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w/Excellence. Homework Review: How are you doing with the 24 hour challenge? How many married couples have made a commitment to not be critical of each other? How many have made a commitment to make your home a safe haven? .

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slide2

Homework Review:

  • How are you doing with the 24 hour challenge?
  • How many married couples have made a commitment to not be critical of each other?
  • How many have made a commitment to make your home a safe haven?
slide3

God chisels on those who allow Him to do so in order to conform us into the image of His Son.

  • We are all under construction.
  • A working progress.
  • But, in this life, we will never see the End of Construction sign.
  • This morning let’s look at another aspect of the chiseling process: the spirit of excellence.
slide4

Have you ever asked yourself?

  • Why do some people always seem to excel in life and others don’t?
  • Why do some do things well and others are half-hearted about what they do?
  • Why can you depend on some people and depending on others is like leaning on a weak stick?
  • The answer could be that some people possess the spirit of excellence and others don’t.
  • How Would Jesus Do It?
  • Let’s see:
slide5

Mark 7:37 – And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He [Jesus] has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak. (NKJV)

  • Jesus does all things well.
  • HWJDI?
  • With a spirit of excellence.
  • It permeates everything He does.
  • In essence, the spirit of excellence is the Spirit of Jesus. 
slide6

Psalm 8:1 – Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your Name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens! (NKJV) 

  • God has an excellent Name. Why?
  • Because all of His ways are excellent.
  • Do you have an excellent name?  
  • In creation, God did nothing that was mediocre.
  • As He made the Earth, the stars, the planets, the solar system, and the billions of galaxies, there was nothing that was mediocre.
  • There was nothing that God did that He did not completeeither.
  • He finished everything.
slide7

God not only created and completed what He started, but He also took time to examine His creation.

  • What was He looking for?
  • Excellence!
  • How do we know that?
  • When He examined His work, He stepped back, looked it over, and said, It is good (Gen. 1).
  • He was pleased with what He saw.
  • Would He have been pleased if He had done a mediocre job? No!
  • Everything that He created was excellent & good.
slide8

We see 4 things about God which are the fruits of the Spirit of Excellence:

  • All He does is excellent and not mediocre.
  • He finishes everything He starts.
  • He examined His work looking for excellence.
  • He inspected what He expected.
  • He said, It is good! It is excellent!
  • We have established that the Lord is excellent.
  • What about us?
slide9

2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (NKJV)

  • The AMP tells what the mirror is.

2 Corinthians 3:18 – And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit. (AMP)

slide10

We are being transformed into the image of Christ from glory to glory.

  • What takes us to that next level of glory?
  • It doesn’t happen on its own.
  • As we look into the Word of God or the mirror, we will see ourselves as the Word says we are.
  • Constantly being transformed into His image.
  • The more we get into the Word, the more we study the Word, the more we meditate on the Word, the more we let the Word soak into our hearts and really get inside of us – the more we will be transformed into the image of Christ.
slide11

Now, if we want to conform to His image, it is a good idea for us to find out what His image is?

  • What is the image of Christ?
  • The image of Christ is excellence.
  • It is the very Spirit of Excellence.
  • The Spirit of Jesus is the Spirit of Excellence.
  • If you are projecting the true essence of Jesus to the world around you, then it will be a spirit of excellence.
  • Are you projecting the Spirit of Excellence in everything you do?
  • When I think of excellence, I think of Daniel.
slide12

Daniel 5:12 – Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and explaining enigmas were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, now let Daniel be called, and he will give the interpretation. (NKJV) 

  • Daniel possessed a Spirit of Excellence.
  • This is what set him apart from all the others in the Babylonian Kingdom.
  • When you have an excellent spirit, it is like you have light shining on you.
  • You stand out from the crowd.
slide13

Here’s an important thought: the spirit of excellence will not just fall in your lap.

  • You have to pursue it.
  • You have to want it and desire it.
  • It is not taught, but rather caught.
  • It is not a spiritual gift either.
  • God can give you the desire for it, but you have to develop it.
  • Where do you start?
slide14

Daniel 1:8 – But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. (NKJV)

  • How did Daniel keep from defiling himself with king’s food?
  • He purposed in his heart not to do it.
  • The first step: you must purpose in your heart that you are going to strive for excellence in every area of your life.
  • How do you do that?
slide15

For starters, you must be in the Word of God.

  • It will place a spirit of excellence in your life.

Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. (NASB)

  • The phrase: as for the Lord = spirit of excellence.
slide16

Let’s suppose you had an appointment with Jesus:

  • Would you show up?
  • Be on time?
  • How would you dress?
  • If you were going to be late, would you call Him?
  • We cannot say that we are doing something for the Lord unless we are really doing it for the Lord.
  • On the other hand, if you make a commitment to do something or be somewhere, and you don’t do it, that is not a spirit of excellence.
  • That is mediocrity/average.
slide17

Mediocrity, averageor just getting by are the biggest enemies to the spirit of excellence.

  • There is an enemy called average.
  • Mediocre is defined as of moderate or low quality, value, ability or performance.
  • Is that the Spirit of Jesus?
  • Does that conform to the image of Jesus?
  • NO!
  • Thoughts on Mediocrity:
slide18

Mediocrityjust does what you have to get by.

  • Mediocrity says your dreams are impossible.
  • Mediocrity gives up easily(409 Cleaner).
  • Mediocrity lives in unbelief.
  • Mediocritypulls down instead of lifting others up.
  • Mediocrity blames others and never takes responsibility for their shortcomings.
  • Mediocrity is jealous of the success of others.
slide19

Mediocrityis too expensive and will cause you to fall way short of God’s destiny for your life.

  • You were destined to reign with Christ Jesus and not just get by.
  • Mediocrity will cause you to compare yourself to others and think you are fine with average.
  • But, the one who possesses the spirit of excellence does not compare to others but to where you should be.
  • You need to compare your present situation with your potential.
slide20

What are some examples of an excellent spirit?

  • Showing up on time
  • Faithfulness—fulfilling your duties
  • Follow-through—finishing what you started
    • Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith.
    • He always finishes what He starts!
  • Being groomed
  • Neat & Orderly home
  • Weeds pulled
  • Honesty & integrity
  • How are you doing at projecting the Spirit of Jesus?
slide21

God examined His creation and saw that it was good.

  • You need to judge and examine your life to see if you are truly exhibiting the spirit of excellence.
  • If you don’t judge yourself, you will never get better and be conformed into the image of Christ.
  • Being transformed into the image of Christ is our goal.
slide22

Ask yourself:

  • Am I doing what I am supposed to be?
  • Am I doing my work as if Jesus was standing right here?
  • Am I doing it to the best of my ability?
  • Remember: it is not how much you do that matters as much as that you do it right.
  • How can I interact with people better?
  • How can I be more friendly?
  • How can I smile more?
  • How can I serve others better?
  • How can I serve my employer better?
slide23

If you don’t examine your life and identify those areas that are plagued with average, you will never grow.

Proverbs 22:29 – Do you see a man diligent and skillful in his business? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men. (AMP)

  • Those with the spirit of excellence will be promoted.
  • There is a reason why some people are successful and others are not.
  • Excellenceis a big part of it.
slide24

Allow me to let you in on a secret: How do you get a pay increase?

  • When you are willing to do more than you get paid for, you will get more than you are being paid now.
  • Mediocrity, however, says: If they want me to do more work, they will have to pay me more.
slide25

You have to not only be excellent at work, but it must permeate every area of your life.

  • For example, if someone were to walk into your house, would they think a person with an excellent spirit lives here?
  • You don’t have to have a big, beautiful house in order to display excellence in your home.
  • Size and price has nothing to do with it.
  • Mediocritywill say, I don’t want to be obsessed with cleaning my house. Some people are so consumed with it. Not me!I’m balanced.
  • Meanwhile, they are drowning in a sea of mediocrity and don’t know it.
slide26

Or, when you walk through church, and you see a piece paper on the floor, what do you do?

  • Aperson with a spirit of excellencewill reach down, pick it up and put it in the trash whether it is their job or not.
  • Definition:
  • Excellence: (n) The state, quality or condition of excelling; superiority; something in which one excels.
  • Excels – (v) to do or to be better than; surpass (what is expected of you), to be or to go beyond a limit or a standard.
slide27

Did you catch that?

  • Excellencesurpasses what is expected of you!
  • Why do that?
  • You do all things as if you are doing them unto the Lord.
  • This is the Spirit of Jesus, and He certainly gave me than was expected of Him.
  • There is a great need for more reliable, solid, steady men and women who exhibit the spirit of excellence in the Church today.
slide28

There was a time when there was little need for written, legal contracts because a person’s word could always be trusted.

  • In some States a handshake is still considered a legally binding agreement.
  • This should still be true for Christians.
  • Business Cards with Icthus symbol
  • It is bad enough that Christians do these things to one another, but think of the witness this is to the world!
  • Christians should be the most dependable people of all.
  • Our lives should be a fragrant aroma to the world.
  • Just as we can trust the Lord’s Word, others should be able to trust ours.
slide29

Tippingin restaurants is another example of the lack of excellence in Christians.

  • Do you know among most waiters and waitresses what is considered to be the worst tipping crowd of the week?
  • The Sunday morning church crowd!
  • I have also been told that they are also the most demanding and rude crowd of the week.
  • Many waiters will refuse to work then or at the very least they dread it.
slide30

It ought not be that way!

  • What kind of fragrance are we offering to the world?
  • The Lord intended us to be the salt and light of the world.
  • He intended that we be shining representatives of all that is good and excellent in this world.
slide31

What happened to Daniel because of his spirit of excellence?

  • Daniel 1:9 – Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel. (NLT)
  • Those with the spirit of excellence will have the favor of God on their lives.
  • Formula: Excellence + God’s Favor = Great Success!
  • You give God something to work with.
slide32

Daniel 1:20 – Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.

  • Daniel and the 3 Hebrew Guys were 10 times better than anyone else in the kingdom!
  • That formula again: Excellence + God’s Favor = Great Success!
slide33

Daniel 6:3 – Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel's great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire.

  • The spirit of excellence will always cause you to rise to the top.
  • A light will shine on you and set you apart from the rest of the pack and promotion will come in every area of your life.
  • Even the world will see the excellence in your life and give God praise for it!
slide34

Conclusion

  • Allow me to repeat it: Excellence will not just fall in your lap.
    • You have to pursue it.
    • Strive for it.
    • Work for it.
    • Want it!
  • To attract the spirit of excellence, you must stay in the Word of God.
  • The Word will impart excellence into your life.
slide35

Challenge # 2: Take inventory of every area of your life and see if you are settling for mediocrity and average in any area.

    • Personal Devotions with the Lord
    • Marriage
    • Home Life
    • Bedroom
    • Closet
    • Work
    • School
    • Church
    • Relationships
    • Car
slide36

Striving for excellence will help you to fulfill the potential that God has placed on the inside of you.

  • God has a plan for you, but most of the time, people do not fulfill that plan because they never reach the true potential they have on the inside.
  • Mediocritywill rob you of your destiny!
  • HWJDI?
  • With the spirit of excellence!
  • HSUDI?
  • With the spirit of excellence!