Here is the teaching outline for SUNDAY NITE LIVE. Join us at 6 PM EST.
First, God believes in success not mediocrity.
Deuteronomy 30:9 NCV
“. . . “The Lord your God will make you successful in everything you do.”
Joshua 1:7 NCV
“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.”
Deuteronomy 30:19 KJV
“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. .
2 Corinthians 8:7 KJV
“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.”
2 Corinthians 8:7 NLT
“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.”
1. Excel in everything
Psalm 119:96 AMPC
“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].”
Philippians 4:8-9 MSG
“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.”
Billy Sunday once said:
“It is not necessary to be in a big place to do big things.”
2. Excel in faith
2 Peter 1:5 AMPC
“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).”
Here are two things about your faith.
First, don’t doubt.
Matthew 21:21 NLT
“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.”
2 Thessalonians 1:11 NLT
“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.”
Romans 4:21 KJV
“And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.”
3. Excel in speech
Matthew 12:35 KJV
“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.”
Matthew 12:35-37 KJV
“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 AMPC
“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.”
I Corinthians 15:33 KJV
“Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”
4. Excel in knowledge
“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.”
1 Kings 4:30 AMPC
“Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the people of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt.
1 Corinthians 2:16 AMPC
“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.”
Charles Spurgeon, the renowned English pastor and author, once 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
I John 5:3 KJV
”For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
Ephesians 6:7 NLT
“Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
Psalm 37:5 NLT
“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
1 Corinthians 12:31 AMPC
“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].”
1 Thessalonians 3:12 AMPC
“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.”
1 Thessalonians 4:10 AMPC
“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.”
Loving someone means to see them as God intended them to be seen.
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.”
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 MSG
“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 TLB
“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 KJV
“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).
2 Corinthians 9: 6-7 KJV
"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."
2 Corinthians 9:8 AMPC
“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].”
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.”