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One of the most sobering statements Jesus makes comes from the gospel of Matthew. In the midst of warning his followers about false prophets he makes the statement that, “not everyone who calls him Lord” will enter God’s kingdom. He was addressing people who had done many good things (healing, prophesying, performing many miracles, etc.), however they had done all those things without doing the most important thing, giving him their heart. Their actions were noble but in done in the interest of appeasing a god they did not know, thereby rejecting a Son who longed to know them.

As believers, we should pursue excellence, not for our own satisfaction but for God’s glory. We serve and excellent God who desires to see excellence from us. What drives you to succeed? What is your motivation to get up every morning? Is it a paycheck and a few atta-boys or is it to look forward to another day of bringing glory to God through our thoughts, words and actions?

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We often don’t see God do great things in our lives because we try to do things in our power, not his. He works best when he has complete control. Our Father is more concerned about our availability than our ability!

We may not see God do great things in our lives because we doubt our ability to accomplish anything significant. It’s about our openness, not our gifted ness. 

We may not see God do great things in our lives because the things we strive to accomplish are intended for our glory not his Kingdom. We are called to build his Kingdom not our name. 

He can use you best when you are open to his working power in your life.


There are many who try to make a name for themselves. Some focus on money and a good retirement package. Some seek gain from sports or try to live vicariously through their children. Some try new relationships. Success in material things is short-lived at best. Lasting wealth isn’t counted in dollars and cents but in a life of integrity. You can disagree with ones beliefs, but you can’t argue their integrity. Money handed down to your children brings temporary joy but a good name lasts forever.


Sharing a burden helps the burden bearer because his load is lightened and he can gain new perspective on solutions, it benefits the one who comes alongside because he gains an understanding of the burden and the bearer, it helps both because when the task is done there is a sense of accomplishment and a bond between the two is created. You have a new brother or sister.


Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank Proverbs 22:29

The difference between excellence and mediocrity can often be determined by our attitude about God, ourselves and others. Of the three, our view of ourselves is perhaps the most powerful adversary to our rising to excellence.

If we see ourselves as failures, we will most likely never rise to excellence. We look at past failures and say to ourselves “I’ll never amount to anything. Everything I’ve ever done has failed. The more we dwell on our failures the easier it is to become afraid to fail, complacent in what we do, or just give up all together. I wonder if even the Apostle Paul was near that point when he wrote in his letter to the Romans “The things I want to do I never do, the things I hate doing, I always do.”

The Bible is full of stories of people just like you who have failed in life. Time and again they’ve picked themselves up only to be knocked down. But God used them in mighty ways. Don’t let the past keep you from excelling into the future.

Another hindrance to our rising to the level of excellence is our view of what success really is. Often we measure success by what other people have done or are doing. This is true in the spiritual realm, the physical realm, and the emotional/relational realm. We look at someone else’s job, skills, ‘spirituality’, spouse, etc. and say, I’ll never succeed. Look at how well Mary prays or how well Joe does his job.

Excellence is a personal thing. Your Heavenly Father is the one that bestowed gifts on you. He is the one that gives you opportunities to use those gifts. Excellence in your corner of the world may never be seen by others outside of your own circle. That doesn’t make it less excellent. Stop comparing yourself to others. Be the very best you can be. Accept your flaws, work to correct what you can and do what you can to make your corner of the world brighter.

When our past gets in the way or we are surrounded by people who seem to have ‘made it’ it’s easy to play the blame game as well. We ask God why He won’t do for us what He did for them. We may even get angry with Him and doubt His wisdom, power or existence. That’s the time to step back and remember that God’s desire is for you to rely on Him, not to have a bunch of friends and be famous. Excellence to God is being godly parents, children and members of our community who walk in close relationship to Him.

Stop comparing yourself to others. Don’t let the past act as handcuffs in keeping you from living the future to its fullest. Allow God to work through you to be the best you can be. He isn’t looking for cookie-cutter Christians. He’s looking for people of excellence.

PRAYER: Father, there are some many times when I’ve allowed my view of myself or the view others have of me to keep me from being excellent for you. Forgive me for basing who I am on what I see in others. Empower me to be excellent in everything I do today, in each life I touch and every task I do. For I exist to glorify You, not myself. In Jesus name, Amen.

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