"But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). How can I read this and not think that our relationship with Christ is more than just a get out of hell pass? How can I read this and not think that the bar has been set so low when it comes to being a "Christian"? I think for some time I read this verse and just believed that this was just a verse that did not make much sense. Logically, one can not wrap their head around trying to be perfect. We celebrate perfection such as a perfect game pitched in baseball, someone bowling a 300 or getting a perfect score on some standardized test. But perfection for most people is some abstract idea that is unachievable. On our own that would be correct but with Your strength and Your grace, we can come to the point of giving our whole lives to You so that we can love You and others completely.
However, the church and most pastors (not the one where I currently serve) have set the bar far too low. Most "Christians" are not asked to sacrifice for fear of someone going to the church down the street. Most members are not asked to get their hands dirty serving the poor and broken for fear that a tithe check will not be in the offering plate this week. The Big Church, the church as the whole has to stop being consumed by numbers and money and become focused on growth and transformation that only occurs when we lives wholly devoted to God. Just this week, I wanted our small group to start meeting every other week because I was concerned about our group attendence not being 100%. I brought this up at the end of group after having a discussion about being willing to sacrifice everything and giving our all to You. One of my good friends brought the irony to my discussion the following day. How can I have a discussion about giving You less of our time right after we discuss giving You our everything?
At the moment that we decide to live our lives completely for you and not for ourselves is the exact moment that our desires change. So often, we are focused on our lives and just try and fit You into our priorities that we miss the blessings You want to pour into our lives when You have control of our priority list. When our desire becomes You, our lives will reflect it by how we spend our time, the conversations that we have, the way that we love, the way that we give and by the need to have Your approval and not that of man. "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).
Take it all,