“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48, NIV)

God expects His children — every one — to be as He is.

If it is otherwise, either God is wrong for expecting something of us that we are incapable of achieving; or we do not have His “DNA” and God is lying when He claims paternity.

Today’s scripture verse follows Jesus’ command — with explicit examples — to love our enemies.  It is often difficult to love our enemies because love is very personal. We crave it only from those who matter to us; and we give it only to those we deem worthy.  Frequently, we dehumanize our enemies.  It makes it easier not to love them.

To love as God loves is the litmus test of our progress toward divine perfection.  Succeed at this one thing, and everything else we do falls into place. Fail at this one thing, and nothing else we do (no matter how spiritual or sacrificial) matters.

The Gospel of John reminds us that “God so loved the world (the same “world” that would abuse and murder His only begotten Son) that God, nevertheless, gave. . .”  (John 3:16).

When a person accepts the way of Jesus, the Spirit of God is seal of God’s paternity. The Spirit is the power to be perfect as our Father is perfect. The Spirit is the strength to love.

It is not easy but, with God, it is possible — and expected.  – Luther

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