Do you try to live your life pursuing excellence? It drives me in several areas. I try, I fail, I learn and I try again until I master something. But in other areas, I have no skill, no drive, no motivation. The Bible tells us to think about whatever is excellent. Today we will see how to pursue moral excellence to please God.
The Struggle To Pursue Moral Excellence
Do you remember the day you were saved?
I was 6 when I began to understand the excellent way that Jesus loved me. Whew did I want every ounce of that love and jumped at the chance to surrender my life to Him! As only a child can get excited about surrender.
It wasn’t until years later that I understood what that decision meant and began to live as a zealous Believer of the Word.
There were so many lost years – spent playing a church game instead of growing in my relationship with Jesus. I don’t want that for anyone, it is one of the things that drives me as I dig into the Word and share it with you.
Together I believe we can pursue moral excellence better!
What is a Moral Excellent Person?
What does a person of the Word look like?
And, what makes them different than the average Christian sitting in a church pew week after week?
These are questions I ask myself often. Have you ever thought about it?
When we dig deep into the DNA of a person of the Word we can see that their thoughts are different from those around them.
We are working through a series on peace of mind to overcome the anxiety we all face.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8 NASB).
What is Moral Excellence?
At the core of the word excellent is the idea of something being morally good. Gr, I hate when the explanation of a word uses another word that is outdated or hard to understand!!!!!!!
Define moral excellence: A moral is a standard held by the majority of people in a culture.
Well, that sounds good, but honestly, our culture has no consistent moral compass.
What is Biblical Moral Excellence?
Based purely on the moral excellence definition we see, there must be a more solid foundation on which to base our morality. It can not be the shifting culture. But, even within the church, we are not very consistent about what is right and wrong.
From denomination to denomination we can’t agree. Within denominations of Christianity, we disagree about big moral issues. Shoot, even within individual churches we bicker and squabble.
However, the Bible itself never changes. Because of that, we should gauge morality from the Scriptures alone.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105 NASB)
Think About Whatever Is Excellent: Morally Excellent
Just for clarity, let’s redefine the moral excellence meaning around our new criteria.
Moral Excellence – a standard held by the Bible.
A few questions come to mind as I think about our new Biblical definition of morality.
- What is the moral excellence of a person?
- What is moral excellence in the Bible?
- Why is it important to pursue moral excellence?
- How do you achieve moral excellence?
What is Moral Excellence in the Bible?
Moral excellence in the Bible is simple. God is holy. He expects His people to be holy as He is holy. That is the standard.
God did not give us a keepable standard of rules to follow. Rather, He gave us an impossible list, pointing to the fact that without Him, moral excellence is impossible.
What is the Moral Excellence of a Person?
If moral excellence is impossible without the Lord, what is a morally excellent person? A person who has accepted the free gift of salvation and is now living with the Holy Spirit in them.
You see, we all sin and so fall short of the perfect standard of holiness. So God sent His son to live the perfect life we never could. He then died the sinner’s death we deserve. But he rose from the dead, and went back to heaven with God the Father proving Him victorious over all.
Jesus is the gift of salvation. We must believe in Him and allow Him to lead us. Accepting Jesus as the boss of our life, our Lord and Savior is the only way to achieve moral excellence Bible style.
Why is it Important to Pursue Moral Excellence?
The importance of this decision is literally life or death. To reject Jesus’ free gift is to choose an eternity separated from Him in a real place called Hell. To accept His free gift is to choose life eternal and abundant life here and now.
Why is it important? Your eternity depends on it and your peace in this life is affected by this decision.
How do You Achieve Moral Excellence?
So, if becoming a Biblically morally excellent person depends on your salvation, how then do you achieve excellence in your daily life?
For that answer, we need to really know the Word of God. Moral excellence is about following the standard in the Bible. It follows that we must know what the Bible says to accomplish this task.
3 Ways To Be Morally Excellent Believers
Today I want to share 3 ways to think about whatever is excellent. Morally excellent thoughts, begin with what we put in our minds.
To think excellent thoughts requires us to be people of the Word! We have to put the word inside of us to think about it and overcome the anxiety of living in a world that believes truth is relative.
1. Read the Word Yourself
“I have treasured Your word in my heart,
So that I may not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11 NASB)
It is easy to fall into the trap of depending on the preacher for all of our spiritual growth. We live in a day and age where the Bible is easier to access than ever before:
- There is a Bible in every home.
- If we are not at home we can find the Bible online.
- It can be read to us.
- We can even watch Bible studies online.
There is no real reason not to read the Bible ourselves and learn and grow in our relationship with Jesus! When we read the Word ourselves it goes heart-deep and changes us radically.
When we are in the Bible consistently, and a thought comes into our mind that is not excellent, there will be warning bells all around. We can then take that thought captive – push it from our mind – and replace it with excellent thoughts.
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2. Meditate on Scripture
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will achieve success.” (Joshua 1:8 NASB)
Meditating on Scripture is not as intimidating as it seems. It just means to think about the Bible often.
I can’t always think of randomly excellent things. I can, however, pick a verse from my study or find a verse about a problem I am having and make a plan.
- Write the Scripture on cards to place around me
- In my home
- My car
- In my purse
- I use them as screen savers or photos on my phone.
With Bible verses all around me, I can find time to meditate on the Word!
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3. Memorize the Word
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16 NASB)
Memorizing Scripture is not as hard or impossible as it seems! When we are reading the Bible and meditating on it, Scripture will become a part of our thoughts and we will memorize it without extra work!
Pray Scripture to Memorize Scripture
Another trick I use to memorize Scripture is to pray it. Yes, prayer is amazing for helping us memorize Bible verses because it helps us internalize them.
To pray Scripture, I find verses about the problems in my life and write them out. Then I tape them up around the house just like in the meditate section.
When I am struggling with something, I go to that place where the verse is and read the verse. I read it as a pray and over time I only need the first word to prompt me. As I pray it I am memorizing it. It may take months or years but I can memorize Scripture now!
What Step Will You Take Toward Moral Excellence: Think on Whatever is Excellent?
My thoughts are not always excellent, but I know that Scripture is always excellent! Being a Believer, and zealous for the Word of God is how I strive toward the moral excellence examples in Scripture.
Thinking about whatever is excellent (moral excellence) is just one more way I work toward peace of mind!
It begins with a step. What step will you take?
- Consistently reading your Bible.
- Make a plan.
- Meditate on the Scripture.
- Pick something you are already reading.
- Memorizing the Scripture
- Easiest when you are already reading and meditating on them.
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