by: Timothy Vazquez
Philippians 3:12 (NIV) I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.
I've watched the classic movie, Marry Poppins, dozens of times and there is something that Mary Poppins says in that movie that would make me laugh. When describing herself, she would say that she was "practically perfect in every way." What is funny about that is that we all know that no one in perfect in any way. It seemed like a very conceited remark coming from a person that didn't seem to be conceited (but perhaps a little too sure of herself).
The thought of perfection is something that is very appealing to us but very unattainable in our view. Though it seems that we think we are perfect sometimes by the way that we argue our views and opinions while thinking that we cannot possibly be wrong, when you ask anyone if they are perfect, the answer will always be "no!" That's why the passage of scripture above is so curious. While the Apostle Paul, who penned this letter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, admitted that he had not reached perfection, he went on to say that he was going for it. In other words, he was not going to be deterred from trying to reach perfection. Mostly everyone I know has excused their mistakes and faults by saying, "Well what do you expect? I’m not perfect!" But Paul was not settling for that. He was saying that while he wasn't there yet, he believed that he could reach it if he just pressed on. That should be our attitude when it comes to being like Jesus. Anything short of that attitude will leave us short of ever reaching that goal.
Paul also makes another statement that perhaps you have not thought about. He says that perfection is what Jesus got a hold of us for. Jesus, as we know, was and is perfect. He was perfection personified as God in heaven, He was perfection embodied when came into our world and He was perfection glorified as He ascended back to the Father after the resurrection. Jesus is the only one who is perfect in every way and His aim is to make us perfect like Him. When Jesus got your attention and you received Him as your Savior and Lord, He began His perfect work in you by coming to live in you through the Holy Spirit, or as the verse above puts it, by possessing you. You now belong to Him and you will one day be just like Him (1 John 3:2), which means that you will be perfect. In the meantime while this work of perfection is going on in your life, have the same attitude that the Apostle Paul had by pressing on and not giving up to attain the perfection for which Jesus got a hold of you. The process will make you practically perfect!
Pastor Joey Vazquez