God Requires Perfection
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
What if your teacher told you that you could not move up to the next grade unless your work in her class were absolutely perfect? You would not be allowed to miss a single math problem or misspell one word on a spelling test. You would not be allowed to forget a single fact in your history book or make even one small slip-up when reading out loud. No mistakes allowed! Even your handwriting would have to be perfect!
This sounds impossible to you, doesn’t it? And it is. But in Matthew 5, Jesus tells the people of Israel that this same kind of perfection is required in keeping the Law if they are to enter the kingdom of heaven. Not only does God require them not to murder; they are not even allowed to be angry with someone else without a cause! Not only are they to stay true to the man or woman they marry; they are not even to look at another man or woman with sinful ideas in their minds. Not only are they to love their neighbors; they are even to love and pray for their enemies! This is the kind of righteousness that characterizes God. He is absolutely perfect and holy. And we are to be like Him.
Impossible, you say? Have you already “blown it”? Of course you have. We all have! We can be thankful that there is One Who has already fulfilled God’s holy Law perfectly. He has also died in our place, paying the penalty for all the times we have broken God’s Law. Jesus Christ is God’s perfect solution to the problem of our sin. He alone is perfect, and only through Him can we have the perfect righteousness before God that He requires. What a wonderful Savior we have in Jesus Christ!
Only in Jesus can we be perfectly righteous as God requires.
» Have I accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation?
» How am I showing my gratitude to Him for what He has done?
» Am I as a Christian trying, with His help, to live a righteous life?
Truth In Real Life
Ann Hasseltine Judson
“Direct me in Thy service, and I ask no more. I would not choose my position of work, or place of labor. Only let me know Thy will, and I will readily comply.”
Born on December 22, 1789, Ann Hasseltine was just an ordinary girl who became a remarkable wife, mother, teacher, translator, and the first woman American missionary to travel outside of the country.
Ann was saved at age 16. During her twenties, she met a man studying missions at a seminary near her home. His name was Adoniram Judson. Two years later, they were married, and the day after their wedding, they left for the mission field of India.
Aside from her husband, Ann was alone in a sense on the mission field. She lived in India and then Burma with no family, no friends, and no children. A baby boy was eventually born to her, but just eight months later, little Roger William Judson died of terrible cholera. Ann did not complain.
Adorinam Judson was once accused of being a spy and was put in “death prison.” Despite her own illness at the time, Ann continued to take care of him, taking him food every day. Her husband likely would have died without her faithfulness in caring for him. Imagine the souls that never would have been saved! 63 churches and 7,000 converts might have reason to be grateful to God for giving Judson such a self-sacrificing, servant-hearted wife.
Judson recovered for a time and got to go home, but Ann never got truly well again. She died on the mission field. When Adoniram Judson had originally written to Ann’s father to request her hand in marriage, he asked Mr. Hasseltine whether he could be willing to part with his daughter forever. In those days, travel was by sea-voyage, so it was awfully limited, long-lasting, and expensive. Missionaries did not come home every four years or so for a break. And life overseas was so physically dangerous that usually, a commitment to missions was a lifetime commitment – many missionaries never returned home alive from the field. By God’s grace, Mr. Hasseltine was able to say “yes,” and Ann also willingly gave the rest of her life to Jesus Christ, her husband, and to spreading the Gospel for God’s glory.
What are you willing to sacrifice for Christ? What items or people do you hold so dear that you would hesitate before trusting and obeying God’s leading for your life? If Jesus Christ truly is our greatest possession, sharing Him with the lost should be our greatest joy.
1 Timothy 6:7 – For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.