I. THAT YE MAY BE PERFECT.
A. Jesus said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."
1. The Greek word telios which is translated perfect when relating to a sacrifical animal meant that it was fit to be offered as a sacrifice to God.
2. When used of a scholar, it meant mature.
3. When used of a man meant to be of full age.
B. That you might be perfect then means that you might be fit to be offered as a sacrifice to God. That you might be mature, that you might be grown up.
C. It is patience that makes us mature. How does God develop patience in us?
1. You don't become patient by trying to be patient.
2. It isn't something that we just receive as a gift of the Holy Spirit.
3. It is something that God has chosen to develop in us through trials.
D. We don't like to hear that, we would rather have instant patience. "Lord give me patience and I want it right now."
E. We do everything possible to avoid trails. We try to avoid them like the plague.
1. When they do come we are often complaining to the Lord about them.
2. It is interesting that they are referred to by Peter as being more precious than gold.
a. Certainly not as you are going through them, but in the valuable long term benefits that they bring to you.
b. There comes that time when looking back upon the trial that we bless God for that which we were once murmuring to Him about.
II. AS A PASTOR, THE LORD WANTS ME TO BE COMPLETE AND MATURE.
A. I wish that I could say that I have always been mature in my actions and responses to people, but that is not the case.
1. I have often sought to render evil for evil, rather than good for evil.
2. I have not been content to turn the other cheek.
3. I have found myself hating them that hate me.
B. One of the most unpleasant times in school were the days when we had to take a test.
1. Now the purpose of the test is to find out how much you have learned.
2. God often puts us through tests that we might find out how much we have learned.
a. It is not for Him to find out, He already knows.
b. Sometimes we think that we are farther advanced than we really are.
c. We start to get a little heady.
d. So he puts us to the test to show us the truth about our progress.
3. I hate it when I fail a test, for it means that you will have to take it over until you pass.
C. If I am to stand before God's people as His representive to them, it is so important that I be mature.
1. We have had to step in to so many bad situations and try to find a resolution because the pastor reacted to a situation in a stupid immature way.
2. One young pastor went to a city where they had an independant church that was looking for a pastor. He called my for advise for the life of me I do not know why because he did the very opposite of what I told him to do.
D. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to lead people beyond your level of experience.
E. Often your congregation is a reflection of the pastor.
1. I hear pastor's complaining of how difficult and immature their people are.
2. I hear pastor's complain about the lack of commitment among their congregants.
III. THAT YOU MIGHT BE PERFECT, WANTING NOTHING.
A. What are some of the things that we are often wanting? Often we are wanting in wisdom. "If any man lack in wisdom."
1. People often ask me what special needs that I have that they may pray for me. My answer is always pray that God will give me wisdom in the many decisions that I have to make daily.
2. The beautiful thing is that we can ask of God who gives to all freely and it shall be given unto him.
3. The wisest thing that you can ever do is to seek the wisdom of God.
4. So often you will find people trying to get you to tell them what they should do.
a. Yesterday a young man met me at the door after church and was doing his best to get me to advise him on whether or not he should quit school.
b. He was getting a failing grade and I know he wanted me to say, I think you should quit.
c. I told him that I thought he should pray about it and let the Lord lead him.
5. It the earlier years of my ministry I thought I had all of the answers.
a. I knew all about marriage until I got married.
b. I knew all about raising kids until I had kids.
c. I knew all about how to pastor a church until I began to pastor a church.
d. Now I know that I know nothing about anything.
6. Talk about self esteem, when I came out of college I had all kinds of self esteem, I thought I knew it all and was ready to conquer the world.
a. I soon discovered that real life was different from the textbooks.
B. Sometimes we are lacking in unwavering faith.
1. James tells us that we should ask in faith nothing wavering.
2. He tells us that wavering faith is ineffective faith.
3. Unwavering faith is faith that is founded on the promises of God.
a. Abraham had the promise of God upon which he stood.
b. Jacob when he was returning home and received word that his brother Esau was coming to meet him with a welcoming party of 400 men, prayed:
And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, [and] the mother with the children.
And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
c. There are a lot of things that I waver on, because I really do not know the will of the Lord on the matter.
d. Though the Bible asks who has been His counsellor at any time? I often find myself making suggestions to God.