Hi, this is Joel and Victoria. Thanks for listening to our podcast and thanks for supporting the ministry. If you enjoy today's message, why don't you be a blessing and share it with a friend? We appreciate you and for God's very best in your life.
Well, God bless you and thanks for letting us come into your homes. We love you. And if you're ever in our area, please stop by and be a part of one of our services. I promise you will make you feel right at home. But thanks so much for tuning in and thank you again for coming out. I'd like to start with something funny and heard about these two little boys, ages four and six. They were brothers. They were spending the night at their grandmother's and she told them before they went to bed to make sure they said their prayers.
They went to the room, got down on their knees. The youngest boy started praying at the top of his lungs. God, I pray for a new bicycle. I pray for a new PlayStation. I pray for a new DVD. Brother punched him, said, Why are you screaming? God is in death. He said, I know that, but grandmother is.
Hold up your Bible. Say it like you mean it. This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do today. I will be taught the word of God. I boldly confess my mind is Allura. My heart is receptive. I will never be the same in Jesus name. God bless you. I want to talk to you today about having an excellent spirit.
We live in a society where mediocrity is the norm. Many people do as little as they can to get by. They don't take pride in their work and pride in who they are. If somebody is watching, they'll perform one way. But when nobody is watching, they'll cut corners and take the easy way out. And if we're not careful, we'll get pulled into this same mentality, thinking that it's OK to show up late, to work and not look our best, not give it our all.
But I've learned God doesn't bless mediocrity. God blesses excellence. When you have an excellent spirit, you do the right thing. Whether anyone is watching or not, you go the extra mile, you do more than you have to. Other people may complain. They may go out looking sloppy, cutting corners, but don't sink down to that level. Well, Joel, everybody's doing it. Everybody slacks off when the boss is gone. It my company.
Everybody compromises at my school. Everybody doesn't take care of their yards in my neighborhood. Now, here's the key. You're not everybody. You're a cut above. You are called to be excellent. God wants you to set the highest standard. You should be the example your company uses as the model employ.
Your boss should be able to say to the new hires, watch this person develop their skills, learn their habits. They are the cream of the crop. They're always on time. They always have a good attitude. They do more than they have to. When you have an excellent spirit like that, you're not only going to see promotion, but you are honoring God. A lot of times we think, let me go to church to honor God. Let me read my Bible and pray to honor God.
And yes, that's true. But do you know it honors God to get to work on time. It honors God to be productive each day. It honors God to go out looking your best when you are excellent. Your life is giving praise to God. That's one of the best witnesses we could ever have, because some people will never come to church. They'll never listen to a minister. They're not reading their Bible. They're reading your life. They're watching how you live.
Now, don't be sloppy when you leave the house, whether you're wearing a suit or a pair of shorts, make sure you look the best that you possibly can.
You are representing almighty God. When you have a spirit of excellence, you do more than you have to. You don't just do the minimum amount required. You go the extra mile. In fact, this phrase comes from the scripture. Jesus said it in Matthew five forty one. If someone asked you to walk a mile with them, do more, go to Miles. Back in those days, a Roman soldier, when they were traveling through the city, they could require by law a person to carry their armor for one mile after that mile, they would have to find somebody else.
Jesus said if they ask you to carry it for a mile, go beyond the call of duty, do more than is expected, carry it to Miles. That's the attitude we should have not. I'm going to go to work and do as little as I can to try to keep this job. No, I'm a person of excellence and we'll go beyond the call of duty. I will do more than is expected in me. That means if you're supposed to be at work at 8:00, you show up ten minutes early.
You do more than you have to. You don't start shutting down 30 minutes before the day is over. No, you go the extra mile. Some people go to work 15 minutes late, walk around the office, get a cup of coffee, get to their desk about eight, 30, spend the next half hour surfing the Internet, making personal phone calls. They wonder why they don't get promoted. Here's why God doesn't reward sloppiness. God rewards excellence.
One time in the scripture, Abraham told his assistant to go to a foreign country and find a wife for his son, Isaac. He said the way you know you will find the right girl is when you go to the well. She'll not only offer you something to drink, but she'll offer to get your camels water as well. This assistant got to the foreign land.
He was at the whale about sunset. Here comes this beautiful young lady named Rebecca. He said, Ma'am, I've been traveling all day. I'm so thirsty. Would you mind lowering your bucket and getting me some water to drink? She said, sure, I will. But let me get your camels something to drink as well. Here's what's interesting. A camel, after a long day's walk, can drink thirty gallons of water. This man had ten camels with them.
If she had a one gallon bucket, she was saying, yes, I'll dip down once and get you something to drink. Plus I'll dip down three hundred more times to get your camels water as well. That's going way beyond the call of duty. Now notice what happens. She is chosen to marry Isaac, who comes from the wealthiest family of that day. I doubt she had to draw three hundred gallons of water ever again for inch. God rewards excellence.
When you do more than what's required of you, you'll see God's goodness in a new way.
Well, you said you'll declare in God's favor and declare and promotion and increase is coming. That's great. That's one part of it. But the second part is, are you getting to work on time? Are you doing more than you have to? Are you better this year than you were last year? Your company shouldn't get along nearly as well without you. You should be so skilled, so productive, so valuable, so needed. They can't afford to lose.
You see, we live in a very competitive marketplace. If you're not growing, improving, learning new skills, you're falling behind. If you're at the same skill level today that you were five years ago, you're at a disadvantage. You need to take steps to grow whatever you do, get better at it. If you're a carpenter, an architect, a computer programmer, take classes, find a mentor, study ways that you can be more productive, more efficient, don't get stagnant.
And excellent person keeps growing.
Sunday afternoons after our final service, I'll sit with an editor and I still edit my sermons for the television broadcast. I've done five hundred and sixty messages. Thirteen years worth, you'd think. Surely I don't need to watch another one if I haven't learned how to do it by now. I'm never going to get it right. No, I study each one of them to see what's good and what could be better. This point was a little long. That section was really great.
I'm talking too fast there. I'm constantly evaluating, analyzing not only my part, but the production, the lighting, the camera angles. My attitude is there's always room for improvement. We can always get better. People that watch on television say, Joe, we never hear you make a mistake. You never stumble. You never stutter, nothing at all. I always tell them the truth is because I know how to edit. That's what I did for 17 years behind the scenes from my father.
I know how to cut out the stutters, the mistakes, the stumbles. The truth is, I don't have to. It's fine the way it goes out live. Nobody has ever complained about it, but I want it to be the best that it can possibly be. I don't want to be at this same level next year as I am right now. I want to be more effective, more annoying, more steel making a greater difference. When you're a person of excellence, you don't get stagnant.
You always taken steps to improve and looking for ways that you can be better. Here's what I found. Favor and excellence go hand in hand, increase promotion, reach in your highest potential.
It is all tied to a spirit of excellence. I say this respectfully, but some people are driving a car that hasn't been washed in six months, used to be a tutone, now it's a four tone. Well, it's an old piece of junk. I'll do it when I get something better. Now, if you don't take care of what God has given you, how can God bless you with more? I've been in mud huts in Africa. No running water, a dirt floor yet.
The place is spotless. Everything is clean, organized, perfectly in place. Why is that? They have a spirit of excellence, whether you have a lot or a little, whether it's new or old. Take pride in what God has given you. After the service, I'll walk up to the visitors area and if I ever see a piece of paper on the floor, a gum wrapper, a bulletin, I automatically pick it up. I don't have to.
Somebody will eventually get it. But when you have a spirit of excellence, it's ingrained in you sometimes in between services. On Sunday, in the nursery hallways, there'll be a cracker on the floor that's all crumpled up. I'll always ask Johnny if he'll call the cleaning crew because I want to get it cleaned up before that next group comes in. See, I realize this building represents Almighty God. That's why we do our best to take care of it in a first class way.
We make sure it's painted. The lawn is perfect, the hallways are spotless, the equipment works. The cameras are state of the art. Why we represent God and God is not sloppy. God is not run down. God is not second class.
He is an excellent God. And that doesn't mean that you have to have the best to represent God.
It simply means whatever God is given you take care of it the best you possibly can. Sometimes a can of paint can make a world of difference. Pulling some weeds, cleaning the carpet, being more organized. Do what you can to represent God in an excellent way. When our children were younger, we used to take them to Disneyland.
That place is always spotless. I have never once seen a piece of gum stuck to the floor. Hundreds of thousands of people go through every year and it still looks brand new. I thought, how do they do this? One day I was there and I saw these men going around with tools to scrape up gum. That's all they do all day long. If Disney can keep their parks, that first class that clean, how much more should we keep guns out clean and first class?
Now, take this to your own life, your house, your car, your clothes, your cubicle, your office. I'm not asking you to spend a lot of money. It's all in how you choose to take care of what God has given you. I'm asking you to do it with excellence, knowing that you represent Almighty God. Years ago, I was driving to church when it was at the other location and when I got close for some reason that day, I noticed how many people didn't take care of their homes.
The yards weren't mowed, weeds were everywhere. These things were stored all over the place. I'm not being critical. I'm sure they're fine people, but I couldn't help but notice that just one house after another, as sloppy as could be. As I continue driving in the midst of all those houses, one home stood out.
The yard was immaculate, the house was clean and painted, beautiful flowers out front, everything perfectly in place.
When I got to church, I commented to someone about that house. They said, Oh yeah, Joe, that's so and so's house. There's some of our most faithful members. I thought, that doesn't surprise me.
Lakewood people are people of excellence. They were a cut above. They stood out in the crowd. Now, they could have had the attitude.
Nobody takes care of their lawns in our neighborhood. Why should we know they have a spirit of excellence? You may be in a situation where everybody around you, the little lazy, indifferent, undisciplined, don't let that rub off on you. You be the one to have an excellent spirit like this family. You be the one to stand out in the crowd where you said, Joe, you mean I drove all the way here today. I tuned in to hear you tell me to clean up my house.
No, not just that. Mow your lawn, too. But seriously, what kind of witness is it to our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers?
If our yard is sloppy, our car has never washed. We're always running late everywhere we go. That's not a good representation. And the truth is, that's not who you really are. God made you as a person of excellence. Maybe all you've seen modeled is mediocrity, but God is calling you to a higher standard. He's going to take you places you've never dreamed of, but you've got to do your part and stir up the excellence that's on the inside.
Don't make excuses. Oh, this is the way I've always been. Take this challenge to come up to a higher level of excellence, even in our personal appearance, how we dress, how we present ourselves. There are all different styles. We have different taste. One is not right and the other is wrong. You may not like to wear a suit. That's fine. The main thing is make sure you present yourself in a way that you're proud of.
Don't leave the house feeling sloppy, feeling less than your best, knowing that you didn't take time to look as good as you could have. You are a temple of the most high God God lives. Then you take time to take care of yourself. Some of you ladies, you're very good at taking care of others.
You put the children first. You're a great wife. You're running the household. But you need to start taking time to take care of yourself. Go get your nails done. Get your hair done. Get a massage, go work out. Go to the mall. Go have some fun with some of your friends. It's scriptural to take care of yourself in an excellent way.
Some of you men haven't bought yourself any new clothes in twenty seven years that your to wear has been in and out of style already three different times. You're an excellent worker. You're a great provider for your family. I'm simply saying make sure you take care of yourself. One time Victoria asked me to run up to the grocery store to pick up something so she could finish making dinner. I just worked out and I was very hot and sweaty and wearing an old t shirt and rundown gym shorts that I used to wear around the house.
I didn't look good at all, but I didn't feel like cleaning up. So I decided to just run up to the grocery store and hopefully nobody would see me.
When I pulled in the parking lot, I heard God speak to me. Not out loud, but, you know, just an impression down in here. He said, Joel, don't you dare go in there looking like that.
Don't you know you represent me? I am the king of kings, the creator of the universe.
I deserve respect and honor.
I turned around, went back home, took a shower, comb my hair, put on clean clothes and went back up to the grocery store and picked up those TV dinners that Victoria wanted.
But understand, I'm not going to look that way. We represent almighty God and God does not like sloppiness even around the house. Of course, we all like to be super casual, but make sure you still look good for your children, still look good for your spouse. Ladies, you may need to get rid of that bathrobe that was passed down to you by your great great grandmother and get you something new. Oh, John is so comfortable. It's so sentimental.
I've had it for so many years. Let me tell you what nobody will tell you is ugly.
The truth is, you're too beautiful to wear that thing. Get your husband's credit card, go up to the mall. There's a certain store I don't want to give away any free advertisement, but it starts with my wife's first name, Victoria. I can't tell you the rest would be a secret. Find something that makes you look like the masterpiece God made you to be. Now, you men can thank me later, you know, at the store shopping and something accidentally falls off the rack, don't act like you don't see it and just leave it there.
Person of Excellence picks it up and puts it back. When you're shopping for groceries and you decide you don't want the cereal anymore, don't just stick it over by the detergents. A person of excellence takes it where it belongs. Somebody that has a spirit of excellence doesn't park in a handicapped spot because they don't feel like walking. Bottom line is this. When you have this spirit of excellence, you do the right thing not because somebody is watching you, not because they're making you do it.
You do it to honor God and our house. We used to have these five gallon containers of water. They come in big glass barrels and they have a neck on the top and yet to flip it over and put it on a dispenser. And that's how the water comes out. Well, Victoria likes everything super clean. And even though the place where the water comes out is sealed, the receptor goes way up into the neck. It's no way germs could get up in there.
Didn't matter. Victoria likes to wipe down the whole bottle with soap and water. Well, even after you dry it off, it's very slippery, which makes it extremely difficult to get up there. I had debated with her several times about why we do not need to wipe down the whole bottle. Just may be the end, but couldn't convince her. I gave her my word that I would do it, but there were plenty of times I was in the pantry all by myself.
Nobody could see me. I'm tired. I don't feel like struggling with this bottle of water. I get it almost up and I hear that still small voice and you'll be a person of excellence. Do the right thing. You gave your word. I'd have to put it down. Go get the soap and water. What am I saying? A person of excellence does the right thing even when nobody's watch it. Even when you don't agree, even when you don't think it's necessary.
Sometimes you have to say, God, I don't feel like doing this, but I'm going to do it under you. God, what my boss is asking me to do is not right, but I will do it under you. God, I didn't make the mess. I shouldn't have to clean it up, but I will do it under you. Some people are not see in God's favor like they should because they're not passing the smell test. Being more excellent may not be some huge adjustment you need to make.
May just be something small like getting to work ten minutes earlier, not complaining when you have to clean up doing the right thing, even though you don't feel like it. The Scripture says it's the little foxes that spoil the vines. If I were to put that water on the dispenser week after week without washing it, nobody would have known except me and God, I could have gotten away with it. But here's the key. I don't want something small to keep God from releasing something big into my life.
Are there areas where, you know, God's dealing with you about coming up higher?
Any time God asked you to do something, if you will obey, a reward will follow. One time I was in a parking lot and it was very windy outside. And when I opened my car door, several pieces of newspaper flew out. As I reached down to pick them up, the wind caught them and they blew fifteen or twenty feet in different directions. I didn't feel like going picking that up. I looked in the parking lot. There was already a whole lot of other trash there.
I was in a hurry. I was tired. I came up with all these excuses as to why I didn't need to pick up my trash. Almost convinced myself the last moment I decided to be a person of excellence, I ended up running around that whole parking lot. My mind was saying, your what are you doing out here? It doesn't matter. Just let it go. Finally got it picked up, came back to my car. What I didn't realize is there was a couple sitting in the car next to me watching all this take place.
They rolled down the window and said, yeah, we watch it on television every week. I'll never forget what the lady said.
We were watching to see what you were going to do that.
Oh, thank you, Jesus. Whether you realize it or not, people are watching you, even in small areas, make sure you're representing God in a great way. The Book of Daniel, it talks about how he had an excellent spirit as a teenager. He was brought out of Judah into Babylon. The king was training all these young men and the best ones, the smartest, the strongest, the most talented would become the next leaders.
They had a certain diet to eat, certain program to follow. But Daniel had made a vow to God that he would always honor him. The Babylonians were worshipping idols. Daniel was respectful, but he wouldn't eat the king's fancy food. He didn't just follow along and do what everyone else was doing. He made more excellent choices. And Daniel, Chapter six, it says, Daniel so distinguished himself by his exceptional qualities that the king planned on putting him in charge of the whole kingdom.
Notice it doesn't say that God distinguished Daniel and he got promoted. It says he distinguished himself. The message translation says he totally outclassed those around him.
That's what happens when no one, your honor, God with your life. And number two, you have a spirit of excellence. You don't compromise. You don't just go with the flow and do what everybody else is doing. Like Daniel, you make the more excellent decisions and it goes on to tell how Daniel was ten times smarter than the other young men. When you have an excellent spirit, God will give you unprecedented favor, creativity, ideas that will cause you to stand out.
You will outclass in humility those around you that are not honoring God. My question today, are you distinguishing yourself? Are you going the extra mile, doing more than you have to make the more excellent choices? God is always dealing with us about some area to come up higher in. Maybe it's to be more excellent in how you treat people more excellent and how you present yourself more excellent when it comes to your career and improving your skills. Don't let something small keep God from releasing something big into your life.
You are called to be a cut above. You have excellence on the inside. Now stir it up and bring it to the outside. Now believe and declare today because I'm looking at people of excellence, God is going to give you more wisdom, more ideas, more strength, more creativity. Like Daniel, you're going to outclass, outperform, outshine. God is going to promote you, put you in a place of honor and you will fulfill your God given destiny in Jesus name if you receive it.
Can you say amen? We never like to close our broadcast without giving you an opportunity to meet Jesus, the Lord of your life.
Would you pray with me? Just say, Lord Jesus, our repent of my sins come into my heart. I'll meet you, my Lord and Savior Prince, if you prayed that simple prayer, we believe you got born again. Get in a good Bible based church. Keep God first place. He's going to take your places that you've never dreamed up.
Thank you for listening to the Tuesday podcast. Help us continue to share the message of hope with those all over the world. Visit Joel Osteen, dotcom slash. Give Hope to give a gift today. Thanks so much for listening to today's message. I hope you subscribe so you can receive the latest podcast to keep you inspired all through the week. We're praying for you. I know God's best is still ahead. We'll see you next time.