Why should God’s people and God’s servants care about excellence? From the maintaining of a church facility to the order of hall closet—does it matter if we have a standard of excellence and order in our lives and ministries?
For many, this is a “self-image thing.” Excellence can be about self-promotion and personal image before others. But biblically, this is a “God’s image” thing. Biblical excellence is about being God’s image bearer to a lost world and letting His glory be accurately seen through us.
Let’s explore some reasons we should value excellence as God’s people:
God is excellent in every way—He is perfect. His glory is awesome. He is flawless, pure, transcendent, and magnificent. There is nothing about Him that isn’t excellent. He is the antithesis of everything sinful, everything wrong, everything evil, everything chaotic. He is righteous, gracious, and glorious. And, through Jesus Christ, He invites us into the Holy of Holies—He invites us to enter into “that which is within the veil”—not because of our glory, but His. He invites us to partake in His glory and to help others discover His glory as well.
God does all things decently and in order—Everything that God does is decent and orderly. He is the author of order. He prefers well planned and well organized in all that He does. He blesses order. He is pleased and honored by symmetry and intentionality. He is the author of the laws of the universe. He is the master-mind behind the symmetry and systemization of everything from galaxies to DNA strands. From the macro to the micro He establishes and executes order.
God’s glory demands excellence—The most humbling thing about being a child of God is that He would choose a human vessel to magnify His glory. It’s stunning to consider that He chooses you and me to reveal Himself to others. We are the vehicle—the vessel—that He calls to carry His glory and to make Him known in the earth. In everything you do, you are either positively or negatively representing God’s glory, both personally and corporately in ministry. Our excellence (or lack thereof) is a reflection of God’s glory—for better or for worse. We are God’s image bearers in the world. What an awesome high calling!
The world does things with excellence—When I lived in southern California, every guest that ever visited us wanted to see “Hollywood.” They were always shocked and disappointed to find out that Hollywood is mostly just a run-down, crime-ridden, inner-city community. The glamour and glitz we see in TV and movie screens is all fabricated. So is the world’s glory—fabricated and manufactured. In comparison to God’s pure glory, it merely masks the slum and scum of sin. When the world does things with excellence, it’s an attempt to magnify “man’s artificial glory.” When God’s people do things with excellence, we magnify God’s true glory!
God’s Word compels us to excellence, decency, and order—Disorder magnifies chaos and minimizes God. Disorder implies the absence of God. Disorder masks His glory and hides His presence. On the other hand, excellence is an accurate reflection of Him. Every time we do something with excellence and order we are acknowledging God’s glory, God’s desires, and God’s presence. Excellence reflects His nature and character.
So, yes—excellence is important. It’s not about making us look good. It’s not even about making Jesus look good. Jesus is good. We don’t have to “make Him” anything. But we are called to magnify Him in truth. We are called to get self out of the way—to decrease so that He can increase. We are called to let His true glory and goodness break forth and shine through us, that all the world will know that He is God!
In closing, take a moment to make it real. Look around your world. Take an “excellence inventory.” What in your environment is disordered or in disarray. What could be made more excellent for Him. What could be brought into better order. Make a list. Tackle one project at a time. Ask God to provide the money. Be patient in the process. Raise the bar of excellence in every area, and keep the standard high, for His glory. If your goal is to glorify Him, you can be assured He will provide for excellence!
Get on mission—in everything, in every way, in all that your hands touch and in every responsibility that flows into your life—do it all for the glory of God. Bear His image with excellence!
Do everything for the high calling of accurately reflecting HIM before others!