Summary: Motivation to excellence
It’s time to lift the pace -
Jerusalem had returned to a sense of normality- the temple was rebuilt, they were at peace with their enemies, Nehemiah had gone back to the King and the people had fallen into a state of comatose.
Unfortunately their worship of God had been neglected to the point where God was only good for the leftovers.
The Motivation for Excellence
Mal 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
2 "I have loved you," says the LORD. "Yet you say, ’In what way have You loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?" Says the LORD. "Yet Jacob I have loved;
God is a God of unfailing love
I am passionate about you
You are My chosen people
See God’ commitment again in Isaiah 49:14
But Zion said, "The LORD has deserted me, He has forgotten me."
15 "Never! Can a woman forget her little child and not have love for her own son? Yet even if that should be , I will not forget you.
16 See, I have tattooed your name upon the palm and ever before Me is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruin. Living Trans
Israel’s response to God’s love
Mal 1:6 "A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the LORD of hosts To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ’In what way have we despised Your name?’
7 "You offer defiled food on My altar. But say, ’In what way have we defiled You?’ By saying, ’The table of the LORD is contemptible.’
8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?" Says the LORD of hosts.
They were offering God 2nd best – going through the motions
It was time to lift the pace
It was right after World War II. Japan’s economy was in the trash heap. Everything they did was shoddy and sloppy. In fact, if you turned over a toy and it said Made in Japan what did that mean? It was bad. It was trash. Well, General MacArthur wanted to help them undo that so he brought in the best quality control expert he could be find, W. Edwards Deming, and when he came in, among other things, this is what he said to the businesses of Japan. "If you will improve something about yourself and your product every day, in ten years you will turn the economy of Japan around and in thirty years you will be a world power, economically." Well, Japan bought it, hook, line and sinker. They even coined a new word - kaizen - which means just improve something every day, make it a lifestyle. Maybe the way you stand, the way you smile, the attitudes that you have. The way you produce something, the way you work, just a little bit finer on a detail. And within ten years, they had turned their economy around and within thirty years, they had become a world power economically. Still to this day one of the most prestigious awards you can receive on national television, for any business, is the W. Edwards Deming Award.
Psalm 8:1 O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
If they can do it for money how much more should we commit ourselves to a life of continual excellence
We serve an excellent God and being made in His image we should strive to be the same.
How? 4 Things
1/ Take Action and Live courageously
v10 "Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you," says the LORD Almighty, "and I will accept no offering from your hands.
Webster’s definition: Quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face difficulty, danger and pain with firmness and resolve.
Ø Pioneering always takes action and courage. The element of risk!!
Spanish Poet Antonio Machado “ Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking”
The bears, lions and Goliath’s of this world never retreat of their own accord. They
Must be faced.
Action and Courage are the children of Destiny
Matsushita – one of the greatest entrepreneurs started with courage born out of a
dream. H e quit his secure job when just a young man because his boss disagreed with his idea of creating a new type of light socket.