, forgive him. 4Even if he wrongs you seven times in one day and comes back to you seven times and says that he is sorry, forgive him.”

In NASB it says:

1 He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against youseven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

If I have caused anyone to stumble in their faith, or been a stumbling block to anyone’s walk of faith, it was never my intention and I sincerely apologize.  I’m trying to still weed out the Truth from Lies and in my zeal for spreading the Gospel, I may abuse my position in order to get my insights out.  If I have brought guilt or condemnation to a new believer in Christ, then I sincerely apologize.  I myself am experiencing growing pains, getting out of the early years of a believer to going into the next stage, where everything shakes….but we need to hold on to the promises of God and for that we need to know what God says.

Please forgive me Matt Redman for posting your song lyrics here, but I am constantly reminded of this song at times when I think about Perfect Love Casts Out Fear –

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

(Chorus:)
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Christian lyrics – YOU NEVER LET GO LYRICS – MATT REDMAN 

http://www.christian-lyrics.net/matt-redman/you-never-let-go-lyrics.html#axzz1rV4uyvMr