There are two things I know for sure.
First, God believes in success not mediocrity.
Deuteronomy 30:9 in the New Century Version says:
“. . . “The Lord your God will make you successful in everything you do.”
Joshua 1:7 in the New Century Version says:
“Be strong and brave. Be sure to obey all the teachings my servant Moses gave you. If you follow them exactly, you will be successful in everything you do.”
Did you notice that in both of the verses there is one phrase that it common in both?
The scriptures say “you will be successful in everything you do.”
God doesn’t want you successful in some things. . .He wants you successful in everything you do.
Mediocrity is a choice. . .it is either a conscious choice or a subconscious choice. The fruit of a lack of effort to be successful is mediocrity.
When we either choose or accept mediocrity. . .it’s because we have not done what is necessary to succeed.
Simply said, when a person chooses to live in mediocrity. . .it proves they resent excellence or the steps necessary to succeed.
Deuteronomy 30:19 in the King James Version says:
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life,that both thou and thy seed may live:”
Second, God believes in excellence.
Excellence is a habit. . .excellence also attracts favor and brings you before important people.
2 Corinthians 8:7 says:
“Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”
The Greek word for abound according to Strong’s Concordance is from a root word perissos (G4053) which means:
“exceeding some number or measure or rank or need; over and above, more than is necessary, superadded; exceeding abundantly, supremely.”
God wants you to do over and above what’s required to get by. . .He wants you to do more than is necessary. . .He wants you to excel at EVERYTHING you do.
In fact, in most translations, the word abound is translated as excel.
2 Corinthians 8:7 in the New Living Translation says:
“Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us —I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.”
As I was reading this translation of the verse. . .I saw seven very specific things that God wants you and I to excel in. Not just getting by. . .but excelling.
1. Excel in everything
Second Corinthians 8:7 says that we’re to “abound in everything.” We’re to be excellent in everything our hands find to do for His kingdom.
The Greek word for everything is mentioned 1,275 times in scripture and in 1,035 of those mentions . . . it is translated as:
“all; all things; every.”
I think it’s fair to say that everything means “all there is.”
Psalm 119:96 in the Amplified Bible says:
“I have seen that everything [human] has its limits and end [no matter how extensive, noble, and excellent]; but Your commandment is exceedingly broad and extends without limits [into eternity].”
The enemy would have you think that you’re not currently suited. . .nor trained to excel in everything. . .but remember, you’re not in this battle alone.
Philippians 4:8-9 in the Message Bible says:
“Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”
God is the One who will make everything work together in your life.
Remember the word of the amazing evangelist Billy Sunday who once said:
“It is not necessary to be in a big place to do big things.”
And yes, do whatever your hands find to do for His glory. . .do them in excellence.
2. Excel in faith
2 Peter 1:5 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in [exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence).”
We must exercise our faith in order to achieve excellence.
Here are two things about your faith.
First, don’t doubt.
Matthew 21:21 in the New Living Translation says:
“Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.”
One of the really negative things about allowing doubt into your life. . .is that it serves as a magnet to those who do not live in or by faith.
When anyone displays unbelief or doubt. . .they are literally saying that they do not trust God to handle that situation. Not only is such a sentiment disrespectful. . .it carries dangerous and eternal consequence for your spiritual well-being.
Second, do not underestimate the importance that exercising your faith in the pursuit of your goals or the things God has called you to accomplish.
2 Thessalonians 1:11 in the New Living Translation says:
“So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.”
You excel in faith when you know that you know that God will perform what He has promised in His Word.
Romans 4:21 says:
“And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.”
3. Excel in speech
Matthew 12:35 says:
“A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”
Let me break it down and give you the anatomical flow. Heart. . .Head. . .Mouth.
What you think about, meditate on, or allow in your thought process you remember. . .what you remember you speak. It’s that simple.
There are a number of reasons why you should have excellence in speech. . .but if you need one good scriptural example. . .it’s found in the Message Bible translation of Matthew 12:35-37 which says:
“A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation."
Ephesians 4:29 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it.”
There is one other critically important thing for you to remember. . .your attitude, speech and behavior are directly affected by your friends.
I Corinthians 15:33
“Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”
4. Excel in knowledge
Have you ever said or heard someone say, “Well, I’m not as smart as you are.”
First off, comparing yourself with someone else is neither right nor fair. We like the following quote:
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
The point is we all have strengths and we all have weaknesses so comparison is a waste of time.
Once and for all, you need to understand the statement about who’s smartest is an absolute lie. And it will hurt you if you start believing it.
Have you ever said or heard someone say, “I wish I had the wisdom of Solomon?”
My question is. . .why are you willing to settle for only that much wisdom?
Now don’t get me wrong. . .Solomon was one smart guy (king) as 1 Kings 4:30 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the people of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt.
However, you have the number one thing necessary for you to be smarter than Solomon or as smart as anyone else around.
1 Corinthians 2:16 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.”
With the mind of Christ. . .you can excel in the wisdom and knowledge of God. . .but you must make the choice to do so.
Charles Spurgeon, the renowned English pastor and author, said:
“Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.”
5. Excel in enthusiasm
In everything you do. . .see to it that you work with real enthusiasm in whatever you’re doing.
Here are two power thoughts to help you understand more clearly what enthusiasm really means.
First, the last four letters of the word enthusiasm are iasm which stand for “I am sold myself.” You must commit to believing in what you do—God promises that in doing His Will, it will not be “grievous” to you.
I John 5:3 says:
”For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
Second, the word enthusiasm literally means “God within.” When you can allow the greater one within you to stir your greatest desire for excellence, you will have all the motivation you need.
Ephesians 6:7 in the New Living Translation says:
“Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
When you realize you’re working for the Lord and commit to do your best for Him, He will bless the work of your hands.
Psalm 37:5 in the New Living Translation says:
“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.”
Dale Carnegie, the author of How To Win Friends And Influence People, once said:
“Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.”
6. Excel in love
If you want to walk in excellence in everything your hands find to do. . .then you must be obedient to the words found in 1 Corinthians 12:31 in the Amplified Bible:
“But earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces (the higher gifts and the choicest graces). And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one that is better by far and the highest of them all--love].”
The only way to guarantee that you’ll walk in His continual blessing flow is to overflow with His love for others.
1 Thessalonians 3:12 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And may the Lord make you to increase and excel and overflow in love for one another and for all people, just as we also do for you.”
You will never find excellence relaxing in the status quo. Excellence is always moving forward. . .boldly proclaiming His love and healing power.
1 Thessalonians 4:10 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And indeed you already are [extending and displaying your love] to all the brethren throughout Macedonia. But we beseech and earnestly exhort you, brethren, that you excel [in this matter] more and more.”
Please write down this next statement.
Loving someone means to see them as God intended them to be seen.
Loving someone means you see them as God intended you to see them.
Amy Carmichael, a missionary to India and an amazing woman of God, once said:
“You can always give without loving, but you can never love without giving.”
And that brings up to our seventh point.
7. Excel in giving
Noted Christian author Tim Keller said:
“A lack of generosity refuses to acknowledge that your assets are not really yours, but God’s.”
Why does the Bible say that we should give?
First, it is an act of worship; a reasonable response to all God has done for us.
Romans 12:1 in the Message Bible says:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.”
2 Corinthians 8:8-9 in The Living Bible says:
“I am not giving you an order; I am not saying you must do it, but others are eager for it. This is one way to prove that your love is real, that it goes beyond mere words. 9 You know how full of love and kindness our Lord Jesus was: though he was so very rich, yet to help you he became so very poor, so that by being poor he could make you rich.”
Second, our giving must reflect more than just lip service.
Matthew 6:21 in the King James Version says:
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”
Third, we should give because the Lord Jesus (Luke 12:33) and His apostles (2 Corinthians 8:7) taught us to give.
Fourth, in the Scriptures, God promises rewards for giving (Luke 12:33).
Bottom line, when you sow. . .you reap.
Hear me clearly, Child of God, tough times are not the time to stop giving. It is a time to give with confidence knowing that God will bring the blessing you need.
2 Corinthians 9: 6-7 says:
"Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whosoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided to in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
When we can follow the precepts laid out in 2 Corinthians 9:8 in the Amplified Bible then we can know whether or not we have what it takes to excel in giving.
“Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, "prompt to do it") giver [whose heart is in his giving].”
As we conclude this teaching here are two powerful quotes for those who want to move beyond ordinary into excellence.
Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, said:
“The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.”
And this last quote, I’m not sure who said it. . .but it’s thought-provoking.
“Allow yourself to be inspired. Allow yourself to succeed. Dare to excel.”BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS