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EXCELLENCE OR OBEDIENCE????

Question: What’s your aim in life—excellence or obedience?
What’s the difference? To aim for obedience is to aim for perfection, not for “excellence,” which is actually something less.
“Wait a minute!” you reply. “I thought excellence and perfection were the same thing.”
Sometimes they appear to be. But mere excellence allows room for a mixture. In most arenas, excellence is not a fixed standard at all. It’s a mixed standard.
* I was the perfect example of someone who wasn’t shooting for God’s fixed standard of obedience. I was teaching classes at church, chairing activities groups, and attending discipleship classes. My church attendance was exemplary, and I spoke the Christian language. Like the businessman seeking the best business practices, I was asking myself, How far can I go and still be called a Christian? The question I should have been asking was, How holy can I be?
Let me demonstrate the difference between excellence and obedience through a couple of stories from my premarriage class. When each seven-week session begins, I ask the students what they desire in marriage. During a recent class, all six couples declared that they wanted to build their relationships upon God’s principles. Then I
asked this question: Is it all right to modify the truth to avoid unpleasantness in the home?
Each answered no, unanimously agreeing that modifying the truth was lying and that none of them would do that in their homes.
“Really?” I asked. “Then what about this? Brenda has had four children, and through the years her weight has slid between four different wardrobe sizes. [Much laughter usually follows this comment.] During transitions between sizes, she often hoped to wear something from the smaller-size wardrobe to church. Squeezing into it, she’d ask me, ‘Is this too tight?’ She wanted to know whether the dress fit or whether it would draw attention to her weight. Often it was a close call, and I would have to choose between modifying the truth or hurting her feelings and discouraging her.
“Was it okay for me to modify the truth to avoid this unpleasantness? It’s a small thing, after all, and I love her. If I told the truth, it would hurt her feelings, and I don’t like to hurt her feelings.
“What would you do? Would you modify the truth?”
Amazingly, only moments after declaring that they would never modify the truth in their home, five out of the six couples now said they would indeed modify the truth to avoid this particular unpleasantness.
They can speak the Christian language, and they certainly sound excellent. But can they live Christian truth?
With excellence we try to cover our disobedient tracks. Pete and Mary attended my premarriage class, and Pete impressed me from day one. He lapped up anything I said, nodding in assent at even the most difficult teachings regarding the husband’s responsibilities (such as servanthood).
At the end of the seventh week, Pete and Mary stopped me after class. “Your discussion on sexual purity really hit home last week,” Pete began, “especially when you said that viewing pornography and X-rated movies won’t strengthen your sex life. My first wife used to rent X-rated movies for me, and we would watch them together before going to bed. In the end, it hurt us.” Then he added, “Mary and I will not do this in our marriage.” So far, so good.
But Mary, stepping in, said, “We’ve been having an ongoing struggle over what we watch together. We’ll often rent a movie to watch at my apartment, but you know how it is. Most of the popular movies have some pretty racy scenes, and I’m feeling more and more uncomfortable with this. When it gets steamy, I tell Pete we need to turn it off, but he gets angry, arguing that we’ve invested good money in the rental and it’s a waste of money to shut it off. So I go off into the kitchen to do some work while he finishes watching.”
She got a tear in her eye and looked down. “I don’t feel these movies are good for us,” she said. “I’ve asked him to stop for my sake, but he won’t. We make it a practice to pray together before he goes home, but after these movies, I often feel dirty and cheap. I feel these movies are coming between us.”
Of course, Pete was embarrassed. Was he in search of excellence or obedience? At least in this area he had stopped short. By the standards of his peers, he knew he could watch popular movies with racy sexual situations and still “seem” Christian. That’s all he needed.
To his credit, Pete asked me what he should do. I told him to follow Mary’s lead and not watch the sexy videos, and he agreed to do so.
So often there’s no challenging voice like Mary’s calling us to obedience and perfection. Satisfied with mere excellence, we stop short of God’s standards. We move nearer our peers only to find distance from God.
In so many areas, we’re often sitting together on the middle ground of excellence, a good distance from God. When challenged by His higher standards, we’re comforted that we don’t look too different from these around us. Trouble is, we don’t look much different from non-Christians either.

 

From the book EVERY MAN’S BATTLE

ACT LIKE A CHILD 

I always had a problem of people despising me and calling me a child or treating me like one. It annoyed me so much and quenched my peace. I felt I needed to be called a man not a child. But let’s study this together, what is a child like? How does a child act? Children are humble and innocent they know nothing, most times they even don’t know what they are doing they just need guidance always from an older person. The moment we start looking at ourselves as grown, thats the moment pride rules us. A child compared to an older person, the child is foolish and the older person is wise. And that exactly what we need to be. We need to act like we are foolish so that we can be wise. For God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. He chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. And God chose what the world thinks is not important—what the world hates and thinks is nothing. He chose these to destroy what the world thinks is important.

1 Corinthians 1:27‭-‬28 ERV. Paul says We are fools for Christ, but you think you are so wise in Christ. We are weak, but you think you are so strong. People give you honor, but they don’t honor us.

1 Corinthians 4:10 ERV. Acting like a child or a fool doesn’t actually mean that you are a child or a fool. It’s a sign of humility and “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,

I Peter 5:5‭-‬6 NKJV. the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?” For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. Matthew 18:1‭-‬5 MSG. Jesus said “I assure you that no one who has ever been born is greater than John the Baptist. Yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Matthew 11:11 CEB. Why would he say such a statement. But first look at John the baptists attitude after he was asked a question that could have raised raised pride in him. He said He must increase and I must decrease.

John 3:30 CEB. That’s the attitude we need. To keep decreasing and be children as God keeps increasing. 

Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus:

Philippians 2:5 CEB

Waiting upon the Lord 

What I wanna assure you my brother and sister. Whatever trouble you going through just Depend on the Lord. Trust in him, and he will help you. Psalms 37:5 ERV. It may seem as though he doesn’t even exist, it may seem like he has abandoned you and all you say is I wish I knew where to find him. I wish I knew how to go to where he lives. “If I go to the east, God is not there. If I go to the west, I still don’t see him. When he is working in the north, I don’t see him. When he turns to the south, I still don’t see him.Job 23:3‭, ‬8‭-‬9 ERV. But don’t worry God knows you . He is testing you and will see that you are as pure as gold.Job 23:10 ERV. It may take longer than you thought But don’t forget this one thing, dear friends: To the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord is not being slow in doing what he promised—the way some people understand slowness. 2 Peter 3:8‭-‬9 ERV. Just keep waiting, You know that when your faith is tested, you learn to be patient in suffering. If you let that patience work in you, the end result will be good. You will be mature and complete. YOU WILL BE ALL THAT GOD WANTS YOU TO BE.James 1:3‭-‬4 ERV, meaning without suffering you can’t be become like a full-grown man—to look just like Christ and have all his perfection. Ephesians 4:13. In fact, anyone who wants to live a holy life in Christ Jesus will be harassed.2 Timothy 3:12 CEB. We have sufferings now, but these are nothing compared to the great glory that will be given to us.Romans 8:18 ERV. We have small troubles for a while now, but these troubles are helping us gain an eternal glory. That eternal glory is much greater than our troubles.

2 Corinthians 4:17 ERV. So keep heart. 

JUST WAIT 

That is why we never give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day.

2 Corinthian s 4:17

Count others more important 

This is gonna be an advise to everyone especially those that are under the law of christ.   Don’t you dare ever despise anyone whether you are older than them or of a higher rank than them. You are to Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other.

Romans 12:10 CEB

Dont be proud because you think you know more about God. 

If anyone thinks they are important when they aren’t, they’re fooling themselves. Each person should test their own work and be happy with doing a good job and not compare themselves with others. Each person will have to carry their own load.

Galatians 6:3‭-‬5 CEB

The moment you start despising another person in the church or community remember that Instead, the parts of the body that people think are the weakest are the most necessary. The parts of the body that we think are less honorable are the ones we honor the most. The private parts of our body that aren’t presentable are the ones that are given the most dignity. The parts of our body that are presentable don’t need this. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the part with less honor so that there won’t be division in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it.

1 Corinthians 12:22‭-‬26 CEB

The people you despise are the ones God normally uses for his glory to shame you the proud. 

But God chose what the world considers foolish to shame the wise. God chose what the world considers weak to shame the strong. And God chose what the world considers low-class and low-life—what is considered to be nothing—to reduce what is considered to be something to nothing. So no human being can brag in God’s presence.

1 Corinthians 1:27‭-‬29 CEB

“You make yourselves look good in front of people. But God knows what is really in your hearts. What people think is important is worth nothing to God.

Luke 16:15 ERV

And remember that God will humiliate those who make fun of others, but he is kind to those who are humble.

Proverbs 3:34 ERV

In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves.

Philippians 2:3 ERV

God uses anyone to speak even the most worst sinners. So don’t ignore anyone either in the church or out of the church. 

Enthusiastic at the hearing of the word. 

I was in a certain church and the preacher was doing his thing. The message was true and not false in any way. 

People liked it and they were so happy at the revelation from God, others cried, coz it’s as though God himself was speaking. 

Me too I was blessed by the word of God but I was meditating on the word, a thought came in, and I looked at everyone so happy at the word , enthusiastic and I knew something is wrong. The message was true and the people were happy, this is in most times very rare. It’s mostly people getting happy at the message they want to hear but not at the true message. 

The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars. These liars have lied so well and for so long that they’ve lost their capacity for truth.

1 Timothy 4:1‭ MSG

The true message is normally unpleasant and mostly makes people run away from church .

But this message in church as true, so. Why were the people happy? 

Maybe they are true believers after the true message. 

Yes but another thought came in. After this joy and enthusiasm, do. They actually do what the word says when. They leave church? 

And the answer is of course no. Not all do practice it. 

As I was reading my Bible, I met this verse 

As for the seed that was spread on rocky ground, this refers to people who hear the word and immediately receive it joyfully. Because they have no roots, they last for only a little while. When they experience distress or abuse because of the word, they immediately fall away.

Matthew 13:20‭-‬21 CEB

So there actually those who joyfully receive the word of God but because they have no roots, they fall away. 

Now I pray that we might not just smile at the word but rather put into action. 

Paul was at a time fed up of such people. They listened to true words but they never grow in grace. 

We have a lot to say about this topic, and it’s difficult to explain, because you have been lazy and you haven’t been listening. Although you should have been teachers by now, you need someone to teach you an introduction to the basics about God’s message. You have come to the place where you need milk instead of solid food. Everyone who lives on milk is not used to the word of righteousness, because they are babies. But solid food is for the mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between good and evil.

Hebrews 5:11‭-‬14 CEB

PASSION FOR CHRIST. 

ON FIRE FOR CHRIST!! 

When one has just gotten   bornagain and his life is changed from a genuine faith and a clear conscience, his love for God is unimaginable. I guess that’s why when christ came back and met Peter again at lake Galilee just after his resurrection and Peter had also denied him, he asked him a question three times When they finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these other men love me?” Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Then Jesus said to him, “Take care of my lambs. ”

John 21:15 

How could Jesus really ask this question to a mere man full of sin, can we really love God with passion. 

The answer is yes and it’s mostly those new born agains. It is expected of us out of what God has done for us to love him even when we don’t intend it. That’s why Peter said yes I do love you more than all the others, why, because he denied him but still Jesus forgave him. 

That’s what happens after God helping us out of trouble or after immediately realizing God’s grace.

But it’s also clear that this love for God keeps decreasing with time as we go on in this walk. We still love him but we no longer do the things we used to do. We used to sacrifice anything for christ but now, naaa we busy. 

What happens. The reason is we don’t give time to our desire for God. This desire needs attention. When we desire some thing, we try to reach it and we keep searching. We don’t relax. Now why many peoples love for God is getting cold is because we have become so busy with cares of this world. We are like the seed that fell among the thorny weeds? That is like the people who hear the teaching but let worries about this life and love for money stop it from growing. So it does not produce a crop in their lives.

Matthew 13:22 

When Jesus says But I have this against you: you have let go of the love you had at first. So remember the high point from which you have fallen. Change your hearts and lives and do the things you did at first. If you don’t, I’m coming to you. I will move your lampstand from its place if you don’t change your hearts and lives.

Revelation 2:4‭-‬5 CEB. 

It’s not only about being a Christian and relaxing. It’s about working out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

Philippians 2:12 NKJV

One man said that the Christians growth can never be stagnant, you are either growing or your declining. You can’t say am at a stand still. 

When God tells Joshua that This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Joshua 1:8 NKJV

the blessings don’t come from just being a Christian. They come from spending time in the word with God. Without reading the word of God CONSTANTLY, your desire is quenched down. 

However much we might be busy with work or family, don’t let that blow out your desire for God. Try the night you can spend some time in the word before sleep. Others wake up at 3am to pray. Whatever just make sure your desire for God is not lost. 

BTW the lower your desire for God, the more you sin. 

Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.

Psalms 119:11 NKJV

Am I righteous? 

Recently tried to list down my weaknesses and strengths on paper. Well I was amazed. I thought I had a few weaknesses and lots of strengths but myaaa… 

Well what are weaknesses to me, things about me that displease me or certain things am not able to do. If am to follow that definition, I came to realize am the worst guy on earth. Like seriously, there is no bad thing I haven’t done, name it. I have done it. Even the things I tell people to stop doing. I noticed I did those things better than them. 

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Romans 7:24 
What are strengths to me? 

Things am good at, things I can do to my best or the best of anybody. 

Well following that definition, I realized I have got no strength coz seriously what can I do better than anyone, if can run , then there is bolt or another. If I say I can preach well that means that everytime I speak, people get born again or people are all touched but that ain’t true, even if I did, 

For who sees anything different in me? What do i have that I did not receive? If then I received it, why should I boast as if i did not receive it?

1 Corinthians 4:7 
So generally I need help. Most times I just wanna die and stop sinning, like I can’t believe some times I sin deliberately, but still he forgives me. It’s just unfair that he forgives but I still continue to do the same thing. Banange AhahahA… 
Today was going through the Bible and. Met this verse. 

The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

2 Timothy 4:18 
Am waiting. Can’t wait for all My evil deed to be taken. I just wanna be like him and stop sinning 

My testimony 

I have been an addict of musturbation almost for the rest of my past life. It has haunted me severely and affected me in every way. When I got born again, this addiction continued but a few times. I fought this battle for a long time. I couldn’t ask for help coz I knew it was a shame. I prayed to God to help me but he kept saying that 

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 

He keeps telling me this, time and again, I know it’s true, but to me it seems as though God gives little energy to resist the urge to sin and feel like praying for more strength (but inside I know am Wrong) I feel I need to blame someone for my wrong but who? 

I keep doing the same thing again 

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

Romans 7:15 

There are many Christians who are addicts passing through the same fight as this but there is one wrong thing they normally do. 

I Remember reaching a point of stopping to read the Bible and going to church coz of my guilt, I felt I can’t face God though I knew he would still. Forgive me but I felt it was to much I had done that God didn’t deserve me anymore but that made things worse. I kept dying more and more. 

If this is what you are going through I request of one thing. Please any addiction you are fighting. I advise you to please never think running far away from God. As for me, when I learnt this, whenever I sinned, I said all sorry God and came closer to the church the more. The more I sinned, the more closer i came closer to the church and this has helped me to save me completely. I am no longer and addict not because if my might but because of God whom I went to closer when I sinned. So do the same and your addiction will Disappear. 

NO ADDICTION CAN BE OVERCOME BY MAN’S EFFORT. 

AM. FREE 

My testimony 

I have been an addict of musturbation almost for the rest of my past life. It has haunted me severely and affected me in every way. When I got born again, this addiction continued but a few times. I fought this battle for a long time. I couldn’t ask for help coz I knew it was a shame. I prayed to God to help me but he kept saying that 

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 

He keeps telling me this, time and again, I know it’s true, but to me it seems as though God gives little energy to resist the urge to sin and feel like praying for more strength (but inside I know am Wrong) I feel I need to blame someone for my wrong but who? 

I keep doing the same thing again 

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

Romans 7:15 

There are many Christians who are addicts passing through the same fight as this but there is one wrong thing they normally do. 

I Remember reaching a point of stopping to read the Bible and going to church coz of my guilt, I felt I can’t face God though I knew he would still. Forgive me but I felt it was to much I had done that God didn’t deserve me anymore but that made things worse. I kept dying more and more. 

If this is what you are going through I request of one thing. Please any addiction you are fighting. I advise you to please never think running far away from God. As for me, when I learnt this, whenever I sinned, I said all sorry God and came closer to the church the more. The more I sinned, the more closer i came closer to the church and this has helped me to save me completely. I am no longer and addict not because if my might but because of God whom I went to closer when I sinned. So do the same and your addiction will Disappear. 

NO ADDICTION CAN BE OVERCOME BY MAN’S EFFORT. 

AM. FREE 

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