Matthew 5:48 – Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
If we could live the way Jesus has told us to in this chapter, we would truly be perfect. We would never hate, slander or speak evil of another person. We would never lust in our hearts or minds, and not covet anything. We would never make a false promise, and always be completely truthful. We would let God defend our personal rights, and not take it upon ourselves to defend those rights. We would always love our neighbors, and even our enemies. But there is only One who has lived this way, Jesus Christ. What about the rest of us? How do we get into the Kingdom of God? Jesus was not primarily seeking to show us what God requires from the Christian in his daily life. However, it is true that Jesus has revealed God’s ultimate standard, and we must take it to heart. But His primary intent was to say, “If you want to be righteous by the law, you must keep the whole law, internal and external. You must be perfect.” When it comes to understanding the interpretation and the demands of the law, we must remember another aspect of Jesus’ teaching on the law. If we focus our attention on the command to love God and our neighbor, we will properly understand the demands and details of the law. The Apostle Paul wrote much the same thing, “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5.
Godliness does not come easily, but it does come with practice. This week, practice godliness both in your thought life and in your interactions with others. Be motivated by the love that God has shown to you and that He has toward you. Be quick to forgive those whom have wronged you in any way, because God has forgiven you of so much. You see, love covers a multitude of sin and helps each of us to be more like God and less like the world. The world seeks revenge when it is wronged, God desires reconciliation when a wrong is committed. So, if you truly desire to perfect and your Heavenly Father is perfect, then these traits must be evident in your life and in your heart. Remember, God has given you the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to be with you and show you how you are to act and respond in this life. The Lord will help you every step of the way, if you will let Him. God bless you.