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Posts Tagged ‘perfection’

If you don’t follow hockey, then let me drop a surprise on you: goaltenders can get penalized.

The guy in the photo above, Ron Hextall, picked up a whopping 569 penalty minutes during his 13 National Hockey League seasons. That translates into almost 9.5 hours!!

But here’s the thing about hockey goalies: they don’t spend a single minute in the penalty box. Almost every league insists another player take the place of goalies in the ‘sin bin’. And it must be a player who was on the ice (rather than sitting on the bench) when the penalty occurred. The only exception in the NHL is game misconducts, which are *extremely* rare.

So the goalie is penalized, but someone else serves the time.

If you’re open to spirituality — and I assume you are, since you’re reading this blog — then consider this: the exact same scenario plays out every minute of every day in the spiritual world.

Let me explain. Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is the perfect Son of God, is *always* the other player on the ice who serves the penalty for ALL the wrong things His followers (like me) have done and ALL the right things they’ve failed to do. Every time, without exception.

Jesus does that through His death on a Roman empire cross. He was put there by false charges from frightened, power-hungry religious leaders who didn’t like what He was doing (healing the sick, forgiving people, hanging out with “sinners”) and what He was saying (God loves *everyone* and following Him can transform their lives for all eternity).

Those religous leaders thought they were getting rid of a nuisance, but all four original-source biographies of Jesus make it clear Jesus came back to life, appeared to many people, and set up His followers to change the world through their new way of living.

Did they – and, by extension, ME – sometimes get it wrong? Absolutely. But those ‘sins’ do NOT negate what Jesus is all about. And they don’t negate how He serves the penalty time for ALL His followers.

Why is this important? Because Jesus told anyone willing to listen that “you must be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” That’s right; in order to go to Heaven after this life ends, you must be without a single blemish or stain or imperfection.

Given that impossible standard, God took the extraordinary step of sending Jesus into our hurting world to show us how to live, how to treat others and how to follow Jesus to Heaven. Then, He had Jesus serve ALL our time in the penalty box.

The result of all that is when His followers finish with this life, God doesn’t see the wrong things we’ve done and the right things we’ve failed to do. All He sees is His Son’s perfection. So the bouncer at the gate to Heaven welcomes us in to spend eternity with our creator.

From my perspective, that’s a *great* deal for Ron Hextall and every other person in this world. Sound interesting? Yes or no, post your comment below and let’s have a conversation.

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The headline – “Bob Saget’s Last Twitter Post Will Break Your Heart” – compelled me to read the online story. And as I did, it was clear a vital and eternal truth was being laid before me.

Just 12 hours before the 65-year-old actor (Full House and Fuller House), TV host (America’s Funniest Home Videos) and comedian was found dead Jan. 9 in his Florida hotel room, he went on Twitter and posted this:

“Loved tonight’s show in Jacksonville. Appreciative audience. I had no idea I did a 2-[hour] set. I’m happily addicted again to this s***. Check BobSaget.com for my dates in 2022.”

Clearly, Saget was looking ahead to his comedy tour and had no idea it would never happen for the most final of reasons: he would soon be gone from this earth.

It struck me that the same could be applied to anyone. In my case, I could have easily died before this blog appeared online. Pastor and author Rick Warren put it so well: “When I’m tempted to be prideful, I just remind myself that I cannot even guarantee my next breath.”

Did Bob Saget ever think about his demise and what might come after? We may never know. But this is a good motivation for us to set aside our culture’s trivial obsessions and give serious thought to the BIG question.

I did that a few years ago. After considerable reading, thinking and debating with people of faith, I decided to follow Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is the Son of God.

If you believe in the existence of Heaven, then consider what Jesus told anyone willing to listen: “You must be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” So there it is; when this life ends, you’ll need to be perfect to get past the bouncer at the ‘pearly gates’.

Well, that’s a problem, isn’t it? Since no one can ever get close to perfection, how can even one of us get to Heaven?

The answer is Jesus. One of His earliest followers noted “When Jesus lived on earth, he was tempted in every way. He was tempted in the same ways we are tempted, but he never sinned.”

So Jesus has what it takes. And when He allowed Himself to be arrested on false charges, convicted and put to death, Jesus paid the penalty for every wrong thing done by His followers, and every right thing we’ve failed to do.

After that, God saw — and continues to see — His Son’s followers just as He sees Jesus: perfect in every way. The result is when Jesus followers end this life, the bouncer ushers them into a joyous eternity with God.

Just as important, when people like YOU invite Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour, He comes into your heart IMMEDIATELY and begins making you more like the person God created you to be.

We’ll probably never know if Bob Saget did that. But you can make that decision TODAY. Interested? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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I was having on online conversation with someone who has a very unorthodox view of Jesus of Nazareth (who many people believe is the Son of God) when he asked some fascinating questions:

What is there in God which makes God perfect? And what (by extension) is in Jesus that makes him better than all of us?

I’ve never wondered about these things, but I imagine many people have, given the overwhelming imperfection of this world. If you’re one of those people, I hope my research and thoughts will be helpful.

Is God perfect (i.e. without fault)? Many people say yes, based on the words of Jesus. In one of the original source documents about His life on Earth, Jesus establishes this astonishing standard for anyone who follows Him: “you must be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.

Two points that need to be made here:

  1. Since God’s existence can’t be proven or disproven, the same can be very credibly written about Him being perfect.
  2. Who defines perfection? Ask 10 people this question and I’m pretty sure you’ll get at least five dramatically different responses.

So what is there in God that makes Him perfect? For me, it’s establishing free will for all human beings and then sticking with free will no matter what. Some might see this as bad, given wars, human trafficking, terrorism, hip-hop and most of Steven Seagal’s movies (hey, gotta keep it from getting too serious).

But I see free will as being the characteristic of perfection because it’s the characteristic of absolutely perfect love. And by perfect, I also mean the word’s less-known second definition: “complete, not deficient” (according to the Oxford dictionary).

That perfect love is also exhibited in Jesus. Read the ancient biographies of His life and you’ll find out He has unfathomable wisdom, unmatched understanding of the human condition, unshakeable trust in God and a willingness to sacrifice Himself for the good of everyone who’s willing to follow Him.

Why the sacrifice? Because the wrong things we do and the right things we fail to do build an impenetrable wall between us and God. When someone as remarkable as Mother Teresa knew she couldn’t be good enough to overcome that wall without Jesus, then what does that say about me? What does that say about YOU?

Only one person can—and has—penetrated that wall: Jesus. Nowhere is there even the slightest shred of evidence to suggest he had even one fault. So he was capable of taking the penalty—eternal separation from God—that we deserve onto His perfect shoulders when he was put to death.

God rewarded that sacrifice by raising Him from the dead, putting Him in charge of EVERYTHING and offering Him as a life-changing gift to everyone on this planet. Including YOU. Are you willing to consider accepting this astounding gift? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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