VIDEO Christian Perfection – Put On Your Running Shoes

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfect… —Philippians 3:12

It is a trap to presume that God wants to make us perfect specimens of what He can do— God’s purpose is to make us one with Himself. The emphasis of holiness movements tends to be that God is producing specimens of holiness to put in His museum. If you accept this concept of personal holiness, your life’s determined purpose will not be for God, but for what you call the evidence of God in your life. How can we say, “It could never be God’s will for me to be sick”? If it was God’s will to bruise His own Son (Isaiah 53:10), why shouldn’t He bruise you? What shines forth and reveals God in your life is not your relative consistency to an idea of what a saint should be, but your genuine, living relationship with Jesus Christ, and your unrestrained devotion to Him whether you are well or sick.

Christian perfection is not, and never can be, human perfection. Christian perfection is the perfection of a relationship with God that shows itself to be true even amid the seemingly unimportant aspects of human life. When you obey the call of Jesus Christ, the first thing that hits you is the pointlessness of the things you have to do. The next thought that strikes you is that other people seem to be living perfectly consistent lives. Such lives may leave you with the idea that God is unnecessary— that through your own human effort and devotion you can attain God’s standard for your life. In a fallen world this can never be done. I am called to live in such a perfect relationship with God that my life produces a yearning for God in the lives of others, not admiration for myself. Thoughts about myself hinder my usefulness to God. God’s purpose is not to perfect me to make me a trophy in His showcase; He is getting me to the place where He can use me. Let Him do what He wants.

The measure of the worth of our public activity for God is the private profound communion we have with Him.… We have to pitch our tents where we shall always have quiet times with God, however noisy our times with the world may be. My Utmost for His Highest, January 6, 736 R


Put On Your Running Shoes – Philippians 3:12-16 – Skip Heitzig

Christmas Presence

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son.Isaiah 7:14

“No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin, where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.” Those words from Phillips Brooks’ much-loved hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem” point to the very heart of Christmas. Jesus came into our broken world to rescue us from our sin and give all who would put their faith in Him a new and vital relationship with God.

In a letter to a friend decades after he wrote the hymn, Brooks poignantly described the outcome of this relationship in his own life: “I cannot tell you how personal this grows to me. He is here. He knows me and I know Him. It is no figure of speech. It is the realest thing in the world, and every day makes it realer. And one wonders with delight what it will grow to as the years go on.”

Brooks’ calm assurance of God’s presence in his life reflects one of the names of Jesus prophesied by Isaiah: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). The gospel of Matthew gives us the meaning of the Hebrew name Immanuel: “God with us” (1:23).

God drew near to us through Jesus so we could know Him personally and be with Him forever. His loving presence with us is the greatest gift of all.

By:  James Banks

Reflect & Pray

What does it mean to you that God loves you so much He wants to be with you always? How will you draw near to Him today?

Loving God, thank You for giving Yourself to me through Your life on earth, death on the cross, and resurrection. Please help me to live for You today and forever!

How to Pass Down the Faith

2 Timothy 1:1-7

One of our greatest desires as Christians is that our loved ones come to faith in the Savior. Although we can’t believe for anyone else, there are steps we can take to impact their lives for Christ.

Tell them about Jesus. People may be drawn to Christ by our example, but to be saved, they must hear and understand the gospel (Rom. 10:13-15).

Share basic principles from the Bible. Pass along the spiritual lessons you have learned about God. For example, share with others that the heavenly Father provides for His children’s needs (Phil. 4:19), guides with His Word (Psalm 119:105), and enables those in Christ to live righteously and obediently (John 15:4-5). 

Model trust in God with your lifestyle. If you are characterized by peace, joy, and contentment in the midst of hardship or suffering, your example will speak volumes to those around you. Words and actions demonstrate that your faith is genuine and that Christ truly can transform lives.

My grandfather was the one who influenced me. I remember thinking that if God could love and care for him, He could probably take care of me, too. Don’t you want your character to leave others with that same confidence in the Lord?

Rely On The Settled Word

“Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89)

Most who read the Bible regularly are probably familiar with these sweeping statements from the Scriptures.

  • “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
  • “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18).
  • “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
  • “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:25).

On this foundation, the psalmist made additional promises to his Lord in this stanza (Psalm 119:89-96). He noted the affliction that almost took his life (v. 92) and the wicked who tried to destroy him (v. 95), common enough occurrences among the godly. But in spite of the troubles in life, this godly man knew that the evidence abounds for God’s faithfulness throughout the earth (vv. 90-91).

God’s 77 rhetorical questions to Job (Job 38–41) centered on the evidence of His control and care for the universe. These prompted the psalmist to reiterate his commitment to a firm familiarity with God’s precepts and a continual effort to seek them (Psalm 119:93-94).

He knew that the wicked would continue trying to destroy, and that human affairs limit the possibility of perfection. But the godly man would understand God’s testimonies, since they are sufficient to apply to all situations (v. 96). HMM III

Piles and Piles of Ashes

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.—Hebrews 12:11

If God has singled you out to be a special object of His grace you may expect Him to honor you with stricter discipline and greater suffering than less favored ones are called upon to endure….

If God sets out to make you an unusual Christian He is not likely to be as gentle as He is usually pictured by the popular teachers. A sculptor does not use a manicure set to reduce the rude, unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer and the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful.

To do His supreme work of grace within you He will take from your heart everything you love most. Everything you trust in will go from you. Piles of ashes will lie where your most precious treasures used to be.   TIC122-124

Lord, give me the grace to withstand “the saw, the hammer and the chisel.” I submit myself today to Your working. Amen.

The Holy Spirit Certainly Is a Person

When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself. —John 16:13

The Holy Spirit is often thought of as a beneficent wind that blows across the Church. If you think of the Holy Spirit as being literally a wind, a breath, then you think of Him as nonpersonal and nonindividual. But the Holy Spirit has will and intelligence and feeling and knowledge and sympathy and ability to love and see and think and hear and speak and desire the same as any person has….

Many of us have grown up on the theology that accepts the Holy Spirit as a Person, and even as a divine Person, but for some reason it never did us any good. We are as empty as ever, we are as joyless as ever, we are as far from peace as ever, we are as weak as ever.

What I want to do is to tell you the old things, but while I am doing it, to encourage your heart to make them yours now, and to walk into the living, throbbing, vibrating heart of them, so that from here on your life will be altogether different. HTB012-013

If we should know the full comfort of the Holy Spirit we must cooperate with Him. WCC082

God’s Promises Are Kept

2 Corinthians 9:15

If ever there is a busy time, it is Christmas. I read about a woman who was busy buying Christmas gifts and preparing for her family’s celebration. Suddenly, she realized that she had forgotten to send Christmas cards to her friends. She dashed off to a card shop, chose one with a picture she liked and in haste bought 50 of the same type. Hurrying home, she quickly addressed and posted them—just in time.

What a shock she received some days later when, glancing at the few cards that remained, she read the verse inside. It said:

This card comes just to say

A little gift is on the way.

All those disappointed friends are still waiting for that promised gift!

Fortunately, it wasn’t like that with God’s promised gift. He promised a wonderful gift to all mankind, and He certainly kept His promise. The gift was His Son, Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem, given to the world to bring peace, justice, freedom and goodwill among men. He came to make the world a better place. To show men and women how to live life to the full. To bring reconciliation between man and God and between man and man.

God sent Jesus as a helpless baby born to an ordinary couple, Mary and Joseph. He grew up in a family, and shared our human life. He worked with His hands as a carpenter, and knew how hard it was to make ends meet. He understood what it was like to be poor. He faced all the trials and temptations that you and I experience.

Then, in obedience to God, He became the teacher of the good news, showing people that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. But He was misunderstood, mocked, criticized, rejected, and His enemies hung Him upon a cross. This shining, sinless man carried our sins and opened to us a way of forgiveness, hope and peace.

But He rose from the dead and is alive today. By His Spirit He is with us. He helps us to be the men and women that we ought to be. He is Emmanuel, God with us.

God’s promises about the Christ-child were more than fulfilled in Jesus’ life on earth. And the reality in our own lives today when we claim those promises for ourselves is even more magnificent.

No wonder the Apostle Paul could cry out with a note of wonder and praise; “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

Eva Burrows, Salvationist