March 29,2021

Suggested Reading: Hebrews 12:1-17

Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith—Hebrews 12:2

In Galatians 3:3 the Apostle Paul asks those belonging to the Church in Galatia and now us also; “Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” What a wonderfully profound and relevant question to have before us. Even now thousands of years later. It is the Spirit of God who has called us into relationship with the Lord and by the Spirit we are sanctified daily, having his assistance to grow up into our salvation. It is only Christ and his death on the cross that we are being made perfect and not by works so that no one will be able to boast (Eph. 2:9) that they have reached perfection on their own, by their own efforts and merit.

I learned a great trick recently for cooking the perfect pre-made, frozen waffle. It seems all you need to do is take the frozen waffle: brand and flavor your choice, spread butter on each side then place it into a preheated skillet and let it warm for three or four minutes, until it is a crispy, golden brown, then flip it over and let the other side brown and wha-la! Perfect waffle every time! Remove from the skillet, put on your favorite toppings and you are good to go!

Not many things can be made perfectly on this side of heaven, and certainly not people. All our efforts to attain perfection fall miserably short. We have good intentions, start out good, but somewhere between intention and perseverance we fizzle out. But Jesus, being perfect when he entered this world, exited the same way and through his blood and righteousness—which he has now put on us through Holy Baptism and faith in him—we are being made perfect also. Now, we will not actually attain perfection until we have closed our eyes down here and Jesus comes to accompany us home. But somewhere between earthly, physical death and entering into the pearly gates of heaven; a matter of seconds, perfection takes hold and when we cross over it is done.

We are in the process of being made perfect right now. We are like those little waffles in the skillet, bathed in butter and put under the heat of life: trials, suffering, hardships, heartaches, challenges, disappointments, fiery darts of the enemy. We are turned over in life’s skillet, made uncomfortable in that heat and sometimes feeling as though we will not be able to make it through; but we do with the Lord’s help.     

There are people I know and so do you, that we may not be able to enjoy a great relationship with down here. There are people we have lousy relationships with, people whom we would not care if we ever had to see or be in the same room with again during our lifetime, but when we get to heaven, we will love them, enjoy their company, look forward to having conversations with them and get to know the real them. Why? Because, although they are still being perfected here on earth, in heaven they will be entirely perfect as will we.

As the writer of Hebrews wrote, “If perfection could have been attained through the Law” (our observance of the Law, our efforts, obedience, good works, and man-made sacrifices) God would have done it that way (Heb. 7:11) but it could not; the imperfect cannot make what is imperfect, perfect. Jesus is the only one who can make all things perfect, including perfecting the faith of humans. He alone makes sure our faith holds up and is being perfected so we can make it to heaven. Each day, each circumstance Jesus is perfecting our faith so we can endure and experience the victory he has secured through his own perfect faith. As Paul wrote, don’t forget the One who is perfecting you, it is not you, yourself, but Christ alone. Let’s Pray,    

Dear God, what a marvelous plan you had from the very beginning; for there are no surprises to you! That you would send your One and only holy Son, Jesus to live and then die on the cross to bring salvation to sinful, imperfect people. Even now he is perfecting our faith and has laid his righteousness on us. May we rejoice and remain steadfast in faith even as we are being perfected in faith. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.   

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