Most people desire to have nice things. Some people desire to have excellent things. You cannot have excellent things without a spirit of excellence. When someone gets a new car, without a spirit of excellence it will be trashed and dirty within a matter of time. After more time, it will need repair and other things that will have lowered the excellence of that car to little to no value. A spirit of excellence places value not only on the excellent thing but on the stewardship of everything within that person’s life. Colossians 3:23 says, “And whatsoever you do, do it with all of your heart as unto the Lord and not unto men”. This should place a spirit or attitude of excellence within people, especially Christians. Christians should allow the Word of God to penetrate every area of their lives creating a lifestyle that whatever is done in word or action should be done in the name of Jesus and with a heart of thanks unto God (Colossians 3:16-17). How a person works their job should be completed with an attitude of excellence. How a person takes care of their possessions should be conducted with a spirit of excellence. How a person loves and treats their family and friends should be handled with an attitude of excellence. A spirit of excellence will not only make relationships, possessions, and careers last longer but that attitude also brings peace, joy, and glory to God. Even in the Old Testament, Daniel was known for his spirit of excellence bringing glory to God. When those jealous of his favor and work ethic tried to look for faults in him, they could not find any so they had to make up a law to trap him concerning serving his God (Daniel 6:1-5). God does not expect anyone to be perfect or 100 percent accurate with their life, but He does expect us to repent when we are wrong (Acts 3:19), give Him glory in all things (1 Corinthians 10:31), and represent His kingdom with all that is within us (1 Peter 2:9). For Christians to settle for less than what God has for them is absurd. Why settle for subpar if a person declares to be a child of the excellent God? Having an attitude of excellence desires better, not in pride or arrogance, but in wanting the best of what is offered to represent God with everything in life and to have a life filled with nice things that last longer. This does not just include possessions, but also reputations, healthy relationships, ministries, careers, etc. To have this requires getting rid of a wasteful attitude. A person of understanding has an excellent spirit that does not waste emotions, words, or anything else because they have self-control (Proverbs 17:27). The spirit of excellence does not waste opportunities, energy, time, money, love, or anything else because each one is too valuable to lose. God is the One to give us each of these things, so why waste anything He gives us? Jesus will never say, “That’ll do pig”. He will say to those that have served Him, “Well done thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). May every Christian have the spirit or attitude of excellence to serve God, represent Him well through every word and action, and have a better life being found a good and faithful steward over everything God has given them.
In the last days, the Bible reflects the division between those seeking their own and those still seeking God (2 Timothy 3:1-6). Over the last few decades, divisions have become apparent not only among those seeking their own and those seeking God but even among those seeking God and others seeking God. Bringing back to focus the one true God, Christians should have the Spirit of unity working within their hearts and minds to reflect God more than anything else. Not every church has the same doctrine, and not every pastor has the same doctrine, so this can create divisions even among God’s people. No church is perfect and no Christian, not even a pastor, has perfect doctrine. Every Christian needs other Christians to help iron sharpen iron (Proverbs 27:17), to provoke one another to good works (Hebrews 10:24), and to encourage one another (Romans 12:10). The enemy is already seeking to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) the people on God’s side, so Christians must unite under the name of Jesus to stand together to preach the Good News that there is salvation in Him. An important thing to remember is Christians do not fight against people they stand and fight against spiritual enemies (Ephesians 6:12). Even the Apostle Paul describes how Christians should have the same speech among them, no divisions, and be joined together in mind and judgment or purpose (1 Corinthians 1:10). Especially when things arise and attempt to stop the Word of God or the celebration of the Christian faith, Christians must be unified to make peace as one body and one faith together (1 Corinthians 12:20; Romans 12:5; Ephesians 4:4). The best weapons Christians have are prayer (Nehemiah 2:4; Ezra 8:23; Acts 4:31) and the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12). Using these spiritual weapons while uniting with other Christians creates an army that every enemy of God cannot stand against and is afraid of. Having unity among Christians creates peace in where they are (Ephesians 4:3). Why allow the enemy to cause divisions among Christians? This helps the enemy win. Part of this unity is pastors coming together to lead God’s people in how to handle each situation as they arise. As pastors join together under the common faith of Jesus Christ, the strength of the people within a region gets stronger and harder to divide. As a Christian, pray for your pastor for wisdom, boldness, strength, and encouragement to not only lead your church but stand against the spiritual enemies that are coming against your region. As a pastor, teach the people how to pray, love one another, use their sword of the Spirit, and lead them to victory in their personal lives, in their families, and within the region. Any Christian will find that when they are united with other Christians, not just under a church name or denomination, there is power in the name of Jesus because He is the only way to Heaven (John 14:6). In the book of Acts, there were no denominations or divisions, but one mind and one accord creating a historic move of God that changed the church forever (Acts 2:1-2). May Christians within our region begin to unite as the body of Christ with Jesus being the head directing the body in not only where to go but how to think and what to do to make peace, maintain unity, and change the region to follow God.
As we have previously discussed, many modern American churches have become a weak representation of the Almighty God serving flesh and sin rather than God. Let us examine the modern American church according to the Bible. Characteristic number 4 is there is more focus on entertainment than God. True Christians and churches must defend the faith and standard of God’s Word (Jude 3-8). Ungodliness has wormed into the churches, crept in unawares, that promotes immoral living through false grace teaching as well as other false doctrines. God did not allow angels to live outside their purpose, so neither should His people. People are free moral agents but they cannot live immoral lives and place God’s name on them. Anyone that practices sin belongs to the devil, while those who practice holiness and not sin belongs to God (1 John 3:8-9). Practicing sin is an attitude that mocks supernatural things and people of God and defies authority, especially spiritual authority. When pastors take away the standard of God’s Word what is left? Entertainment. Now the church has become a venue for flesh and sin not the holy house of God. These types of people lead others to death like Cain, deceive for gain like Balaam, and lead in rebellion against God like Korah (Jude 11-19). This attitude can shipwreck others by perverting the things of God. Clouds without rain describe holding everything in without giving life to others while blocking out the light. These types of people withhold the light and life God has to offer even though they try to put God’s name upon everything they do. Trees in autumn that are dead with no fruit or roots do not grow and are selfish people not rooted where God has called them to be, but most importantly not receive from spiritual leaders to grow to be a producer, only a consumer. Wild waves are what is within coming out unrestrained through freethinking religious liberties or matters creating perversions of God’s standard. Wandering stars are not consistent but always moving like those that church hop to find the coolest new trend within the church or running in rebellion to not change their lives to submit to God. God and His people are supposed to convict the ungodly of their unholy lifestyle. Those that live immorally also complain or murmur against God to walk after their flesh and desires. This attitude has crept into the church to create entertainment and decreased the holiness of the church. In John 4:20-24, worship by the Samaritans was created out of line with God’s standard by those not fully set apart for God. The Samaritans were people who mixed pagan idolatry and God’s method. Many modern American churches mix the pagan culture and the image of God to create an experience that is not worshipping in spirit or truth. So, what do Christians and modern American pastors do now? There is hope! Time is drawing to an end but as long as there is breath and a conviction with the people there can be redemption. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19). May Christians, especially modern American Christians, stand for the holy standard of God and not allow the things of God to be perverted any longer. The choice is up to each Christian. What will you choose?