November 8, 2015

the sky is the limit

I want to talk about the theme of quality and excellence. Excellence is often a skill development area we hear a lot about but I want to think of excellence as a destination as it is a process that we learn and seek to continually improve. You don’t just sit there. It becomes a continual ongoing movement further up and higher in toward a process of greater and greater excellence.

Colossians 3:23-24New International Version (NIV)

 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

I think it’s illustrated well in Colossians 3: 23-24. Excellence will depend upon the audience to whom you play in a very real way. In Colossians 3:23 Paul says’ “Whatever you do work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord. Whatever you do work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord not for men since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” So he’s saying here, whatever you do, do it with your heart as working for the Lord not for men. You’re going to receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Verse 25 speaks about anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong. There is no favoritism. Then he talks about the masters who provide for their slaves what is right and fair because they also have a Master in heaven. The point here is that whatever you do, do it with a conscious awareness of the presence of the Lord in your life. Your best effort is given because there’s never a circumstance in which the One you follow is not with you urging you on. There’s an awareness then of Christ’s presence. An on going awareness of the fact that the motive of pursuing Him should drive us to a better thing that we would do simply to impress or please men.



I think I’ve given this illustration on a couple of occasions but it bears repeating. The illustration of when I went to England for the first time in 1984. We visited West Minister Abbey and they had removed the statues from the chancel to clean them. This was the first time they had been moved for cleaning after many hundreds of years. They discovered their backsides were carved as well and as intricately as the front side. That’s a rather stunning idea. Now why did they do that? They knew that once they were put in place no human eye would see them but they also knew that God would see them since they were doing is as unto the Lord not to impress people. They saw their work then, and this is a key principle for you and me, they saw their work as worship. What they were doing with their hands was worship to God.

You’ve heard the phrase whistle while you work. Worshipping is another matter entirely. I think we can look at it that way, work, if done for the King and in the presence of Christ, is done with excellence to be pleasing to Him rather than to impress people. That work then becomes worship.



In a very real way there’s this level of skill that you want to develop and cultivate, a level of excellence. You’re pursuing quality and excellence in your work because you’re playing to the right Audience. It’s a very simple principle but this is a principle that transmutes the secular into the sacred. That’s the alchemy of grace. It has a way of transmuting what appears to be secular into something spiritual because the focus of our hearts is what makes it spiritual. The focus of my heart could this day be pleasing to Jesus.



There’s a good prayer to offer at the beginning of the day. It’d be an interesting thing to have a little card or reminder and as you sit down at your desk at the beginning of the day you’d have a little prayer: “ Lord, I’d like to be pleasing to You today. My desire is to be more pleasing to You than to impress people.” You cannot, as you know, seek to please Christ and at the same time seek to impress people. You can’t do them at the same time. You’ll either minister or manipulate. If you’re seeking to impress people you’ll be kind of committed to manipulating them. But if you seek to be pleasing to Christ and serve people you’ll be on to something. You’re onto worship because you’re not only honoring Christ but you’re also manifesting that honor by serving people. The two connect well together.


God bless from

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