Progress, Not Perfection

Those in the recovery communities are familiar with the phrase, “Progress, not perfection.” For example, page 60 of “The Big Book” has this text.

The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Alcoholics Anonymous p. 60

I find this principle in the Bible. John and Paul write that we are not sinless this side of eternity.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
1 John 1:8-10 NKJV

15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
Romans 7:15-20 NKJV

Thank God for ongoing forgiveness!

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
1 John 1:8-10 NKJV

In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV

So that covers the “not perfection” of “Progress, not perfection.” Peter talks about the progress we should be making.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
2 Peter 1:2-7 NKJV

Faith –> Virtue –> Knowledge –> Self-Control –> Perseverance –> Godliness –> Brotherly Kindness –> Love

Peter says that if you are making progress in these, you are bearing fruit!

For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:8 NKJV

But if you’re not making progress in these, well, …

For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
2 Peter 1:9 NKJV

Peter gives more reasons why we should strive to make progress.

10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:10-11 NKJV

Near the end of the letter Peter tells us to keep making progress.

Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
2 Peter 3:14 NKJV

I need to keep making progress, and I’m looking forward to being completely free from sin some day!

Jesus is coming very soon. Be ready to meet him!

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Matthew 24:32-35 NKJV

34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Luke 21:34-36 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Quoted Photos – Acts and Romans

Free to use and share!

Acts

Romans

Jesus is coming soon. Be ready!

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Matthew 24:32-35 NKJV

34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Luke 21:34-36 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Quoted Photos – Genesis Through Job

Free to use and share!

Genesis

Exodus

Deuteronomy

Joshua

Chronicles

Ezra

Job

Jesus is coming soon. Be ready!

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Matthew 24:32-35 NKJV

34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Luke 21:34-36 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Quoted Photos – Jeremiah, Lamentations and Ezekiel

Free to use and share!

Jeremiah

Lamentations

Ezekiel

Jesus is coming soon. Be ready!

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Matthew 24:32-35 NKJV

34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Luke 21:34-36 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Psalms 119 – Ask!

Look at all these things the psalmist asks of God.

10 With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!

12 Blessed are You, O Lord!
Teach me Your statutes.

17 Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word.
18 Open my eyes, that I may see
Wondrous things from Your law.
19 I am a stranger in the earth;
Do not hide Your commandments from me.

22 Remove from me reproach and contempt,
For I have kept Your testimonies.

25 My soul clings to the dust;
Revive me according to Your word.
26 I have declared my ways, and You answered me;
Teach me Your statutes.
27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts;
So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.
28 My soul melts from heaviness;
Strengthen me according to Your word.
29 Remove from me the way of lying,
And grant me Your law graciously.

34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law;
Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies,
And not to covetousness.
37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way.
38 Establish Your word to Your servant,
Who is devoted to fearing You.

64 The earth, O Lord, is full of Your mercy;
Teach me Your statutes.

66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
For I believe Your commandments.

68 You are good, and do good;
Teach me Your statutes.

73 Your hands have made me and fashioned me;
Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.

76 Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort,
According to Your word to Your servant.
77 Let Your tender mercies come to me, that I may live;
For Your law is my delight.

80 Let my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes,
That I may not be ashamed.

88 Revive me according to Your lovingkindness,
So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.

93 I will never forget Your precepts,
For by them You have given me life.
94 I am Yours, save me;
For I have sought Your precepts.

107 I am afflicted very much;
Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.
108 Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord,
And teach me Your judgments.

116 Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live;
And do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
117 Hold me up, and I shall be safe,
And I shall observe Your statutes continually.

124 Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy,
And teach me Your statutes.
125 I am Your servant;
Give me understanding,
That I may know Your testimonies.

132 Look upon me and be merciful to me,
As Your custom is toward those who love Your name.
133 Direct my steps by Your word,
And let no iniquity have dominion over me.
134 Redeem me from the oppression of man,
That I may keep Your precepts.
135 Make Your face shine upon Your servant,
And teach me Your statutes.

144 The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting;
Give me understanding, and I shall live.

145 I cry out with my whole heart;
Hear me, O Lord!
I will keep Your statutes.
146 I cry out to You;
Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies.

149 Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;
O Lord, revive me according to Your justice.

153 Consider my affliction and deliver me,
For I do not forget Your law.
154 Plead my cause and redeem me;
Revive me according to Your word.

156 Great are Your tender mercies, O Lord;
Revive me according to Your judgments.

159 Consider how I love Your precepts;
Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness.

169 Let my cry come before You, O Lord;
Give me understanding according to Your word.
170 Let my supplication come before You;
Deliver me according to Your word.

176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
Seek Your servant,
For I do not forget Your commandments.

Psalms 119:10, 12, 17-19, 22, 25-29, 34-38, 64, 66, 68, 73, 76-77, 80, 88, 93-94, 107-108, 116-117, 124-125, 132-135, 144-146, 149, 153-154, 156, 159, 169-170, 176 NKJV

I can’t think of much important the psalmist left out. 🙂 I am reminded of these Scriptures.

“I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.
John 15:5 BSB

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, with whom there is no change or shifting shadow.
James 1:17 BSB

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV

Jesus is coming very soon. Be ready!

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Matthew 24:32-35 NKJV

34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Luke 21:34-36 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Quoted Photos – Isaiah

Free to use and share!

Jesus is coming soon. Be ready!

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Matthew 24:32-35 NKJV

34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Luke 21:34-36 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

I Filled Another Notebook!

It’s hard to describe my feeling when I run out of pages in a Bible study notebook. It’s not pride, but it is genuine happiness. I suppose I could prove in a court of law that the Bible is so important to me that I spend time (almost) every day simply writing what the Bible says. My notes are few, and usually just in the margins.

This notebook lasted from April 18 through July 26, 2019, and has about 157 pages of written Scripture. 🙂

I run pens out of ink, mostly blue pens for Proverbs and green for Psalms. One ran out today.

Writing Scripture I feel led to write makes me slooooow down and consider every word. I have gotten much understanding by writing that I would have missed by just reading. If you haven’t tried writing Scripture, I suggest you try it. I think it is a form of meditation. 🙂

Jesus is coming very, very soon. Be ready!

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Matthew 24:32-35 NKJV

34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Luke 21:34-36 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.