Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: We are in our series on Core Values. Core Values are the DNA that define who we are, what we are in infancy and in greatness. What God has called us to be. They are not just creeds on plaque or notes in book somewhere. They are the essence of who we a

Core Values – Excellence – Ecclesiastes 9:10

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom

What is Excellence?

· Possessing good qualities in high degree

· Synonyms: Class, distinction, fineness, goodness, greatness, high quality, merit, perfection, pre-eminence, purity, quality, superbness, supremacy, transcendence, virtue, worth

· Antonyms: failing, fault, flaw, imperfection, inferiority, mediocrity

Where does Scripture even talk about excellence?

· Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

· Dan 6:3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him;

· Psalms 8:1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

· Psalms 150:2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

· Philippians 1:9-11 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is excellent and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

· 1 Cor 12:31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.

· Biblical examples of excellence in action:

o New wine @ Cana Wedding

o Sacrifices of the Old Testament

· When I say that excellence is a core value, I want to en-flesh that by what you see in the business world:

o Five-Star Churches

o Summarizing our Core Value of Excellence:

i. Excellence is offering the best of our time and talent in thorough preparation and execution of God’s service

ii. The standard of excellence requires that we do God’s service with superior quality that reflects the eternal impact of Kingdom work

iii. Excellence honors God and inspires greatness

iv. Every ministry and individual must strive for excellence

v. Excellence in our ministries and lives is a proper reflection of God at work in us

vi. Excellence in ministry is fitting worship to God

· The big question you may be asking is “Does excellence matter to God? Does God care about quality? Is He concerned with how well things are done? Does it make any difference to God whether: the instruments are in tune; the worship team has rehearsed the songs, etc.? Some would say, "no."

· All God cares about is our hearts. It’s the thought that counts. God is not impressed with a slick program or flashy audio-visuals; what matters to Him are internal things like love, compassion, and humility.

· God is primarily concerned with our hearts. But God does care about those things as an expression of our hearts. Because the way we serve God - in the church, in our homes, in our workplaces, in our families - the way we live out our faith; the level of commitment we have to doing things well, to honoring God in every area of our lives - that reveals what is in our hearts.

· We should strive for excellence because God is worth it. He deserves our best.

o Have you ever given your best to someone whom you later found out didn’t deserve it? [employer, friend, husband or wife, religious leader, politician] That will never happen with God. He is worthy of our love and devotion, worthy of our worship, worthy of our labor. He is worthy of late nights and early mornings. He is worth making sacrifices for. He is worthy giving things up for.

o Illustration: Winston Churchill’s first speech to the house of commons three days after becoming prime minister, at the beginning of World War II

§ "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy?

§ I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.

§ You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Let that be realized; no survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for."

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