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Perfection

Titus 3:4-7 – “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

I saw a sign today for a church body that said “No perfect people allowed”. I have mixed feelings on this. 

On one hand, I’m thinking “that’s fabulous!”  Sometimes I think non-church goers make excuses in their head for not going to church because they have the perception that churches are filled with people who think they are better than everyone else. Well, not mine! We all know we are sinners saved by grace. We don’t go to church because we think we are perfect. We go because we know we aren’t! We know that the only way we are going to make it through until the next meeting is by soaking up what we can with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We know that personal Bible study is important, but worshipping as a group is important as well. We are continually learning that our righteousness is not in ourself but in Christ alone. 

And then on the other hand, I think of Jesus. He WAS the perfect person. He was all God and all man. He is the only “perfect” person allowed in a body of believers. 

So, the statement “No perfect people allowed” is somewhat correct in that no person physically walking the earth today can or will be perfect. 

I think perfection is a misconceived idea. There is no way that we will ever be complete while walking the sin-filled soil of this earth. (By the way, you do know that perfect means “complete”, right?) Jesus is the only hope we have for the possibility of achieving this goal. It is only a life in Him that opens that door. And even then, that door is in Heaven. So enjoy your imperfect life. With Christ, soon all things will be made complete. 

The Day After – Revisit

This is a post from one year ago today. Enjoy!

Titus 2:11-14 – “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Have you ever disappointed yourself? You get caught up in doing something that has no eternal value and you find that you have wasted three hours. Wasted. Totally gone. No way to get back that time – ever. Then you come out of your stupor and think about all the things that you could have done in that time – all the things you should have done. And then you come across this verse and the guilt continues.

We were encouraged this weekend at church to live each day with the thought in mind that today could be the day of the Lord’s return, to look for that “blessed hope”. When I came out of my stupor of wasting time, I realized that I was not living this verse at all. I was not being a peculiar person. I was not zealous of good works. I was frustrated and mad at myself.

It’s tough to have a good rest of the day after that. I kept thinking of all the things that I could have done in that time. I asked God to forgive me. I know that He did. I John 1:9 reminds me of that assurance. But the question is, how am I going to make today different? God has given me life this morning. He has given me another opportunity to live out these verses. He has provided me with breath and choices today. Today I have to choose to live more like Him.

Princess, I want you to know and understand this – when you mess up, Jesus stands waiting to forgive you. And when He does, you have to forgive yourself. You have to choose to turn and walk away from that bad decision and move on. You can’t wallow in the could have and should have beens. That is exactly where the devil wants you. He wants you to feel sorry for yourself for the choices that you have made. When you do that, you aren’t being peculiar. You are acting like everyone else.

These verses in Titus encourage us to be different, to see things differently. We have a reason to do so – Jesus. All that Jesus went through for us, all that He suffered, and all He asks is that we choose to be different and follow after Him. Life is going to happen. You will make bad choices. Jesus will forgive you. It’s what you do after that forgiveness that makes you peculiar and zealous of good works. So get out there, princess, and look for that blessed hope while you are living a life worthy of Him.

A Special Kind of Crazy

Titus 2:11-14 – “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

My preacher made the off-hand comment this weekend that we were a special kind of crazy. It made me laugh but at the same time it made me think. Crazy…hmm…yep, that fits!

You see, sometimes we as followers of Christ are a special kind of crazy. We see things differently. We react to things differently. We have hope when hope is nowhere to be found. We are, as it is written here in Titus, a peculiar people. 

Here are some examples:

  • My grandma continued cooking Thanksgiving dinner one year as a tornado ripped through the field in front of her house. She said, “If the Lord wants me, He’s going to get me whether I’m hiding or not.” That’s crazy all right, but at the same time it shows faith. 
  • We are the type of people to smile and laugh at a funeral. We are sad to see that this person will no longer be with us but glory in the fact that they are with Jesus. 
  • We are the kind of people that go to the store for one particular thing only to find that it is not there, and then we say, “Well, I guess God didn’t mean for me to have it!” We trust in His ultimate decision in our life. 
  • We are the kind of people who say, “Good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise” when we are choosing to let Him guide our every move. 

You see, we as followers of Christ are a special kind of crazy – we are a peculiar people. We express this peculiarness in a few ways – 

  1. We try to live soberly. That means that we try to live with a clear mind.  We try to be purposeful in what we say and do. 
  2. We try to live righteously. Living righteously means that we choose to live God’s way. It means right living. 
  3. We try to live godly lives. That means that we try to mold and fashion our life after the life of Christ. 

Does this mean that we have to be perfect? Heavens no! Only one Man ever lived on the earth in a perfect manner – Jesus Christ. Oh, we may try and do the best we can with the sinful life that we live, but God understands. He wants us to do our very best and follow after Him, to make the choice to seek His leadership. But God also knows and understands that our best is still filthy rags in His sight. His grace and mercy are sufficient to cleans us of all unrighteousness. 

So, today as you live out your special kind of crazy, remember that you are a peculiar person if you have Jesus guiding your life. The world wants you to wing it and see what happens, do what feels right and reject any consequence. But we all know that this isn’t true or ethical or possible when you choose Jesus. Shed some light on your crazy and let others know about your “blessed hope” and why your are looking forward to His “glorious appearing”. 

    The day after

    Titus 2:11-14 – “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

    Have you ever disappointed yourself? You get caught up in doing something that has no eternal value and you find that you have wasted three hours. Wasted. Totally gone. No way to get back that time – ever. Then you come out of your stupor and think about all the things that you could have done in that time – all the things you should have done. And then you come across this verse and the guilt continues.

    We were encouraged this weekend at church to live each day with the thought in mind that today could be the day of the Lord’s return, to look for that “blessed hope”. When I came out of my stupor of wasting time, I realized that I was not living this verse at all. I was not being a peculiar person. I was not zealous of good works. I was frustrated and mad at myself.

    It’s tough to have a good rest of the day after that. I kept thinking of all the things that I could have done in that time. I asked God to forgive me. I know that He did. I John 1:9 reminds me of that assurance. But the question is, how am I going to make today different? God has given me life this morning. He has given me another opportunity to live out these verses. He has provided me with breath and choices today. Today I have to choose to live more like Him.

    Princess, I want you to know and understand this – when you mess up, Jesus stands waiting to forgive you. And when He does, you have to forgive yourself. You have to choose to turn and walk away from that bad decision and move on. You can’t wallow in the could have and should have beens. That is exactly where the devil wants you. He wants you to feel sorry for yourself for the choices that you have made. When you do that, you aren’t being peculiar. You are acting like everyone else.

    These verses in Titus encourage us to be different, to see things differently. We have a reason to do so – Jesus. All that Jesus went through for us, all that He suffered, and all He asks is that we choose to be different and follow after Him. Life is going to happen. You will make bad choices. Jesus will forgive you. It’s what you do after that forgiveness that makes you peculiar and zealous of good works. So get out there, princess, and look for that blessed hope while you are living a life worthy of Him.

    The Example

    Titus 2:7a – “In everything set them an example by doing what is good.”

    I have a chore chart. Seems juvenile, I know. But it has really helped to stay on top of things that need to be done here at home. Instead of panicking about getting the house all clean in one day, I spread the love over the whole week. It makes my life easier.

    I also have a chart for my kids. Yesterday on the way home, I tried to encourage them to do the things on their chore chart when they had light homework days. I have somewhat gone back to work and can’t do my stuff and theirs. I told them, “Hey, if I can work all day and can come home and do my chores before bed, you should be able to do the same thing!”

    Well, wouldn’t you know that when I got home, I did not want to do my chores. I had to MAKE myself do them before bed. Ugh! After that speech I gave, there was no way I couldn’t do them – even if it meant going to bed at midnight!

    The point is: You must be a good example – not only to the little people in your life, but to everyone you come in contact with. They are seeing the example you set and will make a decision about you based on what they see. Not fair, I know. But that is how things go.

    Paul was encouraging Titus to be a good example for the young men he was around. The same can be said for us as a princess.

    Today, be more cautious about what you say and do around your children, your co-workers and your significant other. Let them see Christ in you. Be the example.