Outstanding

1 Corinthians 15:58 NET - So then, dear brothers and sisters, be firm. Do not be moved! Always be outstanding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

As Paul finishes up his teaching on the resurrection and the promise of our glorified, immortal bodies after Jesus returns, this important admonition is given in 1 Corinthians 15:58. In other word, be strong. Be solid. Be a rock. Be immovable by the pressures of this world and by the battle that rages in your mind. Why? Because the prize will be worth the climb. And because you know that what you are doing matters - to God, to His church, and to His mission. Everything matters when it comes to serving God with excellence. We are not perfect, and we will fail - but we are not failures.

Paul does not appeal to feelings or emotions but to knowledge. We KNOW that our work in the service of Christ is not a waste, not in vain. There are times when we will battle feelings of worthlessness or that our efforts to bless others have been fruitless. Those feelings have to be overridden by knowledge. Scripture gives us the assurance that our labors to glorify God, save lost souls, and build up God’s church are NOT pointless or in vain. So what does God desire in our works and service? Excellence. The results are up to Him. The free will of other people will guide their reactions to our work. But we have the choice to be mediocre or outstanding. Yet the Gospels give us a clue as to what God wants, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Servanthood done well honors God. He will honor you.

We serve Christ's Church and mission with first-class effort and skill because our excellence in action honors God and inspires others. Will you serve the church and its mission with the excellence of skill and action God deserves? Will you serve with an excellence of spirit and attitude that reflects a true love for God as you serve? Will you focus on how every little thing matters in your excellent serving - because of the impact it has in loving other Christians and inspiring unbelievers?

Galatians 6:10 ESV - So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.