I have to say, it felt great. I was energized doing it. I was excited to do it and blessed to be able to give this message. I thank God for this opportunity. The music Sunday was very enjoyable as well. We had a small group but I think we sounded great. Sometimes less is more.
Anyway, I thought I'd share the message with you. This isn't it verbatim but if you would like to see it you can go here in a few days. It started with the reading of this scripture.
Matthew 5:48 Be Perfect therefore, as you heavenly Father is perfect.
Then this video...
Ok, what we have seen here is many things that we see or perceive as perfect. The perfect body, the perfect husband, the perfect wife, the perfect family, the perfect car, the perfect smile..lots of perfects. Lots of things I’m perfectly NOT.
The definition of perfect that we tend to think of is “To be entirely without fault or defect”. “Flawless” is another term that comes to mind.
This tends to cause us to either do one of two things when we see this scripture, this command from Christ.
1. To be inspired
2. To be depressed
Inspired… motivated to live a Godly life.
Depressed… we know we can’t fulfill it. So we can’t fulfill the command of the gracious and loving Christ to be perfect, then we know we can’t live in His will, in God’s will.
So, what does that say about God’s will for our lives?
There are many that feel that God has a perfect plan for each and every one of us and if we live our lives in his perfect will we will be greatly blessed.
In the late Kyle Lake’s book “Understanding God’s Will” He calls this the God of 100%. .. He actually got it from JB Phillips book “Your God is too small”.
God of 100% is a God of performance… perfect standards for us to follow… perfectly.
We realize we can’t fulfill this and it hurts our relationship with God, with Christians, with The greater Church.
We as Christians and churches perpetuate this feeling by laying out ad campaigns or discussions like this.
SLIDE OF ENGINEERS LOOKING AT BLUEPRINTS WITH THE WORDS "FIND OUT THE PLANS THAT GOD HAS FOR YOUR LIFE"
We say things like..”oh it was in God’s will”
This can’t be right..what about dating, fiancées marriage, mom
What is God’s will for us?
How did God intersect Gods self in to our lives?
How did that person show us to live?
It was a process.. Disciples were learners. They didn’t just live like they were told, they lived as they were shown to live and they had interaction and they discussed and they tried and they failed .. Disciple examples of selfishness, failure etc.
Yes, they had hard lives too. Living in God’s will does nothing to promise you that you will have an easy or blessed life. It may mean that you handle whatever junk comes you way in a peaceful and graceful way as Christ would have.
The word perfect in the Greek differs from the original definition. The Greek word is teleois, which means to be complete and mature. Instead of trying to be flawless, Christ desires for us to grow up, to become mature and complete in Him.
The message version of this scripture does a very good job of making that point.
Matthew 5:48 (The Message)
48"In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you."
There is a segment of a movie that I think is the best move speech of all time. It’s the half time speech by Coach Gary Gaines to his Odessa Permian football team in the movie Friday Night Lights. I think it really brings home what being perfect is.
Let’s take a look at it.
Coach Gaines video…
You’ve done everything you can do.
Love in your heart
Joy in your heart
For your brother..
But when we go back and re-examine this scripture..let’s look at the scriptures leading up to this.
Matt 5: 43-47 says: 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor [h] and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
So really.. to be perfect, we are to be learners, followers, try and fail and try again people that want to live like Jesus.. and we are to be gracious and generous to others and we are to LOVE. PERIOD.
No judgments, no qualifications.
Let us pray…
And in case Jody Anderson reads this..yes we did and invitation after the prayer..
Thanks to my lovely wife Donna for creating the slides and the videos for my service. She always does a wonderful job.