Summary: Setting high standards in our lives is important as disciples of Jesus. Let's spend some time considering the pursuit of excellence in our daily lives.
The pursuit of excellence
We continue in our preaching series on discovering our destiny, discovering your destiny.
Across our group of churches, we are spending a few weeks preaching on how setting high standards in our lives is important as disciples of Jesus.
This morning our theme is Excellence in all we do and say and I want us to spend some time considering the pursuit of excellence in our daily lives.
Excellence - The Oxford Dictionary defines it in this way:
Excellence - The quality of being outstanding or extremely good.
The word excel is defined as, “to do or be better than; to surpass.”
Excellence from the viewpoint of the world is defined in terms of competition, of surpassing others, usually for self glory or a sense of significance or to achieve the praise and applause of other people.
From a worldly perspective, the words excel, surpass, exceed, transcend, outdo, all suggest the concept of going beyond a specific limit or standard.
To excel is to perform at a level higher.
To surpass is to be superior in performance, quality, or degree.
Exceed can refer to being superior in quality, ingenuity or quantity or to progress beyond a defined limit.
Transcend implies the attainment of a level so high that comparison is hardly possible.
To outdo is to excel in doing or performing.
When we think of the pursuit of excellence from a biblical perspective, it is different from the world's view of excellence.
From a Biblical perspective, excellence is a virtue and we, as disciples of Jesus, should pursue excellence at all times.
Whether we are washing dishes at home or washing windows for a living, whether we are running a business or running a small group, whether we are driving a car or a golf ball we are to do it to the glory of God.
In 1 Corinthians 10:31 the Apostle Paul tells us “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” And in Colossians 3:23-24 he writes, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.”
There is basic theology in these verses for us. This is a foundational part of our faith and our daily walk as disciples of Jesus. This is a theological truth that should touch every aspect of our lives, a truth that is essential to us living the life that Jesus has called us and saved us to live.
In all things, we as Christians, we as followers of Jesus, we as those who have repented from our sins and accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we are to pursue excellence, for the glory of God.
Aristotle the ancient Greek philosopher and scientist put it this way: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
The pursuit of excellence is a direction not a destination, the pursuit of excellence is something we must continue to do until God calls us home.
Excellence means being your best.
Excellence means being better tomorrow than you were yesterday.
Excellence means matching your practice with your potential.”
We are to be the best we can be as we daily serve our Lord. We are called to seek His will and purpose. We are called to be the people God has called us to be.
How much do we love God? How thankful are we for what God has done for us?
What has He done for you? What has He done for me? Simple answer, John 3:16, “This is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” Or Romans 5:8, “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
God has showed His love for us, He has expressed His love for us... How do we express our love for God? I would suggest that the pursuit of excellence in our daily lives is an important expression of our love for God.
Listen to the words of 1 John 2:4-6, If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
Following God’s commands, God’s precepts, God’s will and purpose for our lives is an expression of our love.
Biblically speaking, the pursuit of excellence refers to pursuing and doing the best we can with the gifts and abilities God has given us, giving our best to the glory of God. Living our lives the way Jesus wants us to. Excellence is more about becoming than being. It’s a way of life that needs to be at the centre of how we live our lives.