Paradise Calvary Chapel

Devotionals

The Pure and the Imperfect
Anonymous - Jan. 9, 2019
Devotional

It’s been raining. That’s my favorite part about the seasonal changes here. Somewhere between the biting winter and the burning summer are these sporadic little rainstorms. I love the smell of the rain in Las Vegas. The typical petrichor is mixed with the distinct scent of exhaust fumes and melted asphalt. You’d think the stench of road mixed with the fragrance of air would be unpleasant, but I love it. I like to think it means the sky is washing the city.

During the last rainstorm, I was reading the Bible with someone close to me, and he pointed out Titus 1:2, which says, “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.” For some reason, the verse was striking—there was something about trying to wrap our minds around eternity, and how God knew about it before time began. If eternal life is the thing granted to those who have been perfected, it only makes since that God has always known eternal life, because He has always been perfect.

And God is so very perfect. He is pure. He is completely undefiled. By His very nature, He cannot have unity with anything that contradicts Him…that’s why when we sinned (turned from His ways), we were eternally separated from Him. He adores us, though, and ever since we fell away, He’s been doing everything in His power to get as close as He can to dwelling among us. His first method of doing that was setting up the tabernacle in the Old Testament.

Those Mosaic laws didn’t perfect us to the degree of His purity, though. A tabernacle in the middle of the camp was not complete unity. His love for us and desire to be with us was so great, that He ended up sacrificing His purity for our sake. He took our sin upon Himself so that we could have the righteousness of Christ. Now, because of Jesus, He dwells within our tabernacled hearts, and we’re promised an eternity with Him in perfection.

After that rainstorm stopped, the Vegas valley was blanketed in foggy, smoggy clouds. The person I’d been reading with saw that the Stratosphere hotel was completely shrouded. It wasn’t visible at all. He said the Stratosphere was like our sin. Logically, we know it’s there because we’ve seen it every day, but now it’s covered by something from above so it’s no longer seen.

Although we’ll never be perfect on this side of heaven, we still learn about Him in spite of our imperfections. We learn through contrast, realizing His perfection by recognizing our imperfection, and vice versa, and the more we see of His love, the more we’ll yearn and strive to be close to Him, too. We must remember to not let our imperfection belittle us and distract us from a sense of awe, because His purity overshadows all our sin.