Moral Perfection

Matthew 5:48

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

What is your standard of morality? How do you determine what is good? Who establishes the moral compass in your life? Where do you discover the best moral practices for your life? Why is morality even important?

We live in a time of vast knowledge and accomplishments. Today’s enterprises make past historical periods obsolete. Whether science, technology, agriculture, construction, medicine, education, or commerce, every field of study has made an immense contribution to the human experience. Yet people still cannot get along with each other. Nations still go to war with other countries. Couples who yesterday could not live without each other, now hate and despise one another. And even family members and next-door neighbors rarely speak with those closes to them.

Generally speaking, as a people, we are highly knowledgeable of the material world around us. But at the same time, we are spiritually blind and depressed. We are the outcome of our own doing but blame others around us for our problems. We willingly accept the lies thrown our way because they make us feel in control and important. Instead of accepting a universal standard which works for all sides, we rather fight for our “rights” as we determine what those “rights” are. Justice is subjective to our ideal. There is no objective criteria everyone can agree too.

Enter Jesus.

When HE arrived on the scene the Roman empire was in power. Beside the Jewish community, the religious establishments included Caesar as lord, houses of sexual worship, and many other gods for your choosing. Entertainment included large crowds gathered to watch lions slaughter humans, and athletes fighting each other to the death. A world where the strong devoured the weak.

Under such a domain Jesus came along and began to preach the good news of the kingdom of God. His teaching was revolutionary for the people and culture of the time. The same is still true today.

When HE set the goal of moral perfection based on HIS heavenly Father as the objective standard of measurement, HE blew apart the minds of his listeners. They were satisfied with their self-righteous attitude keeping the Law given to Moses. Jesus not only emphasized the behavior aspects but also raised the bar to include one’s attitude and mental thought. Who could live up to such a standard?  

Jesus’ set the bar very high for his disciples: Perfection as measured by God Himself.

Impossible, you say?

Do you think Jesus would expect something from his students that they couldn’t achieve?

The bar is high because God’s purpose for you and I is higher than we can imagine.

God’s macro-objective is to raise a family who will join HIM in his work of governing a universe. He expects HIS children to imitate HIM throughout the world. And HE always provides the means and resources for HIS people to abide and fulfill HIS desires.

For those who accept HIS vision and purpose, HE provides HIS Spirit and strength to live within you. As we submit to HIS authority, yielding our carnal desires to HIS divine nature, HE leads us toward a fuller life patterned after Jesus Christ.

Our goal is to become perfect in relationships with HIM and all those around us. HE becomes our universal standard of perfection. We model our life around (Eph 5:1) HIM. When others join HIM in the same quest, the world becomes more reflective of HIS attributes and less prone to chaos, confusion, and evil.

We cannot become perfect unless HIS perfection lives in us. HE is the goodness we seek and yearn after. When HE is allowed to live HIS life in us and through us, we will then see the road to perfection become real. Until then, we are fooling ourselves and destructively playing god in his place.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager, Faith-Integrator, Scribbler

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Why Read the Bible?

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

There are multiple reasons to read the Bible. Though one of the first options you may want to choose is simply to transform your thinking to better understand the mind of God.

My recommendation for those who have not read the Bible and do not know where to start, is to begin with one section – the Book of Ecclesiastes. (I accidentally did over fifty years ago which began a life journey searching for God, Purpose, and Truth). Many scholars believe Ecclesiastes was written approximately three thousand years ago to a worldwide audience responding to life’s more metaphysical questions which are still pertinent today – the pursuit of happiness and meaning.

Afterwards, then begin a plan to read the Bible from the first page in Genesis through the last page in Revelation with only the theme of discovering the mind and character of God. You can skim through many of the details this way and focus on the parts which reveals God’s interaction with humanity and how specific people walked with God. These sections will give you greater insight in who God is and how he relates similarly and differently with people in various circumstances.

Such an exercise will open your mind to better understand who you are choosing to follow in a relational, covenantal agreement. Don’t you want to know everything you can about a person you want to spend the rest of your life within marriage? The same is true with our relationship with the Living God.

On the other hand, if you have a certain topic on your mind, you may want to use an online concordance to search all the Scriptures pertaining to your subject. This is the way I initially started to study the Bible. In fact, the first topic I ever chose to search was money. Since I was going into the business arena and enjoyed making money, I wanted to know everything the Bible discussed on the topic. Years later, I am still learning and still find enjoyment to discover new aspects about money, which was always in the Bible, but now viewed from a more holistic perspective.

You probably have subjects which currently are at the top of your mind. Why not search the pages of the Bible and discover what 1,500 years of collective writings by forty authors assembled together with the same Spirit reveals about human nature, God’s divine nature, and solutions which have proven successful over time?

The pages within the Bible reveal the mind and heart of God in comparison with the heart and mind of humanity. Over time you will acquire knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of how people may best apply themselves to live an enrich and fulfilling life now and hope for the future. You learn how God designed the world with purpose, mapped out for us how best to succeed, and provide the means and resources to live a free, flourishing, and fulfilling life when done according to HIS way.

Yes, it requires relearning the falsehoods taught by this world’s culture, and accepting personal responsibility for one’s choices, but as one learns God’s good Will and lives by HIS way, one moves into a new created order reserved for HIS children who want to experience life the way HE created you and I to live from the beginning of time.

Read the Book. You will be astonished by the insight you gain about yourself, others, and God.   

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager, Faith-Integrator, Scribbler

Available for Your Devotional Study: 

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Lie Traps

Psalm 116:11

I said in my alarm, “All mankind are liars.”

Yes, we all lie. We lie to others, and we lie to ourselves. But some lie from an evil intent (Psalm 7:14) and others lie from denial (Psalm 12:2). Some lie from pride, and others fail to tell the truth for fear of losing out (Isaiah 59:4).

But God never lies (Titus 1:2). Satan on the other hand is the father of lies (John 8:44). Both speak from their character. Those who deliberately live life intentionally spreading harmful lies will end up in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). And even those who practice small lies, may have a tough time living under God’s favor (Psalm 101:7).

God really gets upset with those who lie in HIS name (Jeremiah 23:32), speaking from their own minds (Jeremiah 14:14) yet giving credit to HIM. So, when the lie never is fulfilled, God gets the short end of the stick. Yes, the end result is always the same, a life, business, or nation built on lies will not profit from them and will not remain standing (Jeremiah 16:19).

As a child, I learned that most people would rather believe lies than the truth. The lie was easier for them to digest whereas the truth was so uniquely rare people had a more difficult time accepting it. As one grows up, one slowly discovers the entire culture practices lies without acknowledging them as harmful. Yet lying, which I had to repent and learn the hard way, builds shaky relational structures which given enough time will collapse whatever TRUST was built between the parties. But aren’t our lies only to protect the pain from others?

We lie to be polite and unoffensive in our relationships.

We lie to avoid conflict rather than deal with an issue.

We lie to overcome the shortage of value in a product to a potential customer.

We lie to coverup our true feelings and intentions.

We lie about the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny.

Yet these lies we accept as innocent and a natural part of community living. On the other hand, we have politicians who constantly lie to us about matters of the State.

We have advertisers lie to us about their product or service.

We have countries lie to one another under the guise of propaganda.

We have people who angrily lie on the witness stand so they may see the destruction of someone who they hold bitter resentment or hatred against.

We have people deliberately lying to each other to gain something from the other which they desire and can’t honestly disclose their true intentions.

Lying is a natural, human weakness we either accept and play along or we acknowledge its harm and intentionally develop coping mannerism to combat the problem.

Yes, I believe there is a time to lie. When the hostile army is looking for an enemy of the state and you are protecting that person’s life, your intention is to save a life which supersedes your white lie at the moment. Many non-Jewish people were placed in such a situation during WWII and stood up to the genocide.

But to intentionally lie and cover up the truth for personal gain is a motive which comes into discussion. Lying and using God’s name in the process of protecting non-life situations is something we all need to be careful when treading water.

As believers, Jesus instructed us “to be shrewd as snakes but as harmless as doves” in our adventures through life. We are to reflect the glory of God in our dealings with one another. Yet we also must realize we live in a fallen world were Satan and his army deliberately spread lies and encourages lies between people. We need to discern the truth from the lies and weigh the situation for our response.

In most cases, we will smile and accept the situation as non-threatening and be polite. In other times, we may speak up and question the matter more in depth to arrive at the truth of the matter. Either way, when we walk with the Spirit, built on the Word of God, we will follow HIS lead and accordingly respond with love and courage.

We have all lied. Only God knows the real cost or value of those lies. HE will judge us.

HE will discipline us when needed, and HE will encourage us when needed. But meanwhile, be careful with all the news, gossip, opinions, stories, and narratives you hear being told. Seek out the truth and don’t jump to conclusions until you have acquired as much evidence and facts to truly understand the matter. Until then, realize we live in a lying world, but God has given us the truth to live out life within HIS domain today. So always lean on HIM and let HIM lead you into all the truth.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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