Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put into practice. -Philippians 4:9
Here is another call to excellence. Paul had just said (v 8), “…Whatever is noble…right…pure…lovely…admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” This was not a call to mediocrity. This was a call to excellence. Paul was not addressing the “what” of our calling as Christians, but the “how.” He was saying, “Whatever you choose to do, do it right!
When you read the Old Testament, you don’t get the sense that God really needed a temple. He was doing just fine with tents. In fact, there was a time when God just traveled with the people in full view as a pillar of fire. That was cool. No matter how incredible a temple is, people might look at it and say, “Maybe God is in there.” But when you see a pillar of fire, whoa! If I had a pillar of fire behind me and said, “Believe in God,” you’d go, “Okay, that’s cool.” But the people wanted to build a temple. So God said, “Okay, but if you’re going to build it, you’re going to use the best materials in the world—you’re going to make sure it’s the most awe inspiriting building anywhere. And it’s going to cost you!” It was not because God needed a temple. But he made them do something that was extraordinary.
God always drives us towards excellence. He created us to be free and creative. But he does have a built-in standard. He wants us to do “whatever” with excellence! If you are making coffee at Star-bucks, God wants you to be the best coffee-maker there. If your job is saying, “Welcome to WalMart,” he expects you to be personable and sincere. If you are a cabinet maker, home maker, teacher, volunteer, retiree— whatever occupies your time and energy—God wants you to do it right. He wants you to be the best that you can be. -Rev Bruce Kendall Barnard, Manhattan, New York
The people in my world seem content to be average—to be common. They approach life with a survivor mentality, not with a champion mentality. They don’t cry out to be excellent—they are satisfied to just get by. But your call is a call to be praiseworthy. And that is my goal. My prayer is that I may be able to build upon the gifts YOU have given me. I want to be the best that I can be—as a husband, as a dad, as a friend, as a servant. Keep before me a dream of doing my job well. Not for my glory, but for YOURS. In the strong name of JESUS I pray. Amen.
Happy Fathers Day!
Judy Estey, Prayer Ministry