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Your Ministry of Excellence #excellenceinministry

TrophyIn my last post I talked about deciding to walk in excellence.  It’s never too late with God.

I looked at God’s promise of restoration to the nation of Israel.  But what about our ministry under the New Covenant?  Does God expect us to walk in a spirit of excellence?

If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!  For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory.  And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
II Corinthians 3:9-12

The two verses we looked at in the last post were from that former ministry that condemned men.  The glory that God exhibited back then was indeed glorious.  But Paul says in verse 10 that we are now living in the day when God wants to exhibit His excellent glory.

When I think about the glory He showed in the Old Testament, I wonder how it could be any better.  He ordained a place of worship that was lined in gold.  Even the utensils used in its service were mostly of gold and silver.  The priests themselves were lavishly dressed – the high priest having precious stones on his garment.

But wait a minute.  Remember, that excellence is not about things, but about spirit.  It’s based on who you are.  Do you excel beyond the normal and the expected?  This is different for everyone.

In some places it might mean a large building and the latest technology.  In other places around the world, however, excellence might mean a building with a roof that doesn’t leak.  I’ve found that in some cultures, just starting a meeting on time is a mark of the spirit of excellence.  Remember that it’s not the “what” of the ministry that makes it excellent, it is the “why.”

The preceding verse goes so far as to say that your boldness will be based on the excellence that your ministry exhibits.  If you’re content with an “I’ll just get by” spirit, then it will show in your lack of boldness.  But one who has learned to step out and believe God for that which is excellent, will be just as willing to believe Him in other areas of his life.

It’s only those who are bold for Christ who are willing to go beyond the normal church routine and enter the realm of the excellent.  There are many that desire to be average, simply because they don’t want to attract attention.  This is just the opposite of what God wants.

He’s looking for a people who will allow Him to shine through them.  That should be our desire as well.  Then the world will see and be attracted to the excellent glory of God revealed in us.  Oh, that the Church would rise up in excellence and boldness, that the world might once again be turned upside down for the glory of God!

Question: How does excellence and boldness play a role in your life and ministry?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in Spirit of Excellence

 

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Excellence Restored #restoration

GrapesThe LORD will grant you abundant prosperity – in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground – in the land he swore to your forefathers to give you.
The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.  You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.  The LORD will make you the head, not the tail.  If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.
Deuteronomy 28:11-13

Israel was called by God to walk in excellence.  To live at that level requires above average resources.  Scripture is clear that along with the calling we can expect the supernatural equipping of God.  He never calls you to a work and then leaves you to use your own strength and ability.

God wants you to have excellence in ministry.  He wants you to have all that you need to fulfill that ministry.  God has never been the God of “just enough.”

Some may say, “It’s too late for me.  I’ve wasted too many years in mediocrity to be able to walk in excellence now.”

To you I say, “Let God be God.”  You take care of your part, and He’ll take care of His.  The above verse was written to Israel so they would know God’s perfect will for their nation, which was that they might walk in excellence.

There was a problem, however.  In the next chapters, Moses went on to prophesy through the Spirit that they would fall away from their divine calling and lose the abundance of excellence.  He then goes further into the future showing them that eventually they would repent and return to the way God had chosen for them to walk.

The next verse explains what God said His reaction would be when they once again returned to a walk of excellence.

Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land.  The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers.
Deuteronomy 30:9

Praise God for the once again in the Lord.  All God is looking for is someone to humble themselves before Him. This will require the person to admit his or her mistakes, repent, and turn back to the right path.

He wants the fruit of your hands to flow with excellent prosperity.  You need to be listening for His voice and watching for His leading.  If you find that you’ve blown it, then be quick to admit it, repent, and move on.

Question: How has God equipped you for your calling?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
 

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Excellence – From the “Musts” to the “Oughts”

FlyingHow far into the realm of the excellent are you venturing?  In my last post I looked at a sobering statement that Jesus made to His disciples.

“So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.”
Luke 17:10

If all you’re doing in your life and ministry are the things you’re supposed to do, then you’re unprofitable in the kingdom of God, according to the Lord.  There are always things that we must do or that we’re expected to do.

The word unworthy is derived from a Greek word that means, not ought.  The thought is that you are not what you ought to be.  To break into the realm of the excellent you must break through the “musts” and enter into the “oughts.”

Those who are not only doing what they have to do, but have found a way to do what they ought to do, are considered to be walking in the excellent.  When a person goes beyond the expected in his or her walk with the Lord we marvel at their spirit of excellence.

What does that mean to me?  I must stop saying, “I ought to have…”, “I ought to do…”, or “I ought to be…” then with the next breath say, “But I have so much I need to do; I can’t.”  When you develop the spirit of excellence, the Holy Spirit is now free to work in you to accomplish what wasn’t expected.

As excellence starts its work in you, you can tap into God’s “excellent power,” His “excellent grace,” and His “excellent love.”  You’ll find out that God has all the resources you need to fulfill the call to excellence that He’s placed inside of you.

In II Corinthians 12:7, Paul talks about being the recipient of excellent revelations.  He would not have received these had he not been walking in excellence.  Galatians 1:13 says that before he was saved, Paul excelled at persecuting the church.

Everyone else was persecuting Christians in the normal way.  Paul, however, went above and beyond the call of duty.  He dragged people out of their homes, and if they tried to move away, he even tracked them to other towns.  Once saved, He carried over this same spirit of excellence into his work for Christ.  That’s why the Holy Spirit entrusted him with all the revelation that he received from the Lord.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
II Corinthians 4:7

The word all-surpassing is the Greek word hyperballoexcellent.  This excellent power does not come from our own strength.  Don’t ever take the credit for the excellence in your ministry.  The glory belongs to God.

Walking in the spirit of excellence is one of the earmarks of the power of God in your life, showing that you hear from God and are obeying His voice.

Question:  What are some of the marks of God’s excellence in your life and ministry?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Spirit of Excellence

 

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Are You Profitable in the Kingdom?

ProfitMany Christians want to hear Christ say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  But do we really know what Jesus looks for in a servant?  Listen to what He tells His disciples.

“Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep.  Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’?  Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’?  Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?  So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.”
Luke 17:7-10

Christ shows us a servant, working in the fields.  He comes home tired and hungry.  Just as he sits down to eat with his family, he hears the master arrive.

Does he have the luxury of finishing his meal first?  Of course not.  He must immediately get up and tend to the needs of his master.  That’s the life of a servant.

After he has served, he can go back to his meal.  After all he did, does he now expect a bonus?  No, he’s only done what’s normally expected of a person in his position.

God expects more from us than we expect from ourselves.  In the verse above, the Lord asks a very fearful question.  As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I tremble at the implications.

Should you, as a servant, do as you’re told and then expect to be thanked?  The word thanked means to be blessed, tipped or given a special reward.  Actually, a servant is supposed to do what he or she is told.

If all we do in your ministry is what’s expected or normal for our kind of ministry, then we’re not operating in the excellent.  As a matter of fact, Jesus calls us unworthy servants, meaning unprofitable.

In a business, profit is that which goes beyond the “break even” mark.  Therefore, by definition, profit is in the realm of the excellent.

Many believers are content to sit in a pew.  They feel secure that they’re just like everyone else.  They’re comfortable in their mediocrity.  I find that even in ministry, many pastors and evangelists are content to plug along doing what’s expected of someone with their title.

They do all the necessary things – preaching, praying for the sick, visiting, etc.  Then they pray and expect God to increase their level of anointing based upon the principle that they’re breaking even.  They never realize that their work doesn’t impress God.  More than that, He considers it unprofitable and unworthy of His excellent Name.

Christ is looking for excellence in His servants.  We need to raise our vision of what we’re doing for the Lord.

Question: How should we be “profiting” the kingdom of God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Spirit of Excellence

 

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