Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)
Consider what you would probably call a “good” day spiritually—when your spiritual disciplines are all in place and you’re reasonably satisfied with your Christian performance. Have you thereby earned God’s blessing that day? Will God be pleased to bless you because you’ve been good? You’re probably thinking, Well, when you put it like that, the answer’s no. But doesn’t God only work through clean vessels? Yet how good do you have to be to be “clean”? How good is good enough?
When a Pharisee asked Jesus which of the Law’s commandments was the greatest, He replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39, NIV).
Using that as a standard, how good has your good day been? Have you perfectly kept those two commandments? If not, does God grade on a curve? Is 90 percent a passing grade with God? We know the answers to those questions, don’t we? We know that Jesus said, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). And we remember that James wrote, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10, NIV).
Regardless of our performance, we’re always dependent on God’s grace, His undeserved favor to those who deserve His wrath. Some days we may be more acutely conscious of our sinfulness and our need of His grace, but there’s never a day when we can stand before Him on our own two feet of performance and be worthy enough to deserve His blessing.