Bible with Cross ShadowOur God is a process-oriented problem solver. Give Him a problem – say, expressing His glory through mud babies – and He will give you a solution process. The Bible is a story of process. Getting back what He lost in the garden has been a long process (filled with His long-suffering). Most of the major themes of the New Testament are processes: Belief, salvation, sanctification, and transformation, to name a few.

This may be news to you; for we have become an event oriented society, and much of our teaching has leaned in this direction. The mind of Christ runs counter to this way of thinking. The renewal of our minds will come more quickly for those that accept God’s way for solving the problems of His kingdom.

Let’s consider how this applies to the next of Jesus’ sayings.

For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:46-48

As you can see, Jesus expects that we shall be perfect, just as our Father in heaven is perfect. Whether you believe this is a possibility for this life, or reserved for the next, it is the destination Jesus has in mind; and destinations require journeys. He tying this to our treatment of others in this life makes it clear that we are in the process of being perfected.

Praise God this is so. How miserable would the Christian life be if it were limited to a waiting for some last minute transformation? No, that is not God’s way. His Son is saving, transforming, and sanctifying His people as salt and light on this side of heaven. He is making each one that will follow Him. We are all in process.

So, what are we to do in the midst of the perfecting process? We are to be extraordinary. The bar we set for ourselves, and one another, should be exceedingly higher than that of the world.

How important is this, right now? Jesus suggests that there will be no reward for those that choose to live the ordinary life. When was the last time you considered the value of God’s reward? Whatever understanding we have of His “reward”, I suspect it is not something any of us want to miss out on. Better safe than sorry, right?

This is sobering truth for those of us that are failing to love the brethren, much less our enemies. It is a reminder that the second great commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. Do we think such a command should be taken so lightly? Jesus is encouraging us to move beyond the world’s ordinary.

Hearing the sayings of Jesus is not sufficient. It only qualifies us to have a house. There is still the question of that house standing, or falling in some terrible way. For most of us, radical changes are needed; changes in the way we think, feel and respond to the sayings of Jesus.

And so, I encourage you to receive and reckon, as truth for your own life: You are in process. God is working to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). His pleasure is to give you His kingdom (Luke 12:32). Chances are you have already begun the process. The next step is discovering, and surrendering to, the desire He has put in your heart for the extraordinary life.

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalms 37:1

The Hebrew word translated here as “delight” means “to be soft”. Become like clay in the Potter’s hand and He will give you the desire that He has put in your heart to be an extraordinary follower of Jesus Christ; and you shall be perfect.

Humbly yours and forever His,