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Summary: Getting roots so we can be strong ino ur faith

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Having a life that has meaning

Have you ever felt that some people seem to be productive in almost everything they do? In our land we have become very conscious of being productive as the main goal in life. We are given once a month from the government a report of our gross national product which is a picture of our national economic health. What would it be like if each month we were given an individual productivity report? Would each month say we are being productive? What do you define if you were asked what productive life is? More important is what God’s standard for a productive life is? We have talked about the fruit of the spirit and there are nine in all. Let us look at God’s standard according to John 15:1-8.

Giving Your Best by Rick Ezell “People were overwhelmed with amazement, ‘He (Jesus) has done everything well,’ they said. ‘He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak’” MK 7:37

People living significant lives pursue excellence. Jesus was committed to excellence. The New Testament writer Mark reminds us that God gave his very best-his Son. And his Son gave his very best-his life. His followers should do no less. Less than our best is too little considering the fact that God has given us his very best. In view of all the Lord has done for us, less than our best is less than adequate. Whatever our role, our position, our organization, or our lot in life, we should strive for the best. The measure of our success should be based on our character and what we give.

Excellence does not mean being the best, but being your best.

Excellence is not success. Success means being better than everyone else is. Excellence is being better than you were yesterday. Success means exceeding the feat of other people. Excellence means matching your practice with your potential.

Excellence is not perfectionism. Perfectionism means doing everything perfect. Excellence is doing the best you can with what you have.

Excellence is not being “good enough.” Just “good enough” is an excuse attitude that is negative and defeating. Excellence is going the extra mile. Excellence knows that good enough is not good enough.

Excellence is not arrival. Arrival says, “I’ve mastered it. I’ve done it. I have arrived.” Excellence is found in the journey, not in the destination. Excellence is a process, the lasting pursuit of quality.

Being our best comes easier when we are in the right place using our gifts and talents for something we care deeply about.

Discover your role. Excellence requires finding what we do well then doing it. When we discover our role it helps us exercise our spiritual gifts and natural talents. Consequently, it helps us to prioritize our time, finances, and other resources. It aids us in saying no to the many demands, comparisons, and comments that might sidetrack us. Give attention to detail. The difference between something good and something great is the attention to detail. In the end people will never know how long it takes one to do something. They will only know how well it is done. It takes work to achieve excellence. There are no shortcuts. God plays an important role in that process. And we play an important role, too. All excellence involves discipline and persistence of purpose.” Focus your mind. Your mind needs to stay in the present in order to pay complete attention to the task at hand. In my pursuit of excellence I have discovered that champions are more willing to give than to get. They go the extra mile. They move beyond expectations. They strive for higher standards.

Did you know the word fruit appears 66 times in the N. T.? Fruit is given in three categories which are the kind we eat, babies being born and Christ like character. John 15:8 “My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father.” John 15:16 “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.” We want to look at the conditions for being fruitful as given in the Bible. This might take 4 Sundays so you do not want to miss the next three.

1. The first on our list is that we need to develop roots in what we believe. JER 17:7-8 "But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.” This tells us that without roots we will not have fruit. Without roots we will not make it through the tough times when there is drought or we are faced with hard places or when we face pressure. Without an anchor we will not hold up. Roots do not come but need time to go down deep so that they will hold us up.

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