The Apple Of God's Eye

June 5, 2011

Practice Does Not Make Perfect

Practice does not make perfect. Yes, you read that right. It is perfect practice that makes perfect. If we practice wrongly, we will not become perfect. God expects us to practice in a perfect way and if we aren’t practicing perfectly, we have no shot.

Matt.5:48 says we are to become perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. These instruction come from Jesus Christ. This takes a lot of practice and work, coupled with the power of the Holy Spirit, but it is expected of us.

Humanly, success is neither a function of genetic uniqueness nor hard-work.  It is instead a function of taking our inherent endowments and refining our craft through deliberate practice. According to Geoff Colvin’s book “Talent Is Overrated: What really Separates World Class Performers From Everybody Else,” the defining characteristic of the deliberative approach to practice are: (1) designed to specifically improve performance; (2) can be repeated; (3) provides continuous feedback; (4) is demanding mentally; and (5) is hard and pushes us continously beyond our comfort zone.  Top performers are detail oriented and never satisfied.

And so it has to be with the Christian. We have to view ourselves differently from the way other people do, become more specific in spiritual goals and strategies and set ourselves against a standard that’s impossible for others to achieve. None of this can be done by human power alone. As God states:

“…. Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Zech.4:6)

Jesus Christ does not want a bride that is not ready (Eph. 5:20). He wants one without spot and blemish. We are in training to become perfect.

March 18, 2009

Why Common-Law Marriages Are Unlawful In God's Eyes

Filed under: Bride Of Christ,Marriage — melchia @ 8:09 pm

The Bible clearly shows that the common law type of relationship is not right in God’s sight. Please notice some of the things the Bible says about marriage. God regards marriage as a holy union in which a man and a woman are joined together for life as “one flesh” by a sacred vow (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6). They are no longer separate and able to pursue independent activities and interests. Therefore, it is right to formalize the union of a man and a woman in marriage by a wedding ceremony.

After instructing the first man and woman, God Himself joined Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God’s ministers should follow this example. They should remind each couple of their responsibilities as taught in the Holy Scriptures before asking God to join them as husband and wife (see Ephesians 5:21-32 and I Peter 3:1-7, for example). Marriages performed by other legally authorized officials are also recognized by God.

Jesus performed His first public miracle at a formal wedding (John 2). By that wedding, a public statement or announcement was made, and all the community celebrated the couple’s coming together in an honorable way.

Jesus also spoke of a great, formal wedding to take place at His return when, symbolically, He will marry the Church (see Matthew 22:1-13, 25:1-10, and Revelation 19:7-9). Notice that this will not be a secret or a common-law type of arrangement! The Holy Scriptures thus clearly reveal that it is God’s will that a marriage be formalized by a legal ceremony to officially inform the community of the marriage.

State laws in respect to marriage are supported by Scripture. God tells us we are to obey the laws of the land when they do not conflict with His own (Rom. 13:1-7; Acts 5:29). In this way, the appearance and suspicion of evil are avoided (I Thess. 5:22). God also tells us we are to set a good example for others (Matt. 5:14-16).

A marriage ceremony serves to protect the rights of each mate and to minimize fornication, adultery, bigamy, and different evils in the society at large. When there has been no formal ceremony, it can be a temptation to treat a union casually. If we treat with contempt or flippancy that which God established for our good, we can be sure He is not pleased! Marriage is a very special occasion, and it is certainly right and fitting that it be celebrated with a formal ceremony.

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