Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)
Matthew chapter 5 ends with this verse. Let’s take a look at what it means and what God is truly calling us to. The word perfect in the Greek actually means to be “mature, full-grown, finished, complete”. God has called us to a complete life. A life that is finished and leaves no loose ends. If we look back over Matthew 5, we will see some of the loose ends that Jesus tied up for us. He was showing us how to have a complete life in God.
1. Focus on the Blessings (vs. 3-12)
Jesus started by sharing the blessings that will come with the Christian life. These blessings come with blood, sweat, and tears. The life of a Christian is not an easy road. The truth is we don’t sign up for an easy road, we sign up for the retirement package. We have a heavenly home awaiting us. Every blessing reminds us that God sees our pain and He will respond to it. He will bless those who wait on Him.
“Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…” (Mt. 5:12)
2. Salt and Light (vs. 13-16)
A complete life in Christ means taking the time to season someone’s life with salt. Times when we shine our lights into the darkness. A complete life in Christ is always available for God’s work, so He can be glorified through us!
3. Keeping the Law (vs. 17-20)
The times we surrender ourselves to God and abide by His standards, that is when we live in the abundance of a full life.
4. Making things Right (vs. 21 – 26)
The complete life in Christ calls us to settle matters with those who have offended us and settle them quickly. God doesn’t want us to harbor anger and resentment towards anyone. That does not exemplify the complete life!
5. Lust (vs. 27-30)
Yes, this matters too. God calls us to clean our minds daily and not allow ourselves to be overcome by the temptation of the flesh. Each one of us knows our own weaknesses. A billboard, a magazine, the computer, a commercial, a movie, a tv show, etc. Please be aware of what you are taking in and how it is affecting you. Allow God to purify your mind and become a whole person through Jesus Christ. The complete life is one that says “No, to anything that causes you to stumble.” Remember, it’s not about your neighbor or pointing fingers! This is between you and God!
6. Marriage (vs. 31-32)
Jesus wants us to do the best to preserve our marriages. We need to be in daily prayer over our spouses. We live in a society that takes marriage for a test drive and throws it away when it’s not convenient any more. As Christians, we are called to a life of completeness. A life that says, “I will love this man or woman through the strength of Christ alone.” Please do not look to your past and what you have done. God has separated that as far as the east is from the west. May we learn to live in the now. This is the time to take care of our marriages. It’s time to embrace all that God has for us right now! There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. We have two sinful people with their baggage coming together and we expect things to be perfect! Wow, we are in for a surprise! Hand it all over to God, He can do wonders!
7. Let your “Yes” be “Yes”! (vs. 33-37)
Every time I read this passage, I think of my little nephew who is almost 4 years old. He knows this by heart and has his own way of saying it. His mom and dad have taught him to stick to what he says. We too need to stick by what we say. We need to follow through on our plans. Can people count on us? Are we reliable? What does our “yes” really mean? What does your “yes” mean to God?
8. Forgiveness (vs. 38-42)
A life of completeness definitely includes forgiveness. Jesus talked very strongly about this. He went so far to say that “…if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also (vs. 39).” That’s craziness! I have to say that I don’t really feel like getting burned again by anyone after they have burned me once. But this is what Jesus calls us to do. Our kindness is to be so evident to others, that all they can see is Jesus. That’s amazing! Wow, that’s a finished life. A life that leaves nothing out!
9. Love your Enemies (vs. 43-48)
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better. Then Jesus calls us to love our enemies! Woah, hold on a second! My enemies, you can’t be serious! But He is, He is so serious and He shares why it is so important. There is no reward in loving those who are good. Anyone can do that! We are called to love those who are unlovable! It’s not through our strength, it’s through the strength of Jesus.
And this my friend is what the complete life looks like. 9 steps to a complete life. Jesus would not have shared all of this, if He didn’t think we were capable of it. You and I have the potential to live the complete life here on earth. Let’s not let another moment escape us! Now’s the time to live the complete life for Christ!
Challenge: Read Matthew 5
Memory Verse: 1 Peter 1:15-16, 1 Peter 1:13
Dear Father God, I long to live a complete life in You. Please finish Your work in me. Help me to see what’s missing and what areas I need to work on. I offer up my life to You.
Living the Complete Life Now,