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Fresh Oil New Wine 2015 Living It Out In Real Time Spiritual Warfare The Big Event Through The Looking Glass

Be Excellent!

Looking Glass

Pat Riley, former coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, knows something about excellence. Having won one NBA Championship as a player, and five as a coach (four with the Lakers, and one with the Miami Heat), he had this to say about excellence…

Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.

People who rest on their laurels or believe their own press seldom achieve little more than fleeting success. Those who reach a point at which they become satisfied with their past accomplishments, and rest on past glory are usually left on the shoulder on the highway of progress, and soon become spectators of this Great Race we call Life. Those who spend their lives working for the applause of others are foreign to the loneliness of what it means to be a pioneer, or are unfamiliar with the solitude that comes from being on the cutting edge.

It’s the NBA star who was once the 12-year-old kid, shooting countless free-throws in his driveway.

It’s the inventor who went through hundreds (or thousands) of failed designs before he found the one that worked.

It’s the musician who practiced for thousands of hours in an empty room before playing the first note in a concert before thousands.

It’s the medical professional, who spent lonely years studying what it means to hold life in their hands.

As Christians, we are held to a higher standard…

      Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 3:12-14

      And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.. ~ Colossians 3:23-25

Paul shows us that his goal was to keep moving forward, that there is a prize that awaits those who diligently follow after Jesus. Paul makes it clear that excellence is a constant journey that is only achieved by continually moving forward. As believers in Christ, our excellence should be evident to all, for it stands to echo into eternity.

The great Vince Lombardi once said…

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

If perfection is our goal, than excellence is within reach.

However, if “good enough” is our standard of success, then we will survive in a nondescript existence of mediocrity and obscurity.

I just think the King of Glory is worthy of more than that… don’t you?

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Fresh Oil New Wine 2014 The Big Event The Secret Place Through The Looking Glass

A Wolf At The Door

Through The Looking Glass2While I don’t spend an inordinate amount of time on social media, I do participate some. It’s always interesting to see what my friends are posting on Twitter and Facebook, understanding that much of what we see has to be taken with a grain of salt. Whether quotes are attributed to Steve Jobs, Steve Forbes, or Steve Austin (you children of the ’70’s will get that in a minute), truth is truth — regardless of who is saying it.

Blood-Moon14I saw a story on a friend’s Facebook page the other day, and found it interesting. It went something like this…

An old Cherokee once told his grandson, “Son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth.”

The boy thought about it for a bit, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”

The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”

— author unknown

Wow! What an amazing analogy of the life of the Spirit. As human beings living in a fallen world, though redeemed by the blood of Jesus, we must continually be on our guard against feeding the “wolf” of the flesh. If we spend all of our time on pursuits and interests that do not bring us closer to the heart of God, we cannot expect to have any kind of Holy Ghost power in our lives. Is your dust-covered Bible the tell-tale sign of a life spend on pursuing money, notoriety, popularity, possessions, entertainment, and lust? Are you spending so much time and energy worrying about staying alive that you have forgotten how to live? Paul had this to say about where our thought life should reside…

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~ Philippians 4:8

In Mark 8:36-37, Jesus asks a very poignant question…

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

But it all really boils down to this…

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ Luke 12:34

Jesus makes it painfully clear with this sentence that what is in your “treasure box” is a direct reflection of what is in your heart. If your treasure is devoid of evidence of the Spirit, it’s probably time to re-evaluate, not just your priorities, but your commitment to the Savior.

So which creature are you feeding? Are you feeding a wolf that may stay quiet for a time, but will eventually devour you?

Or…

Are you feeding a creature that looks — not like a wolf — but like the Lamb of God, who “takes away the sins of the world”?