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Pursue Excellence

Series: Preparing to Face Eternity

During October we’ve been concentrating on preparing for eternity and we’re contemplating the time when tomorrow begins without me. Every year over 56 million people die worldwide. It works out to 1.8 people per second. So we know it’s going to happen. Are we living like it? What does life look like if you’re dying? Today, we’re going to talk about the pursuit of excellence. Will we apply the truth of what we already know in an ever-increasing way?

The Danger of Complacency

  1. Complacency destroys progress.
    1. Philippians 3.12 - No one has arrived spiritually.
    2. Hebrews 2.1, 3 - the Hebrew writer spoke about the danger of drifting and neglect.
    3. Philippians 3.14 - The “prize” is our continual progress in becoming like Jesus.
  2. Complacency halts change.
    1. Paul urged Timothy, the young evangelist, to continue his development and growth:
    2. 1 Timothy 4.15 - practice these things, immerse yourself in them…

The Pursuit of Excellence

  1. 1 Thessalonians 4.1. Do so more and more.  “To overflow or abound.”
  2. 4.1 - notice the priority: We ask We urge … (exhort NASU) … 
  3. 4.1 - notice the power. in the Lord Jesus1 Thessalonians 5.19 - not to quench the Spirit.
  4. 4.1 - notice the principles. as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God.
  5. 4.1 - notice the progress. Do so more and more. See 1 Timothy 4.14.
  6. 4.2 - notice the pressure. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

4 Ways to Rise Above Mediocrity to Excellence

  1. Be who you are.
    1. Live inside your identity and Use the talents He has given you and do them well.
    2. 1 Peter 4.10 - as each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
    3. Matthew 25.15 - God gives to each of us, according to our ability.
  2. Excel being where you are.
    1. Seize opportunities and stop waiting for better time or better conditions. 
    2. Philippians 1.12-14 bloom where you’re planted.
  3. Excel with what you have.
    1. 2 Corinthians 8.2-3 - the Macedonians may not have had much - but they gave generously. Don’t think just in terms of money .. but time … and energy
    2. 2 Corinthians 8.5 - fully give yourself to the Lord.
  4. Excel while you can.
    1. Guard your time as carefully as you do your money.  See 2 Samuel 14.14:  we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again.
    2. We don’t just want to be efficient .. we want to be effective. Colossians 4.5. 

Conclusion

  1. Where are your priorities? 1 Thessalonians 4.1-2.
  2. Could Paul say about you what he did regarding the Thessalonians?
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