What Jesus Did! 'Perfect!' — Matthew 5:46-48

Saturday, March 6, 2021

[Jesus continued:] "If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."
— Matthew 5:46-48 NLT

Key Thought

I am called to be perfect like my Father in heaven! Jesus emphasizes that this is especially important in my relationship with others. My goal is the faithful lovingkindness, righteous character, and graciously compassion of God. WOW! What a challenging call. But the transformational nature of Jesus' love and his standard for the 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!

Today's Prayer

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 influence 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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Colossians 1:28
  • James 1:4
  • 2 Peter 1:3-4


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Illustration of Matthew 5:46-48 NLT — "If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.