My first recognition of "excellence" was in the first grade. Coloring a duck on a pond was more than using crayons and filling in the page with color. When I saw how Tim Wesley colored a picture, I knew there was something more excellent about his work than of mine. I needed to watch how softly and smoothly I pressed and moved the crayon within the lines. It was no longer a matter of staying within the lines, but of HOW WELL I worked within the lines with what I had in my hand. Later, I saw a place for excellence in many other areas of life. Christians have a taste for excellence if they are really trying to be a Christian.
I. OUR GOD IS MOST EXCELLENT.
A. The excellency of our God. Isa.35:2
B. Excellence of the knowledge of Christ. Phil.3:8
C. His excellent greatness. Psa.150:2
D. "the Excellent Glory" - 2Pet.1:17
II. GOD EXPECTS HIS CHILDREN TO HAVE A HEART FOR EXCELLENCE. Rom.2:18; Phil.1:10
A. Excellent Moral Life & Principles.
1. Excellence of wisdom to guide one into quality living. Eccl.7:12
2. The principles of life in Jesus kingdom. Matt.5-7
3. Love: "A more excellent way". 1Cor.12-13
B. Excellent Effort.
1. When God made the world it was "very good". Because God does not do half-hearted things and end with junk.
2. Diligence is a very "precious possession". Prov.12:27; 13:4
3. God has never appreciated laziness or work as "menpleasers"-Col.3:22,23
4. God wants us to set our hands to a task and "do it with your might". Eccl.9:10; 10:18
5. There is an internal satisfaction when one accomplishes a task that was entered with excellent effort and continued until accomplished.
C. Excellent Goals & Objectives.
1. Righteousness. Phil.3:8,9
2. The goal is to "know Him and the power of His resurrection". 10
3. The goal is to "attain to the resurrection". 11
4. Pressing to the goal with determined commitment. 14
D. Excellent Worship.
1. Where God is treated with special homage and reverence.
2. Where the offerings are the best. Heb.11:4; Eccl.5:1
3. Wanting to give God my best song, prayer, sacrifice, communion, and attention to His word.
4. Wanting my affection and adoration to be expressed more perfectly, more sincerely, than ever before.
Our lives must be lived in the quality of the Son of God. We have seen the quality in Jesus and in faithful disciples. It is excellence, moral beauty, inner beauty, that must first capture our hearts desire. But, God, the Excellent Glory, must be allowed to get our attention, before we can raise our sights. As long as we are coloring with amateurs and never see a standard of excellence, we will continue to get the results that are far below our real capabilities. Knowing Jesus is your key to excellence. Do you know Him?
By Terry W. Benton
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