2) OUR COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE

ECCLESIASTES 9:10—"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."

  1. THE PRIORITY.

Solomon, one of the smartest men who ever lived, said,

"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might..."

What great advice! Why? Solomon tells us in the remainder of that verse, "For there is

no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."

Life, at best, is fleeting. And with the time allotted to us by God we should give God our best! Today so many do what they do in a haphazard way…

-A person can buy a brand new car and many times shoddy workmanship will show up before the first payment is made.

-A person can drive around town and look at commercial buildings from the outside and spot shoddy workmanship.

-A person can go into homes and see that carpenters did not care about quality work, all they

cared about was getting that final draw on their bid for the job.

-A person can take his car to the garage to have it repaired, only to discover he got a "patch

job" instead of a repair job.

-A person can look in on folks at work and find some are doing the least they can to get by.

Whatever happened to the old adage, "If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right"?

You may be saying, "preacher, How does this apply to the Church?" Listen, some of the most shoddy work you will find on the face of this earth is done by those who claim they are working for the LORD!

ILLUS:

Someone said, "If the average factory had to operate with the personnel that the average church has to operate with, they would be out of business in six months." Suppose a school teacher

decided one morning she just didn't want to go to work. Suppose she didn't call the principal and tell him, or anyone else, she was not coming to work. She just decided not to go that day. There would be a whole class of students, sitting, waiting to be taught, but they have to go without being taught that day because of a teacher who does not strive for excellence!

While that is a rare thing in our schools, it is a frequent thing in our Churches! God wants our best . Someone has said, "Find out what God would have you to do, and do that little well; for what is great and what is small, 'tis only He can tell"

B. THE POTENTIAL.

Over and over in the Word of God we see that God promises that we can reach great heights for HIM! Jesus said in Mark 9:23—

"…If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."

Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13—

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Paul was not trusting in his own strength nor relying upon his own ability. He had no confidence in the flesh, in the vigor of his body, nor in the alertness of his own mind. He knew that his strength was derived from his Redeemer…IN CHRIST, he had the assurance and confidence that he could bear hunger, thirst, fatigue, cold. IN CHRIST, he knew that he could meet all temptations, face all persecutions, and still say, "We are more than conquerors through HIM!" Friends, although the Lord has called us to EXCELLENCE, many times we fail simply because we do not believe! Friend, another great gift we can give God this Christmas is the GIFT OF COMMITTIN OURSELVES TO EXCELLENCE. That is, we strive to be the best we can be at the job we feel the LORD has given us to do! Working according to HIS POWER! Serving according to HIS STRENGTH!

ILLUS: What is success? If we listened to some of the naysayers in our lives we would accomplish very little. Some of the most known people overcame their critics.

-Einstein could not speak until he was four years old, and did not read until he was

-Beethoven's music teacher said about him, "as a composer he is hopeless.

-When Thomas Edison was a young boy, his teachers said he was so stupid he could never learn anything.

-When F.W. Woolworth was 21, he got a job in a store, but was not allowed to wait on customers because "he didn't have enough sense."

-Walt Disney was once fired by a newspaper editor because he was thought to have "no good ideas."

-Caruso was told by one music teacher, "you can't sing. You have no voice at all."

If you desire to be great in the LORD'S work, that you must give God your best! As that old wise man said, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might...".

WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO GIVE THE LORD FOR CHRISTMAS? Let us give Him…THE COMMITMENT TO FAITHFULNESS and THE COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE. There is one last gift wise Christians can give the LORD this Christmas. We can give...

3) OUR COMMITMENT TO PURITY

1 PETER 1:15-16—"But as he which hath called you is holy, so

be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is

written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."

A. AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.

I want you to note the words "as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation…".

If there is one thing we learn from studying the Word of God it is that God is a Holy God! Not only is He holy, but God demands holiness of His people! God's true aim in our redemption was holiness (Titus 2:11-14). "The aim (then) of reconciliation is holiness. Christ carried out His sacrificial work of reconciliation in order to present us to God consecrated, unblemished, and irreproachable."

ILLUS

Dr. M.R. DeHaan used a helpful illustration to communicate the value of holiness. A bar of steel worth $5 can yield any of the following: If made into horseshoes it will be worth $10.

Manufacture needles and the value becomes $350. Use it to create delicate springs for expensive watches and it will yield $250,000.

 

Friends, If we are going to fulfill our COMMITMENT TO PURITY we must acknowledge that God hath called us unto holiness. That means we because that we belong to HIM just don’t say the words but we live the life of a new creature in Christ Jesus. It means that we strive to be as godly as we can be in these temples of clay. It means that we not only acknowledge that He has called us unto holiness but that we act accordingly! It means that we submit our life to HIM so that HE can LIVE HIS LIFE through us!

ILLUS:

"No greater mistake can be made in regard to holy living," says Isaac M. See, "than that we do the living." It is not we who live; it is Christ living in us, and the life which we now live in the flesh we live by the faith of the Son of God (Gal 2:20).

Faith is rest in Another. How many there are who struggle in their own strength to live worthy of Christ, only to find bitter disappointment and failure! No, it is Christ that lives in us and manifests His life through us

B. AN ASSESSMENT. How committed are you to be pure, holy, and righteous for God? Phillipians 2:15-16a tells us, "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine forth as lights in the world; hold forth the word of life...". How committed are you Christian?

DO YOU DAILY SPEND TIME WITH HIM IN PRAYER?

DO YOU DAILY SPEND TIME IN HIS WORD?

DO YOU DAILY STRIVE TO PLEASE HIM IN ALL YOU DO?

One of the greatest gifts you could give God this Christmas is a commitment to be Holy as he is holy! "When we consider the nature of God, the will of God, the call of God, the command of God, the promises of God, the provision of God, the power of God, and the eternal purposes of God, the inevitable conclusion is that without holiness we cannot please Him

CLOSING:

In verse 11, we read, "And when they were come into the house,

they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and

worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they

presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." If we

give the LORD the gifts of OUR COMMITMENT TO FAITHFULNESS,

OUR COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE, and OUR COMMITMENT

TO PURITY He will be as please with our gift as he was the gifts of

those first wise men, if not more!

Friend, what do you plan to give the Lord for Christmas?