By Pastora Monique Lopez Ong
When you talk about excellence, what comes to mind? Perfection. The best. Why do you think this is one of the core values of Jesus Reigns?
Excellence is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. Greatness comes with excellence. When you buy something, do you not want it to be excellent? It is the same everywhere. Everybody wants excellence; not only in the things they buy but most importantly, in themselves and in the way they live. You do not have to be rich to be excellent. All you have to do is your best.
Excellence is pursuing and doing the best you can with the gifts that God gave you, giving your best for His glory. Excellence is not a gift. You have to do it and choose it for yourself. Many people do excellently for themselves so they will be famous. That should not be the case. Everything should be done for the glory of God.think of the gifts and talents that God gave you. Are you using these to the best of your ability for the glory of God? You can achieve excellence if you persevere.
There are many excellent people in the Bible but we will discuss the spirit of excellence in the life of Daniel. Daniel 6:3 says, “Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.” How did Daniel get his excellent spirit? From his lifestyle.
This came from his lifestyle.
Conviction-You are of this world but not of this world. Daniel 1:8 says, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.” He refused to eat the same things as the king and his constituents did. After 10 days of eating just vegetables and water, Daniel and his friends were even stronger than the people around them. It began with conviction. A person with excellence is not easily persuaded by their friends. Their hearts is focused on worshipping God alone.The spirit of excellence knows how to say no.
Reliance on God- Because of their conviction, Daniel and his friends were set apart by the king. One time, the king had a dream and he wanted his court to interpret it. Nobody could except Daniel. Daniel 2:17-20 says, “Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.” When you have trials and hardships, what is the first thing you do? Prayer should be your first recourse. The first call you should do is to God. You should not do anything without prayer.
Faithful to God - Daniel 3:16-18 says, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to worship any other god even if God Himself will not save them. People’s eyes are on you. Be the only Bible they can read.
Humility - Daniel 5:11-12 says, “There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. Your father, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners. He did this because Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar, was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means.” Sometimes, you forget but God never forgets. Daniel served four kings and he always served with an excellent spirit. Many people will forget the good things that you did. But God does not forget. If you want to receive more, stay humble. Serve without any agenda in your mind and heart. What is your reason for serving? Make sure that you are serving only one God.
Integrity - Many people wanted to destroy Daniel and they tried to look for ways to make him look bad before the king. Daniel 6:20-21 says, “When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “May the king live forever!” Daniel did not budge. He was honest and truthful in everything that he did.
Perseverance and Passion - If you have an excellent spirit, in and out of season, you will never give up. Even when Daniel was an old man, he continued to follow the Lord. They were exiled and were praying to be brought back to their land. Daniel 9:20-23 says, “While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:” additional skills were given to Daniel because of his excellence. He continued to shine for God and he continued to increase. Keep going and pursue God everyday.
Excellence is not about perfection. It simply means giving your best effort. Just because someone is excellent does not mean they are better than anyone else. It is not being superior; it is about the heart. It is not exceeding the achievement of others. Look for the best in you and not the best in others.
Excellence is a choice. You have to want it. No one should tell you to do it. You have to choose to be your best or you choose to be mediocre.
Excellence is a lifestyle. Big or small, you have to be excellent. Do not do it just because somebody is watching. It should be a part of who you are.
What spirit of excellence do you have? It must be contagious. When you walk with people of excellence, it rubs off on you. When you know how to do your best, you will get addicted to doing your best. When you see people do great things and get inspired by them, you will want to do the same. When you are excellent in all that you do, it rubs off on the people around you. Be faithful in the small things and God will make you shine. Daniel never asked to be in command but God rewarded him. Good things come to those who work with excellence.
Success is being better than everyone else. Excellence is being your best. Be better tomorrow. Match your practice with your potential. Do your best.