A while ago, I started a series of blogs on the key values of our church. This got interrupted by the pandemic and other important ministry concerns. I want to resume this series because our values are so important. We all live out what we value most, whether we realize it or not. Our values shape our actions, and our habits either help or hurt our values. Our church likes to share up front what we value, based on the Bible, because it shapes everything we do as a church family. This week, we will be looking at the value of EXCELLENCE.
This is our key value with the shortest verbiage, but it means so much. We know that we can come to Jesus just as we are: He accepts us, loves us, forgives us, and transforms us. As we are transformed in His love, we learn to give God our everything. Jesus sacrificed His life for us in love, and He calls for us to sacrifice our lives (take up our cross) as we return love to our Savior (Luke 9:23). The Lord doesn’t expect perfection, but He does expect us to give our all and give our best. It is a blessing to bring our best to the Lord. We don’t give God our leftovers but give our best—in our time, finances, worship, and serving.
Hold nothing back—there is joy in total surrender to God. Jesus praised a poor widow for giving her last two pennies in loving trust to the Lord (Luke 21:1-3). David danced before the Lord with all his might—this inspired the people but caused scorn from those who didn’t understand a life of total devotion (2 Sam 6). Cain brought the Lord an offering (good) but didn’t bring his best (not good). God didn’t accept the offering but challenged Cain to do what is right. God expects our best, and He deserves nothing less. Giving our best exemplifies how important the Lord is to us.
Excellence honors God—He is our Creator and Redeemer. How we give reflects our hearts: we give most to who or what means most in our lives. As a church family, we strive for excellence in all we do for Jesus. This doesn’t mean we always get it right or can’t make mistakes. We honestly evaluate our shortcomings with God’s grace, working to improve every endeavor for our King. We are not afraid to work, sacrifice, and give our all for the One who gave it all for us. Excellence honors God and inspires others. The world is moved by those willing to give their all in a worthwhile cause, and we love to give our best for the cause of Christ. We get to live out this value together as a church, and it makes a huge difference in our lives and in the world.