Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right Hand of the throne of God.
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
The Apostle Paul was an expert in the process of perfection. Because young Paul (Saul), the excellent Jewish Pharisee, the educated Roman citizen, the zealous Christian persecutor, met true Perfection on the road to Damascus.
By comparison, Paul realized his own virtue was a hoax.
He had to start over. Humbled in heart and led by the hand, the faultless Pharisee was broken. He lay empty in darkness for three days, as did the King he would follow. But beyond it, Paul, like Jesus, rose in the newness of life.
From that point forward, Paul knew where Perfection was found. Like an athlete in a marathon, he ran forward: from the foot of His Cross, by the Words of His Mouth, in the Light of His Eyes...
Through the thorns in his path, with the friends of his faith, to the warmth of His Smile for the prize in His Hand.
Paul's words: 'My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the Good News of God's grace' (Acts 20:24).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Jesus is perfection. The closer we get to Him, the better we do in life. If we try to perfect ourselves, we'll sell out or burn out.
In terms of your talent, practice brings polish--not perfection. Nevertheless, shining is your job, so practice a lot. Stay in the game. But always remember the Source of your Light.
The push toward Perfection is a lifelong process, not concluded until its end. Therefore, 'Let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing' (James 1:4)... especially your witness for Christ.
## Passionate! Like Paul: Perfection (Part 3)
NOTE: This series is a republished edit of a 2015 series called, 'Paul's Powerful Priorities.' In these devotions, you may see notes to 'Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.' I have not changed this designation. Because in a greater sense, every disciple of Christ acts for Christ, models Christ and stewards His talents, from which God expects a profit.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Passionate! Like Paul series.