By Karen Polich
Pastor Michael Cook’s sermon series, We Are… takes us deeper into the core values of Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church and how we can apply them in our lives. (AFBC Core Values) Listen to the podcast here.
Excellence can be defined as giving our best to God.
God’s people began to neglect certain things. Their passion and excellence were fading. Keeping the best for themselves, they gave God blind and lame sacrifices thinking He wouldn’t notice. God was not pleased. (Malachi 1:6-14)
Seeking excellence in all we do matters, but how often do we offer God our leftovers instead of our best? This can happen for many reasons.
Wrong thinking. Our tendency to compare, impacts giving our best. We think we are less than this person or greater than that person. God is asking only for what is MY best.
Wrong priorities. At times we have the “perfect sacrifice” but aren’t willing to offer it to God. God always knows where our passion is. Where we spend our talents, money, time and focus reveals our hearts. God wants the best we have to offer, not our leftovers.
Wrong motives. This can creep up on any of us. Our motives can deteriorate to the point that we can no longer recognize the difference between excellence and mediocrity. “Just enough” to get us by is not what we are made for.
What happens when we give our best in all we do? Excellence spills over into a lifestyle that honors God.
He is worthy of the best we have to give. Romans 8:32 (NIV) He who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?
Attention to detail makes a difference. When we approach everything with excellence in mind, it will reflect all around us. Big or small, everything we do matters. When we seek excellence, we not only honor God, but we honor who He created us to be. It allows us to shine light in the lives of others. People will know that they matter. It inspires.
Challenge: Take a look at your life. Where is your focus? Make excellence a priority and ask God to show you how you can honor Him with your best.