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If I could summarize this verse in three words I would use these words, DO YOUR BEST! The writer to the Hebrews reminds them and us of the many people that have gone before us that have been victorious in their faith. These bastions of the faith were by no means perfect. They were murderers, they were adulterers, they were thieves, they were liars, they were guilty of every imaginable sin possible. They are honored not because they are perfect, but because they knew where to go for forgiveness and for strength to carry-on in spite of their faults. We have Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help cleanse us and help us move forward. The word picture the writer uses is out of the ancient Greek games in which athletes would strip and be completely naked when they ran races in order that nothing will hold them back that is what we are to do with God. Get rid of everything so that we can be pure before Jesus. God never promised us that we will win every race we run. But he will help us to get back up and try again when we falter! Run hard! Run with endurance! Trust him for the results. Just do your best with his help and his Spirit within you.


Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make a difference. Take, for instance, the lug nuts on the tires of your car. Small, right? Insignificant? Especially if you’ve ever tried finding one on side of the road as your trying to change a tire in the rain? However, without them, you won’t go far.

History is full of stories of little things going wrong with big consequences. Little things can make a big difference!

But this is also true in the positive end. I have a friend who recently lost his management level position at the company he worked for. Even though he was good at what he did, when restructuring of his company came along, his age played against him and his position was ‘eliminated. His age also played against him as far as getting a job of the same caliber even though he was only in his 50’s.

I remember talking with him one day and asking how the job hunt was going. He was frustrated. “No one will even look at me at the management level,” he said, “and there’s no way I’m starting at an entry level job.”

I thought about that as we left. No one likes to start at the bottom. No one likes to do the ‘little, unimportant jobs’. Yet it’s proving ourselves in the little things that prepare us for the big things.

The same is true in the spiritual realm. If you want to see God do great things in your life; if you want to experience God’s power in a mighty way, pay attention to the little things. How you treat people, the words you say, the discipline of spiritual growth are all things that help us see God do great things in our lives. By the way, what you consider ‘great things’ and what God considers ‘great things’ may not always be the same so be patient. Remember, the mighty oak tree was once a nut!


One of the most sobering statements Jesus makes comes from the gospel of Matthew. In the midst of warning his followers about false prophets he makes the statement that, “not everyone who calls him Lord” will enter God’s kingdom. He was addressing people who had done many good things (healing, prophesying, performing many miracles, etc.), however they had done all those things without doing the most important thing, giving him their heart. Their actions were noble but in done in the interest of appeasing a god they did not know, thereby rejecting a Son who longed to know them.

As believers, we should pursue excellence, not for our own satisfaction but for God’s glory. We serve and excellent God who desires to see excellence from us. What drives you to succeed? What is your motivation to get up every morning? Is it a paycheck and a few atta-boys or is it to look forward to another day of bringing glory to God through our thoughts, words and actions?


Someone once said, “Yesterday is a cancelled check, tomorrow is a promissory note, today is cash, spend it wisely.” One of life’s greatest tragedies is missed opportunities.. who knows how many great books go unwritten, how many inventions are unseen, how many great songs go unsung because thier authors never got around to it; didn’t believe they had anything​to offer, or had no one to encourage them to go forward. Worse today! Make every moment count to the glory of Christ who indwells, empowers and sustains you.


Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank Proverbs 22:29

The difference between excellence and mediocrity can often be determined by our attitude about God, ourselves and others. Of the three, our view of ourselves is perhaps the most powerful adversary to our rising to excellence.

If we see ourselves as failures, we will most likely never rise to excellence. We look at past failures and say to ourselves “I’ll never amount to anything. Everything I’ve ever done has failed. The more we dwell on our failures the easier it is to become afraid to fail, complacent in what we do, or just give up all together. I wonder if even the Apostle Paul was near that point when he wrote in his letter to the Romans “The things I want to do I never do, the things I hate doing, I always do.”

The Bible is full of stories of people just like you who have failed in life. Time and again they’ve picked themselves up only to be knocked down. But God used them in mighty ways. Don’t let the past keep you from excelling into the future.

Another hindrance to our rising to the level of excellence is our view of what success really is. Often we measure success by what other people have done or are doing. This is true in the spiritual realm, the physical realm, and the emotional/relational realm. We look at someone else’s job, skills, ‘spirituality’, spouse, etc. and say, I’ll never succeed. Look at how well Mary prays or how well Joe does his job.

Excellence is a personal thing. Your Heavenly Father is the one that bestowed gifts on you. He is the one that gives you opportunities to use those gifts. Excellence in your corner of the world may never be seen by others outside of your own circle. That doesn’t make it less excellent. Stop comparing yourself to others. Be the very best you can be. Accept your flaws, work to correct what you can and do what you can to make your corner of the world brighter.

When our past gets in the way or we are surrounded by people who seem to have ‘made it’ it’s easy to play the blame game as well. We ask God why He won’t do for us what He did for them. We may even get angry with Him and doubt His wisdom, power or existence. That’s the time to step back and remember that God’s desire is for you to rely on Him, not to have a bunch of friends and be famous. Excellence to God is being godly parents, children and members of our community who walk in close relationship to Him.

Stop comparing yourself to others. Don’t let the past act as handcuffs in keeping you from living the future to its fullest. Allow God to work through you to be the best you can be. He isn’t looking for cookie-cutter Christians. He’s looking for people of excellence.

PRAYER: Father, there are some many times when I’ve allowed my view of myself or the view others have of me to keep me from being excellent for you. Forgive me for basing who I am on what I see in others. Empower me to be excellent in everything I do today, in each life I touch and every task I do. For I exist to glorify You, not myself. In Jesus name, Amen.

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