You’re Not Perfect, and It’s Okay

Jude 24+25

24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Today’s devotional text is rather short when compared to some of the other texts we’ve used. But being that this is the last devotional I’ll be writing for this website (OneWay’s new pastors will be taking over beginning next week), I wanted to leave you with a bit of encouragement from Jude’s epistle.

Over the years of writing this blog and teaching weekly Bible studies I’ve made it no secret that I believe God expects a certain type of behavior out of his children. I’m not a Christian who adheres to the “easy believism” or “sloppy agape” philosophies of Christian living. I believe my responsibility as a Christian is to always put my best foot forward and do the best I can to be the best I can be.

At the same time, I’ve come to the realization that I am not perfect. That may sound like a no-brainer, but far too many Christians strive to be perfect according to some standard set up either by their church or their own imaginations. Over the years I’ve counseled with plenty of believers who have created, in their own minds, this picture of what a perfect Christian ought to be. Then they destroy themselves trying to attain a standard not attainable even by the apostle Paul himself!

In nearly 29 years of being a Christian I have learned to take refuge in the fact that I am not perfect AND God does not expect me to be. One of the hallmark Scripture references of my life is:

“Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues.

 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.

 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.

 For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.” (Ps. 78:36-39)

God does not expect perfection from you and I because he knows we can never be perfect. He only requires a broken and contrite heart, accompanied by a willingness to obey and serve him. If I can do that much, he will clean up the messes I leave through the blood of Christ.

To that end I also rest in the promise of I John 1:9 which says,

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I’m sure you’ve heard throughout your Christian walk the exhortation to “rest in God’s grace.” But what does that mean? It means to believe and accept the fact that you cannot be perfect, but that you’re not excused from doing your best. It means to seek forgiveness whenever you sin, then put your sin behind you, forget it, and get back to living righteously.

I’m a firm believer that grace not only save souls, but it gives Christians the ability to do better every single day. Grace affords access to the power of the Holy Ghost; that same power that raised Jesus from the grave and enables us to live a godly life.

As you seek to live a life pleasing to the LORD, remember this one thing: God did not create you to live a life of self-defeating misery, overwhelmed by the guilt of your imperfection and sin.

You are imperfect — embrace it.

You will continue sinning until the day you die — accept it.

You can always do your best — believe and live it.

As Ellen and I move on to our next phase in life we hope and pray you will continue to serve the Lord with fear and gladness. May you be strength as you walk through this life, ever hoping for that blessed city of God that Abraham so desired. One day you and I will be there.

 

Blessings in Christ,

Pastor Matt

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