Topic: Be Perfect (Anglican Devotional 14 February 2021)
Today’s Scripture : Matthew 5:38-48 (NKJV)
38. ” You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
39. “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
40 . “If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have [your] cloak also.
41 . “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.
42 . “Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
43. ” You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44. “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
45 . “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 . “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47. “And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more [than others?] Do not even the tax collectors do so?
48 . “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Jesus summarised His lengthy teaching by charging His listeners to be perfect just as their Father in heaven is perfect. He taught things that are not easy by human effort to do: (1) Non-retaliation – no ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’; (ii) Loving your enemies, blessing those who persecute you as against, love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ These are things the Father does which made Him perfect and which we are enjoined to emulate. The Father makes His rain to fall for the righteous and the unrighteous the same way He allows the sun to shine for all. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”(Rom. 5:8).
Being perfect, as our Father, is by the grace of God. Many people aim at perfection in life in various aspects of life. The perfection referred to goes beyond secular activities. We have to live our life beyond the normal level or yardstick of men. We have to live our lives according to God’s dictates. Our righteousness must be above that of the Pharisees. The measurement will only be Christ and not man. Since it is God that demands it from us, it is possible. In whatever you do in the Christian race, strive to be perfect. Jesus’ grace is enough: Don’t quit!
Dear Lord, you are perfect, may you help me to be perfect like you.