“Now we see but a poor refection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to
face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
I am not the best guitarist around. In fact I am not very good at all. I can play some chords
and a few songs, but when it comes to being a perfect guitarist, forget it. Now
the more that I play, the more that I practice, the better that I become but no matter how hard I try I will never be the
perfect guitarist. That’s kind of like my spiritual life. No matter how hard I strive to be like God wants me to be, I fall far short. I am not all that great.
in Matthew 5:45, gives us a standard of how we are to be. “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Wow what a standard. We are to be perfect like God? How? If we are to be perfect, what is the standard for perfection? The definition of perfection is “The state of being without flaw or defect.” In other words there can be no flaws or imperfections in our lives.
standard is even tougher. In 1 Peter 1:16 God tells us to “Be holy even as I am holy” Now that’s a tough standard to attain. There is no way that
I, on my own, can be that holy. Why? What
is holding me back from being holy? Well for one thing it’s me. I am holding me back. Well not me specifically but the sin
that I commit is keeping me from being like God wants me to be – holy. And
it’s not just me, it’s everybody. Romans 3:10 says, “There is on one righteous, not even one…” No
one anywhere is holy. Verse 23 of the same chapter says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
It’s all of us.
So I am
imperfect – both spiritually and physically. Spiritually because my sin
has cut me off from God. It has separated us from God because God cannot abide
by sin. He is perfectly holy and I am sinful. And I’m imperfect physically
because my body began dying the day I was born. My physical nature has wants
and desires that are not in tune with what God wants for us in our lives.
Not only are we imperfect, we are living in an
imperfect world. Take a look around you.
There are wars, greed, deception, murders, theft, and on and on. Ok it’s
not really the world that is imperfect it’s our society. The
world is probably closer to perfect than you imagine. Take a look around you. Everything in the world was designed to work in harmony with each other. The cycle
of life – perfect ecosystem – except for one thing – us. Look
at how we have messed up the world and it’s been going on ever since we got kicked out of the Garden of Eden.
So it’s not really the world that we live
in that’s imperfect – that’s keeping us separated from God. It’s
the sin in our lives that separates us from God. And we are infested with it. Like
fleas on a dog or cat. The fleas don’t spontaneously happen. The dog or cat gets them by lying in an area that has fleas and the fleas cover the animal.
Our fleas are
sin. And our society is a bed of sin in which we live. We lie in our world and get covered with the fleas of sin. And
sin is worse than fleas as fleas just live on the outside of a dog and eat little bitty bits.
Sins are worse as it lives on our insides and eats away at our hearts and very lives.
the society that we’ve created that help’s to continue this cycle. Have
you ever heard the saying ‘Misery loves company”? Who controls our
society, what we call the world? It’s certainly not us. 2 Corinthians 4:4 (King James) says, “…the god of
this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not…” Satan
is called the ruler of the darkness of this world, the prince of the air, and so on.
He is also likened to a roaring lion that is looking to devour anyone he can catch.
Satan is in control of this world and if you
do not believe that just watch TV or even listen to the radio. Watch the evening
news about what is going on around you in your own community. There was a book
written call ‘Satan is Well on Planet Earth’. How true that is. He is thriving and we let him. Just look
at how people act.
I was in McDonalds yesterday with my young son
and there were a couple of young men who came in while we were at the counter and the language that was coming out of their
mouths was horrible. It was plain vulgar language and quite offensive yet people
just didn’t seem to take notice. They had become so desensitized that they
didn’t even notice it. That is almost everyone. An older gentleman at the counter along with his wife and several grandchildren politely walked over to
this young man and asked him to watch his language. You could see the stunned
expression on the young man’s face. This older gentleman stood up to what the world considers natural. How many of us
would have the courage to do that especially to a young tough who looks more like he would be at home spray painting gang
signs on a wall than buying a hamburger at McDonalds?
us that way. He wants us to ignore
him. That’s one of his greatest
weapons. To pretend that all is normal and that everything is ok. If this were a perfect world everyone would get along and be courteous to each other. Men would open doors for others all the time, other’s would say please and thank you the check out
counters in stores, and so on but it’s an imperfect world made imperfect by imperfect people and kept imperfect by
our apathy to what is going on around us. And this imperfection in
our society is growing exponentially and a faster and faster rate every day.
What was considered as vulgar and sinful just a few years ago now is looked upon as normal and natural.
was considered a sin just a few years ago but shown as natural today and if you speak out against it’s called a hate
crime. Same sex unions and marriages are gaining more and more acceptance than
it ever has. Satan is not just alive and well but he is thriving and in control
of our society and do you know what the bad thing is? We don’t even seem
to care and because of that we live in imperfection.
But don’t despair as there is hope. James 4: 7 says, “Submit yourselves,
then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Satan is afraid
of God and those who are in God’s control. We have salvation at hand. Just think of that word salvation. It
means that we are being saved - saved from this world and the sin that has so imbued itself in our lives.
Our means of salvation is God’s Son Jesus
Christ. The most commonly know verse of the Bible tells us this. John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world…” But a lot of people forget this one – Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.
Now there are some who might say, well that’s
good but I am too bad. The things that I have done God will not forgive. Or you might think that God only did it for certain people. That’s not true. Romans 6:10 tells us, “The death He died, He died to sin once for all…”
He died for everyone. Christ is our atonement for our disobedience to
God. Jesus lived in a perfect world call heaven.
He left it to come here to save us.
We earned death.
We earned what is owed to us. Romans 7:23 – “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We are saved from the imperfection of sin in our lives through faith in Jesus Christ.
Even though we have been saved we are still not
perfect. So we need to rely on Him on a daily basis. He has given us weapons to fight off Satan and his constant attacks. Ephesians 6:10 the armor of God - The belt
of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the spirit. All these are yours to protect you from that roaring lion called Satan.
When Jesus returns and we are taken home with
Him at last we will receive our perfect bodies. Bodies that are glorified and
we will live with God worshiping and singing praise to Him forever.
But let’s not forget those who live around
us. We need to follow the words in the book of Jude. Jude 22 and 23 – “Be merciful to those who doubt;
snatch other from the fire and save them…” Snatch from the fire – That means to grab them and pull them away from harm.
They are like a little child who doesn’t know enough not to put their hands in a fire.
It is our duty to warn them, to be merciful,
to save them by telling them about the love of Jesus who can change our lives from imperfection to perfection. We are God’s ambassadors to this sinful, imperfect world.