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Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 11 : Be Perfect | Day 74

Be Perfect by Great Works!

One of the most painful questions you can ask a teenager is, "What do you plan to do with your life?" For many teenagers, hearing this question is like getting a jolt of reality combined with fear of failure as they hesitantly answer, "I don't know."

Most of those to whom I pose this question are believers and want to follow the Lord. However, when it comes to knowing "that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" for their lives, they are immature. They are unaware of the wonderful reality behind their birth:

Every person is first created in the heart of God to do great works and then is formed in the womb to carry out those works.

This awesome truth was revealed to Jeremiah when God stated, “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee” (Jeremiah 1:5). The Hebrew word knew is an expression of intimate knowledge and interaction. It is the same word used of a husband being joined to his wife in a one-flesh relationship, as in “Adam knew Eve his wife” (Genesis 4:1).

The word formed is the same word used to describe God's forming “man of the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7). In other words, God chose, in His heart and mind, the great works that we would do, and then He designed us in the womb with precisely the right characteristics and capabilities to achieve those great works.

This is the message of Ephesians 2:8-10. We are saved by grace through faith unto good works, which He hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Notice how these good works relate to our perfection:

“Now the God of peace ... make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight ...” (Hebrews 13:20-21).

There are five great purposes that God wants each one of us to fulfill or seek to help others fulfill. They are given in sequential order in the life of Adam.

The first and most important work is to establish and maintain an unbroken relationship with the Lord. The second is to demonstrate God's love and power through a livelihood. The third is to develop a life message based on obedience to God's commands. The fourth is to experience a loving oneness in marriage, and the fifth is to raise up Godly sons and daughters who are mighty in Spirit.

The rewards of loving God's commands are given in Psalm 112:1-2: “... Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.”

Let's search out the great works that God preordained for us and give our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength to accomplishing them so that we can reach new levels of spiritual maturity.

“... Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:46-48).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard