1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV (31) So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Colossians 3:17 ESV And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:23 ESV Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
I enjoy being around people of excellence. If we are going to do something, why not do it right and with our whole heart? This has served me well in my 45 years as a believer.
I watch certain "continual life-style" traits of believers and it tells me a lot about their personal discipline and their walk with the Lord. One such example would be those who are ALWAYS late. I'm not talking about an occasional situation were circumstances dictated lateness and it was out of their control.
I am speaking about the kind of tardiness that has become a lifestyle and causes others to distrust their word about when they would be available. Continual tardiness speaks of being personally undisciplined and a self-adsorbed selfishness that basically says not one else's time matters but yours. This is not excellence as a believer.
I was raised in a non-Christian home, yet there were things my father taught me that has served invaluable in my life. The first being a strong work ethic. Excellence says that you don't need to stand watch over me in order to receive a day's work that will exceed what you expected. The second is the value of time. In all of my many appointments over the past 40 plus years, I have maintained one simple code of conduct. I would rather be one hour early than be one minute late.
I have made a list of what I believe to be Christian marks of excellence. Each can be found in the Scriptures and I'm sure this list is incomplete and many more could be added. If we are going to do all things "as unto the Lord" then we should do them well and with excellence.
THE 9 MARKS OF CHRISTIAN EXCELLENCE.
1. BIBLICAL FAITH: That which we trust
2. GODLY CHARACTER: That which we manifest
3. GODLY ACTION: That which we do
4. SINGLE-MINDEDNESS: That which we think
5. GOD'S LOVE: That which motivates us
6. SUFFERING: That which we endure
7. PRAYER: That which we relate to God with
8. WISDOM: That which we seek over wealth
9. STAYING POWER: That which anchors our soul
I believe that we should be a people that display the life of Christ in all that we say, do, and think. We are the only Bible that some will read and we are the only example of Jesus some will see.
2 Corinthians 3:2-3 ESV (2) You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. (3) And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
THE STATURE OF EXCELLENCE:
Have you ever worked with folks that do just enough to get by? Or maybe their work and lifestyle is sub-par. That was what I was told throughout my school years. "Charles, you can do so much better, you are working subpar of your capability." I didn't even know what "subpar" was until I looked it up and found out that I was below average. I thought that I was just average in everything and I was okay with that. But being classified as below average messed up my thinking a little bit.
I did not know or understand excellence. After I was saved I realized that in one way to honor our Lord is that whatever job or task given, we should do it as unto the Lord. That means to do our very best and try to go beyond the required standard that has be set and expected.
In my 14 years of Air Force military duty I received two Commendation medals for achieving above and beyond the call of duty. In working I felt that I was serving God, however my supervisors saw my work ethics and acknowledged and rewarded it.
The Apostle Paul talks about us coming into the full knowledge of the Son of God and to the measure or full portion of the statue of Christ.
Ephesians 4:13 ESV until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
What is the "stature of the fullness" and what does it mean for us?
A COSTLY STATURE:
First I have to remind us that we are a fallen people, sinful, lost and in need of salvation and direction. We are tempted, tarnished, and twisted. The flesh drives us to a desire for money, success, and prestige. However, we have been given hope.
1. God has enabled us to be like our Lord Jesus Christ.
2. The children of Israel failed in the wilderness...we must not fail God by seeking the pagan gods of this world.
3. All of our works will be revealed and tried by fire.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 ESV For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (12) Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— (13) each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. (14) If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. (15) If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
4. Salvation is free. However, excellence is costly, never cheap: It is death to all we are or think that we are. It is moving out of ownership and into management. Although salvation is free, we must pay the full cost to be disciples.
1 Chronicles 21:24 ESV But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
5. Have the mind set that if we are going to do something, why not do it right and with everything in us, and do it unto the Lord. "Run in such a way as to win!" We might not have the newest car or newest and biggest house on the street, but it should be the cleanest.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. (25) Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. (26) So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. (27) But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
6. Hard work and commitment: There are those who see how little they can do and still remain God's chosen people. They measure their Christianity in teaspoonfuls of Bible reading, moments of prayer, and occasional Christian fellowship. Our Lord says that we will be faithful in a little and we will be given much. Israel gave God the first fruits of their crops and the best of their flocks...how much more should we be giving our first and our best.
Excellence stands tall. Raise the Standard in your walk.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.