Summary: This is a revamp of an earlier message I did from Bob Russell’s book, "When God Builds A Church."
I want to share a couple of passages with you this morning to ponder this morning.
Colossians 3:17 (NASB) 17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Colossians 3:23 (NASB) 23Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,
Today as we continue to look at “When God Builds A Church”, I want us to consider the principle of excellence.
I believe we serve a great God, and our great God has given us His best, I believe we owe Him the same in return.
There are too things done for God that are “good enough”. Too many times we look at what we are doing for God and His church and say “It is good enough.”
What we need to be doing is to ask ourselves if what we have done was the best we could do with what we had.
Our calling from God demands more from us that “good enough”, it requires our best efforts.
Let us take some time together to study the principle of excellence!
I. UNDERSTANDING EXCELLENCE
1. What is excellence?
• If we are going to strive for something, we need to know what it is. According to the dictionary, the word “excellence” means- The state, quality or condition of excelling.
• Does that help? Excellence is something that is rather subjective. How do you know if you are excelling in something or if something is such quality that it reflects excellence?
• I would give the definition of excellence is doing the very best with what you have to work with. It is something that takes more than just casual effort to obtain.
• Maybe to get some perspective on what excellence is, let us look at what the word mediocre means. Mediocre is defined as “moderate to inferior in quality; ordinary, see synonyms at “average”.
• We should strive for excellence in ALL we do in life. If we are painting a wall, are we doing the very best we can do? Notice I did not say was it perfect. Excellence is not perfection, it is the striving to do the very best we can, to give the best we have to anything we do.
• Imaging how the church would be if we all gave and average efforts. We would be a mediocre church. I believe Avis has a commercial that says they try harder. They show you what life would be like for you if the people of Avis just tried.
What would happen to a church where everyone was striving for excellence? GROWTH!
2. Why striving for excellence is important?
• SLIDE #5
Our efforts are a reflection of the God we serve.
Colossians 3:23 - 24 (NASB) 23Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
Verse 17 encourages us to do all we do in the name of the Lord. Our efforts are a reflection on the God we serve. If we give God half efforts, then it will look like God is not worth our best.
The context of verses 23-24 deals with slaves. Whatever we do, we are to do it in the name of the Lord. Even slaves were called to give their all.
When you have an FCC license plate on your car, do you drive more carefully? REFLECTION ISSUE.
This is why it is important when there is a problem in the church family; it needs to stay in the family so it does not reflect poorly on God’s church.
In Leviticus 22:20, God tells the people He will not accept and animal with blemish from them as a sacrifice.
When God required sacrifices, He required the best animals you had.
Giving God the best was a test of faith. God required the first fruits of the field. The first and best went to God. He did not accept leftovers and second best.
God did not give us an “average” effort or “average” blessing, He gives us His best.
Giving your best is a matter of trust; do you trust God enough to offer up your best to Him?
The mission we are entrusted with is too important for “good enough”. Nice well kept facilities is not a stumbling block to winning the lost. A poor looking women’s bathroom and nursery can hurt our ability to reach lost people. That sounds silly, but it is reality, a reality we have to face. People draw conclusions about our church by the way it looks.