Have you ever gone into a restaurant where the food is good and the service is good and think, 'Wow, This is how a restaurant can be if people really care.' The bathrooms are clean and nice. The staff doesn't treat you like you're invisible because they understand customer service and have set a high standard of excellence.
Or maybe it is a person's home. The style of decoration may be different but you are knocked over when you enter each room because of the care and taste these people have and the ability they have to express themselves in the way they keep their living environment.
Excellence. We can envy it or we can just have it ourselves and appreciate it without envy.
My God is an excellent God and He makes those that know Him excellent.
"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day... And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth... And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." - Genesis 1:3-5, 25-26, 31 KJV
Everyone in the world has value and every person is important but not everything is excellent. When you find something excellent you can appreciate it and it always has people or one person behind that excellence. If that influence wanes then the quality goes downhill.
The bathrooms aren't as clean. The recipes may be the same but the food isn't as hot and the waiters care more about talking to each other than they do about creating an experience for their guests.
As I wake up this morning I'm tired and very aware of my frailty as a human being but I turn my face to an excellent unchanging God.
"Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great." - 2 Samuel 22:36 KJV
Yes! Not just good. Greatness. Not just going through the motions. Creative excellence that stands out as cleaned, oiled and firing on all cylinders.
"Shake yourself from the dust and arise; be seated, O Jerusalem; loose the bonds from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion." - Isaiah 52:2 ESV
Shake off the bands of mediocrity. Arise and rest in the excellent God of all grace.
Let's joke and laugh and shake off the dust. Let's look in God's direction and behold His Majesty. Sure if we looked at the circumstances we might have reasons to be discouraged but let's look past the circumstances and gaze at a perfect throne where everything is in place just as it should be. It is the best of the best and we are transformed just by beholding it.
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--" - Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV
"Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise!" - Psalm 119:154 ESV
"My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!" - Psalm 119:25b ESV
We are quickened by grace. We can be quickened by truth.
Mediocrity isn't an option this morning. 'No' to that thinking. Oh God... We say 'Yes.' to you this morning. We look at you and marvel. Let the dust of accusation and depression be far from us. Let our faces be warm with the light of your presence this morning and all through the day. Thank you God. What would we be without You? You are our light and our salvation.