“For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
Years ago I had a discussion with my brother-in-law, a cattle farmer, about breeding cattle. I wanted to know from an expert how much variety was possible in these creatures. I asked him, “Is it possible to selectively breed these animals until you end up with something that is no longer a cow?” I could tell he thought I must be crazy to ask such a dumb question (though he was too nice to say so!). He explained that there are limits in breeding. You can, for instance, breed for size but your larger cows may have reduced disease resistance or some other deficiency. There is always a trade off; no animal has the best of all traits. We see this even in the technological world. No vehicle in the world can be the most fuel efficient while also being superior in cargo space and hauling power. It’s the same with us. No one can achieve excellence in every area of human endeavor. Even as regenerate people, we are called to excel in different ministries as we are gifted and called by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12). The one exception to this rule is Christ Himself. Perfect in every way, He stands as our guide and goal in every one of our God-honoring endeavors. Those that strive to excel in wisdom and knowledge, for instance, would do well to consult Christ the Lord in Whom reside all the treasures of both (Colossians 2:3). Those seeking to lead more godly, disciplined lives need only resort to Jesus. The One Who does all things well (Mark 7:37), Who did only that which pleased His Father (John 8:29), can certainly help us in these areas also. Those lacking in courage are invited to come to the One Who stood alone in the garden against an armed mob (John 18:3-9; Matthew 26:56; Mark 14:50-52; John 16:32). Our Lord can and does provide His people with boldness and strength of heart. When the world is coming apart at the seams, our Lord promises to “give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist” (Luke 21:15). For those who have grown hard, calloused, discouraged and distrustful, the Lord Jesus is our Blessed Corrector. He Himself is not only our lofty goal when it comes to having a proper attitude and heart position under God, He is the solution to our attitude problems as well. He is Love Incarnate (1 John 4:8, 16), the One Who wept both at Lazarus’s tomb (John 11:35) and over unrepentant Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44). He showed unparalleled love and grace as He dealt with constant needs and requests (Matthew 9:36; 14:14), even when it meant setting His own material needs aside (Mark 3:20). Jesus just is the standard of perfection in every commendable characteristic. Considering Him (Hebrews 12:1-2), we are transformed into the same image (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) in a process that God will one day bring to blessed completion (Ephesians 4:13).
God bless and encourage you today, dear saints!