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“Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  (Matt. 5.48)

Perfect. For some, that’s a scary word—for others, it’s an abstract, unattainable level. And yet deep inside, it’s what every human being craves for life to be—perfect.

The truth is—perfect is NOT an impossibility. Anytime you find a commandment or an instruction in the Word of God, you can count on there being a grace, an anointing to be able to fulfill it. God doesn’t ask us to do anything that He has not already provided what is needed to get it done. If He said, “Be perfect, even as I am perfect”—then it is possible to be perfect!

Right before Jesus was arrested and taken to the Cross, He prayed these words over every believer there would ever be—“I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that they may be one, as We are—I in them and You in Me, all being perfected in one. Then the world will know that You sent Me and will understand that You love them as much as You love Me.” (John 17.22-23 NLT) 

He prayed that we would be perfected in one—and that is how the world will know that He is real. Wait a minute, I thought that love was what convinces the world that God is real…  It is. That is what being perfect is all about.

The word “perfect” in these verses is a Greek word meaning:  complete, completeness—and carries the idea of something being finished, brought to its end, full grown, mature, lacking nothing necessary to completeness, absolute goodness…

We are to be perfect—to be complete, full-grown, mature, just as our heavenly Father is complete, full-grown, and mature. But what is it that makes us complete, that makes us full-grown and mature?

“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say, Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too.

If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even the pagans do that. But you are to be PERFECT, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5.43-48)

The commandment to be perfect was actually an end-statement of Jesus’ teaching on “love your enemies”.  This is what being perfect is all about—love at all costs.  The bottom line to everything in the Kingdom of God is love.  That is why Jesus said that all the Word of God hangs on the Commandment of Love.

Luke chapter 6 contains the same Sermon on the Mount message as Matthew 5. Verses 35-36 (NLT) says:
Love your enemies!  Do good to them! Lend to them! And don’t be concerned that they might not repay.  Then your reward from heaven will be great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for He is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father in heaven is compassionate.
It is interesting that in these two accounts of the same story the words “perfect” and “compassionate” are used interchangeably.  In the King James Version of Luke 6.36, it says —“be ye merciful….”  In either case, compassion and mercy are always the result of love.  Actually, in the original Hebrew, love, compassion, and mercy are all one and the same.

Since compassion and mercy are used interchangeably with perfect, and since the central focus of Jesus’ message was love—then being perfect has everything to do with how we love and have compassion on others—even those who don’t “deserve” it.

It is not about just trying to be a good guy and a “men-pleaser”—rather, it is drawing on and giving place to the true love and compassion of God, allowing Him to love and bless people (both the good and the bad) through you.  He wants to do them good, but He can’t unless we allow Him to do it through us.  You and I are His connection to people—of His love and blessing to them.

(Editor's Note: You may find Part 2 of this excellent series by Sharah LaGail Wyatt by searching  for her articles on the "Article Search" page.)

First Love Ministries International aka FERVOUR
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Author Biography

Sharah LaGail Wyatt
Web site: First Love Ministries International
Sharah LaGail Wyatt is Founder and President of First Love Ministries International aka FERVOUR (based in Fort Worth, Texas), with an extensive background in the fine and performing arts and in ministry. She is a member of the International Convention of Faith Ministries (ICFM). As an anointed teacher, writer/author, graphic artist, musician and composer, she desires to lead people of all ages into the presence of God and into developing a lifestyle of faith, worship and intimacy with Him.

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