Monday, October 5, 2015
I read this verse a little while ago and it reminded me of a problem that exists among Bible readers regarding the correct application of God’s Word. This is the verse: “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:4 KJV) My first thought was: “I wonder how many Christians specifically ask God to make them perfect?” Are you one of them? The truth is that asking God to make us perfect is far from being unreasonable. I suspect many Christians will not do it because “perfect” to them means “without sin” and they realize that no human can attain that status in this life.
I presume that most of you read a more modern version of the Bible and, because of it, this verse poses no application problems for you. For example, the NIV rending of this verse reads: “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” As you can see, this translation has “perseverance” in the place of “patience” and “mature and complete” instead of “perfect.” This is the most correct application of this verse because in the original Greek manuscript the word that was used was “teleios” which refers to “maturing growth” or complete, like the perfect time to pick fruit from a tree. I don’t suppose I have to convince you that the Lord wants His children to be and act “grown up.” That is what the bible verse in question is trying to convey. So go ahead, child of God, don’t hesitate in asking God to help you to become perfect.
Although in this life we may fall way short of perfection, because of God’s grace we can “grow up”, and when we do, we’ll be better role models and examples to those around us. And one thing we must never do is to shortchange ourselves. In spite of the old nature that lives within us, Christ lives within us too. Therefore, we can still do some great things in this life. Keep this anonymous simple little poem in mind: “When you are discouraged and feeling blue, take a look at a mighty oak and see what a nut can do.”
Memory verse for the week: (Matthew 25:21 NIV) His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness’!