"If you love only the people that love you, then you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are nice only to your friends, then you are no better than other people. Even the people without God are nice to their friends. So you must be perfect, the same as your Father in heaven is perfect."
— Matthew 5:46-48
I am called to be perfect! Especially perfect in my relationship with others. My goal is the character and compassion of God. WOW! What a challenging call. But the transformational nature of Jesus' love and his disciples' Kingdom Family lifestyle demand that we surpass conventional standards of righteousness and pursue the heart and character of God himself. Anybody can be nice to someone who is nice to him or her. But what about those folks God places in our lives as that grain of sand out of which we are to fashion our pearl? You know, those irritating, dependent, demanding, and critical people that God uses to fashion us into more Christ-like children or to confront us with our own selfishness. In the Kingdom Family, we're to rise above the mediocre standards of the masses and find the redemptive standard set by our Father!
Majestic, righteous, and holy God, I bow in worship and adoration at your kindness, mercy, and grace demonstrated to me in so many different ways. Work your righteous and character-altering work in me, and as I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, please make my character more reflective of yours. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, don't stand against an evil person. If someone hits you on the right cheek, then turn and let him hit the other cheek too. If a person wants to sue you in court and take your shirt, then let him have your coat too. If a soldier forces you to walk with him one mile, then go with him two miles. If a person asks you for something, then give it to him. Don't refuse to give to a person that wants to borrow from you. "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those people that do bad things to you. If you do this, then you will be true sons of your Father in heaven. Your Father lets the sun rise for the good people and the bad people. Your Father sends rain to people that do good and to people that do wrong. If you love only the people that love you, then you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are nice only to your friends, then you are no better than other people. Even the people without God are nice to their friends. So you must be perfect, the same as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Let that patience work in you to give the result God wants. Then you will be mature and complete. You will be all that God wants you to be.