A High Percentage

June 3, 2018
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Psalm 51:1-2 – Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. (NIV)

One Sunday recently, as our pastor prayed at the start of worship, he asked God to fill each one of us, and to do His transforming work in every part of our lives. As we prayed this, suddenly a thought shot through my mind: "All of me — how hard that is!" With our sinful human nature, our walk with the Lord (or mine, anyway) can day by day be like two steps forward and one step back. Some days it even seems more like one step forward and two steps back.

How can I, in every part of my life, be perfect, like Christ? Then, this question followed the first thought: "What percentage of me would be okay? 75 percent? 80 percent? Even 90 percent?"

After the service, as I reflected on those two fleeting thoughts, my mind followed a course something like this:

  • Yes, it is hard to be more and more like Jesus (especially when I try in my own strength)!
  • So, realistically, would giving, say, 90 percent of me to Him be okay? (Oh, so which of my old, bad (sinful) habits is okay to hold on to?)
  • Hey! I can't do this by myself!

The Holy Spirit within us creates the hunger to be more like Jesus, our Friend and Saviour. Our sinful human nature, with which we were born, battles against that and sometimes wins those battles. The apostle Paul shared his own experience: "For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing." (Romans 7:19 AMPC) We are not alone in our struggle!

Well, is 90 percent a high enough percentage to give to Him? (In just saying that, doesn't His Spirit make us shudder in rejection of the very thought?!) The Holy Spirit urges us on towards the only percentage that is really "high enough": 100 percent — and the truth is that we cannot do it by ourselves. So, let us daily take refuge in our merciful God and continue to pray, even as David did in Psalm 51. For the cleansing and the growth in Christlikeness that we need and desire are God's work, not our own. Although in this life we continue to lose some battles, at Calvary, Jesus won the war. Even today, as God looks at you and me, He sees His Son in us. How could we offer Him less than 100 percent?

Prayer: Gracious God, we thank You that You know us — and You love us! Help us to humble ourselves before You and to rely on Your strength to walk closer to, and to grow to be more like, Your risen Son. Amen.

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About the author:

Don Lipsett <dllipsett@shaw.ca>
100 Mile House, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Don.

    Wonderful Devotional, Don.

    Hi Don
    For me it often comes down to this, “Lord I’m messing up again. Please take over!”

    Thank you Don. It is a question we must ask ourselves each day. Am I giving 100{8395b6ce96fcf25a14d80edc3b65c36a8995b6c1ba5f8c16ac11d8adaa79f35b}?
    He gave 100{8395b6ce96fcf25a14d80edc3b65c36a8995b6c1ba5f8c16ac11d8adaa79f35b} so why wouldn’t I?

    What a wonderful devotional. This really touched my heart and soul this morning. Less than 100{8395b6ce96fcf25a14d80edc3b65c36a8995b6c1ba5f8c16ac11d8adaa79f35b} is ‘not’ good enough. I will share this with our Ladies Group.
    God Bless you Don and your family.

    There’s a little chorus that I learned long ago. It goes like this: “I want more of Jesus, More and more and more. I want more of Jesus than I’ve ever had before. I want more of Jesus, so rich and full and free. I want more of Jesus so I’ll give Him more of me”! Seems appro pro.

    Thank You for writing these devotions, I do enjoy them as they help me look at my coming day in a different light, this devotional really touched me as I struggle with this continually, how much is enough, so much like Paul, at times afraid to say take 100{8395b6ce96fcf25a14d80edc3b65c36a8995b6c1ba5f8c16ac11d8adaa79f35b}, afraid of what I might have to give up. Knowing I am not alone in this struggle will encourage me to continue to strive to give more of me! Thank You for your writings, continued blessings.

    Dear Rev Lipsett,
    Thank you for the devotional.
    My husband was an elder many years ago.
    On several occasions he and I attended meetings in the Caribeau.
    It was always a delight to spend a few hours with a friend from there and listen to the wonderful stories he told.
    Your devotional reminded me of those occasions.
    Wishing you blessings and good health.

    Thank you, Don, for sharing this devotional with us. Ivory soap advertisements claimed that it was 99 & 44/100ths{8395b6ce96fcf25a14d80edc3b65c36a8995b6c1ba5f8c16ac11d8adaa79f35b} pure. (but pure what?) The advertiser claimed it was pure white soap. Jesus’ blood washes us whiter (i.e. purer) than snow. Now we can be confident that when we stand before God on that auspicious day, we too will have been washed whiter than snow (which ironically crystallizes water around a particle of dirt to form a flake). Jesus’ blood does truly make us whiter than snow because He will have made us 100{8395b6ce96fcf25a14d80edc3b65c36a8995b6c1ba5f8c16ac11d8adaa79f35b} pure before the Lord. Praise His Holy Name! Blessings.

    Dear Don Lipsett,
    I especially what you said about the Holy Spirit.
    Keep writing for Jesus’ sake.

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