Thoughtful Word ... Excellence

Excellence ‘Be excellent to each other’

We are saved by grace no doubt, but if there's anything the grace of God should result in, it's to inspire us to work harder and to be diligent in loving others and laboring for God. The grace displayed to us through Jesus and His finished work should never be an excuse for us to slack off.

In your work place, are Christians the most diligent and hard working? If it's Christians who make the most excuses, have the worst tardiness records and miss quotas the most, something is wrong. While God does not oblige us to excel, He gives us His unending grace so that we will become examples of His excellence.

The God we serve is an excellent God. When He created the world, He made it to be very good. When He blesses us, He blesses us abundantly and graciously. And when it came time that He would give the sacrifice that would justify the whole world, He gave His very best -- His only begotten Son.

As God has given and served us with only His very best, who are we to withhold our best from God? If we truly understand God's grace, we will respond in giving excellent service and grace to God and to others. Here are just a few of a number of Scriptures that will encourage us to always be excellent in all we do.

Psalm 150:2. "Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness."

Proverbs 10:4. "A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich."

Proverbs 16:3. "Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established."

Philippians 4:8. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

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Compassion

Ever had a bad day? Perhaps it would be a better question to ask when was the last bad day?

Even Jesus, had what we would call ‘bad days’ too. There is one in particular that is recorded in Matthew 14—He has just received the news that the person who understood him the best, his dear cousin, the prophet John the Baptist, had been murdered, just to fill a shallow promise by a lustful king.

Jesus, though he was God, was also human, with human emotions. When he received this tragic news he just wanted to get away from it all. “...He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself …" v13

We’ve all been in that place where the cares of this world come over us like a tidal wave and all we want to do is to get away and be alone with God.

But the people would not let him have this time of mourning. Jesus could have sent Peter or James out to tell the masses that he was taking the day off. But the Bible tells us how Jesus responded:

"When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick." v:14

Jesus shows his heart of God to people, by putting aside his hurt to help and heal others. We could leave it there, but guess what? We too are called to have that same compassion.

Even if we are experiencing feelings of hurt, betrayal, cynicism, selfishness, - even when we are ‘having a bad day’ - we need to display the heart of God by His Holy Spirit.

Today and this week, as we go through our day, let’s take some time to ask that God would give us a heart of compassion for others. Let’s pray that through this heart of compassion we would be moved to become a part of what God is doing to take the gospel to hurting people around our community, around our sphere of influence.

Pray that God’s love would be loosed in our hearts and that we would be moved with compassion — just as Jesus was — for sinners in need of a Savior. This is the heart of God. By His grace, may it also be our heart.

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