Friday – October 25, 2019 – Becoming Perfect
1 Corinthians 13:8-12 (NKJV) Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
When Paul says, “that which is perfect has come, in 1Corinthians 13:10 (NKJV) he had something particular in mind. There is a problem however; the Greek word totellion interpreted as perfect is an imperfect translation, because no one English word tells the whole story. The word telos means to see and be a part of the bigger picture. It has to do with why you were created and the part that God has for you within the whole. The word telescope comes from this word. It can see far into the distance. In its far-seeing, it spans the generations. It is not microscopic where you only see yourself; it does, however, allow you to see yourself as a part of the whole, where a community that includes all generations have come together to form the Kingdom of God. It tells of what you were created for, were designed for, and what you are to become in the fulness of your being as you fit into God’s plan. There will be no lack, only fullness. This perfection shows you to be strong and fit becoming all that God has designed you to be.
That is what we hope for and what we will experience in eternity. But not now. To better understand this, I must use an illustration that is imperfect. When I was a child, I read all the books in the Tarzan series. He was my generation’s superhero. Not a supernatural hero, a natural superhero. All his abilities were enhanced natural abilities. When he was a child, his parents died, and he was found by a troop of apes. They raised him as their own and protected him from the perils of the jungle. As he grew, he became swift, powerful and shrewd. He is portrayed as the King of the jungle, where he swings through the air gripping vines that hung from trees. He would fight against other apes and win. He outwrestled lions and leopards. He outswam crocodiles and when necessary, he would outwrestle them too. He would climb mountains and command all the wild animals. He would yell at the top of his voice and pound his chest. He truly was majestic; someone to be admired and emulated.
But there was a problem. There was always quicksand and inevitably he would fall into it. That is where his strength and swiftness betrayed him. The more he struggled using his strength, the quicker he sank and the more peril he experienced. Those who tried to help him using their own strength entered the same predicament. When he rested and was still, the less peril he would face. It was only when someone came to him and threw a vine for him to grasp that he could be pulled out.
That is what Jesus did for us. He sent someone into our path who threw us the vine. We may have thought we were strong, but there is always quicksand and only God’s grace can rescue us.
Prayer: Lord, thank you, for Your grace and pulling me out of the quicksand of my sin, especially when my strength and self-confidence worked against me. Also, thank that a time is coming when there will be no more quicksand.