Summary: This is a message dealing with the responsibilities of the church to present the work of God with excellence, it is what the world is looking for. Let’s do our best!
1 Kings 10:1-29 (KJV)
And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions. 2And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. 3And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not. 4And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built, 5And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her. 6And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. 7Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. 8Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.
Several years ago the Lord directed me to this passage of scripture as it pertains to excellence in ministry. For several weeks at that time we put a strong emphasis on Excellence on raising the bar if you will. Today I want to revisit this passage of Scripture and draw again on the things that the world is looking for when they visit this church or any other church that claims to have something going on with God.
Notice what she saw or spied out, and remember she is the perfect example of a visitor to our church:
I. She noticed the looks of the House.
A. God’s house ought to be taken care of better than our house.
If there is anything that most all of us are guilty of to some degree, it is to treat the Holy House of God as though it was no more important than any other building we spend time at.
B. God’s house ought to look better than our house!
The church ought to look good and smell good and the lawn should be neatly trimmed and the parking lot should be kept clean. Why, because it speaks volumes to those who are looking for a church and it says to the Lord, “We appreciate all that you have blessed us with!” I have driven by churches that are falling apart, the grass is about 2 feet tall, the paints peeled and the structure looks unsafe. If I am the average Joe looking for a place to take my family, I probably will not go there. I’m sorry if that offends you, but, the fact of the matter is, how we take care of the outside is generally a reflection of the inside.
D. I put a challenge out to every one of you today, "Join Me, Marry the church and begin to take a personal interest in keeping this church looking its best!” That’s why we discourage folks from bringing food and drinks into the building; we want this to be a holy place and we want it to look its best for years to come if the Lord should tarry.
II. She noticed that there was good food on the table.
A. Good food!
I have yet to leave a good looking restaurant, full and satisfied because it looked good. It’s not enough to have a beautiful edifice, or awesome facilities. We better make sure that there is some food worth coming back for.
It is my responsibility to bring the Word of the Lord with every ounce of passion that I can muster up, to preach with all of my mind, soul, body and strength. But if the atmosphere is not right, that word will fall on ground that is not conducive to a move of God, and I will have wasted my time and yours. So it takes more than passionate preaching, it takes prayer teams that have bathed the church in prayer on Tuesday, and Saturday. We all have a part to play in making sure that when cousin Elizabeth comes to visit, she leaves saying, "That was a great place to eat!" , I don’t eat at places that look like a pig pen. The rule of thumb is, before you order your food, go see how clean the bathroom is.
III. The attendance of His ministers is what the KJV says. Two things are seen regarding the Ministers, those who were servants of the Lord.