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Summary: The church should strive to be excellence in all we do!

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Excellence

January 10, 2016

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

When I was in seminary I had a professor who taught Pastoral Care and Counseling classes. She was adamant that sporting events for kids should never have a winner, because then there would never be a loser. There were major debates in class, she stood her ground, and we stood our ground. We questioned and wondered how could you grow up and not know competition. What would that do to your personal growth. There’s competition in most everything we do. You can’t get away from it.

You can’t play T-ball without having a winner and a loser. When you think about growing up in school there was always competition. There were spelling B’s, grades, perfect attendance, gym class contests, games at recess, after school games. It doesn’t matter what you do. Each kid wants to win . . . in sports, in school, in band, in theater, in looks, in clothes, in what car mom or dad drives.

And it goes with us throughout life. We are starting the year talking about EXCELLENCE. What does it take for a church to be excellent? How can FBC be excellent in all we do. If we are striving to win, then we can’t just sit back and assume the competition will roll over. We’re out to win!

We have competition too! We have the world, and the world is led by their coach, satan. We are led by our coach . . . Jesus! Now . . . let me put it this way . . . I know in the end, personally, I will win — and that victory will be heaven. It will be eternal life with Christ and a gazillion of my newest and closest friends. Until that time comes, I want to win the contest we’re engaged in right now. That’s leading people to a relationship with Jesus Christ. We saw it last week when a gentleman came forward accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. It was great! That was a victory! We love those victories. But they are too few.

I believe, part of the problem is our acceptance of mediocrity. We’ve gotten used to a life of less than instead of a life of more than. We don’t expect excellence from anyone, and that includes ourselves. We’ve given up on that. So, we settle for something that is just OK.

Yet, when we go to a movie, we don’t want something which is just OK

When we go out to dinner, we don’t want just OK. Hey, how was that restaurant? Oh, it was OK. That’s not a ringing endorsement.

How was that concert? It was OK.

It’s not what we expect!! We expect better than OK! I don’t want OK, I don’t want good, I want excellent. If you’re a Star Wars fan, how was the new movie? Was it OK or excellent? That’s what we’re after as well. We are after excellent and excellent is going to lead us to so many victories in so many ways in our personal lives and within the church.

So, you see, we pick and choose what we think is acceptable to be just OK. We expect something good on Sunday, but we’re OK, if it falls a little short. I’ll get back to that next week.

As we look at how we can be winners, so as we strive to win, we push more and more to move away from mediocre and seek to become EXCELLENT. Last week we started looking at 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, and I want to take continue looking at this passage. Paul wrote ~

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.

27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Paul’s reminding us that winners are contenders. Verse 24 tells us we need to run so that we may obtain the prize. Think about that . . . it’s pretty common sense. Yet, we so easily forget this. Who is going to train and work their body and mind so that they don’t win. We all want to win. Whatever contest we’re preparing for, we want to win. I’m not training to lose. I’m training to win. It’s why coaches get on players when they don’t practice hard, you don’t practice hard, then you won’t be ready for the contest.

Now, we know nobody wins every contest and event. The question then is this — at the end of the day - - - did you do everything you could do? If you did, you’re a winner, if you didn’t then you will always have regret.

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