Pursuing Excellence – 9/17/19 PM

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Pursuing Excellence

Mark 7:31-37

Vs. 37…And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well…

 

Intro: The word “well” here means beautifully, finely, excellently, well, rightly, so that there shall be no room for blame,

The Bible has a lot to say about pursuing excellence.  In fact the word EXCELLENT is found 34 times.   The word was used to describe God, God’s people, God’s work, etc.

  • Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain – Heb. 11:4
  • Daniel had an excellent spirit – Dan. 6:3
  • Daniel had excellent wisdom and understanding – Dan. 5:13
  • Paul encouraged the believer to pursue a more excellent way – I Cor. 12:31
  • Hebrews 8:6 speaks of a more excellent ministry
  • Philippians 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

It is my belief that down through the years, people’s casual approach to every area of their life has bled over into the ministry, and God’s house, His work and His ministries have become a casualty.

I believe its high time God’s people get back to pursuing excellence in things that matter.

We need to get our priorities in order and get serious and passionate about doing God’s work God’s way!

 

In order to pursue excellence, there are some things that we must have:

A. Excellence Requires the Proper Mindset

  • Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Doing things well; doing them right; pursuing excellence begins with a mindset; a philosophy of excellence.

MAXIMUM EFFORT

Where did we ever get the idea that God will bless anything less than our best?

God is not interested in tokens and an “it’s the thought that counts” mentality.

God has demanded perfection – the best you have, ever since creation.

  • Numbers 18:12 All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee.
  • Numbers 18:29 Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it.
  • Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, (without blemish is required by God over 40 times!!)

B. Excellence Requires the Proper Motives

  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

How can we glorify God with that which is half-hearted, broken-down, etc.?

  • Haggai 1:5-8 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?  Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.  Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.

C. Excellence Requires the Proper Money

  • II Kings 12:4 And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man’s heart to bring into the house of the LORD, Let the priests take it to them, every man of his acquaintance: and let them repair the breaches of the house, wheresoever any breach shall be found.

Why we should pursue excellence…

I. Because of the Pattern

The Lord set a pattern of excellence.

Our first insight into God’s pattern of pursuing excellence is found in Genesis chapter 1.

Creation is a perfect example of God’s love for things being done right.

At least 5 times God referred to his creation by saying, “and it was good.”

  • God’s power and majesty and judgment in Job 37:23
  • God’s name in Psalm 8:9
  • God’s lovingkindness in Psalm 36:7
  • God’s works in Isaiah 12:5
  • God’s counsel and working in Isaiah 28:29

II. Because of the Publicity – vs. 36 …so much the more a great deal they published it…

The truth is going to be published – good or bad!

  • 1 Chronicles 22:5 And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the LORD must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.

Let the church have a reputation of pursuing excellence.

Let us as believers have a reputation for pursuing excellence.

 

III. Because of the Product – vs. 37 he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Changed lives. This was the result of the Lord’s desire and ability to “do all things well”.

That is what our desire should be. To see lives changed.

  • We have a Christian Academy because we want to see these children’s lives changed.  Let us pursue excellence!
  • We have acres of property, and lots of buildings.  Let us pursue excellence!
  • We have first-time visitors almost every service here at Calvary Baptist.  Let us pursue excellence!
  • That means the facilities need to be clean.
  • The choir needs to be right.
  • The instruments should be in tune.
  • The sound system needs to be working properly.
  • The message needs God’s touch on it.  Let us pursue excellence!
  • We have a bus ministry.
  • We want to see lives and families changed. Let us pursue excellence!