Leon Fontaine - Living In Excellence
I wanna talk today about excellence. Now, excellence is something that everybody thinks they are, everyone thinks they have. But let's dive in and let's take a look at what God says about excellence and how quickly we can move away from excellence. We're gonna get some verses and some points in just a minute. But one of the things I've noticed is that everyone of us is a leader. If you're a parent, you must lead your children. No one wants to be just managed. Leadership is far more powerful in the next generation, your children.
The children of our school, our church, the families that we're teaching as MIRACLE CHANNEL across this nation, around this world. If we do not understand and learn to have and exhibit excellence, the next generation will not be fascinated by us the kingdom of God, the church of Jesus Christ. And over the years now, it's been decades that I've been teaching the Word, counseling with families, watching who rises up, who gets destroyed, what disappears, what works. It's been an amazing ride to see this is what works and excellence is crucial. And so we're gonna take a look at what is excellence and why some people are not excellent.
And I pray that everyone of us, this is something by the way I have to push myself to. I have to yield to the excellence that is in God who is in me. It's who I am. If you are in Christ, excellence is within you. And or you can lead to the carnal mind which is a lot of laziness, excuses, victim mentality. I'm doing good enough. That's all self-centered selfishness. That's the carnal mind Romans 5 says. But then, if you will literally focus and make sure that you are focus in the things of the Spirit, that is where you can walk in the sense of excellence like it's just a stunning thing.
So we wanna be excellent as people. There's nothing worse than trying to be something you know you're not. And that's where so many Christians are today because they're trying so hard to be like Jesus knowing they can't. It's what they've been taught that, you know, we can't be like Jesus. That was Jesus that could do that not us. And actually, the Bible says very clearly as He is Jesus in this world, so are we. Another words, all that Jesus has is in us, all that He was and is, has access to His inheritance is within us.
So, all right. Let's dive in this some teaching stuff in the Bible and I hope this really, because it's the Word of God that can plant a teaching deep for us. Daniel was excellent. The Bible says God is an excellent God. But in Daniel chapter 1 it talks about Daniel and his friends. Out of here is where we get the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And it says that his friends were now, they were held captive because their country was overrun. The leader saved certain wisemen and he would, what he would do is, he would bring the wisdom of every country that he took over. He would bring their wisest people and he would learn from them in war, in things of wisdom, running a state, the thing, their Gods. He would learn anything he could, so he took Daniel and his friends. And it says when he tested them, they were ten times wiser than any person in this land, his wisemen and all the other wisemen from the other countries that he had stolen and taken captive.
In Daniel chapter 5 says he had an excellent spirit. And the new king of the country saw this in Daniel 6 and sit him over the entire realm and the story of Daniel goes on. It's a beautiful study in being excellent. Solomon was excellent. And it says his kingdom, his buildings, his leadership. When you get into Chronicles chapter 1, God's talking to Solomon, what do you want? He said, "I want to lead your people". He had an excellent character. Later on, he got into sin and while did the pain take him and destroy things. But here when his heart was right. And so we need to understand that to be excellent is to have a right heart with God, a heart that is connected to God, a relationship with God.
If you and your spouse want an excellent marriage, then it doesn't come from reading books on men and then reading books on women. Please do that, but then you need to have an excellent relationship. Put it to practice. Connect to each other. Love each other. Forgive each other. Be patient, kind. All the fruit of the Spirit. You must learn to show love to each other even if its for and how you were raised. You could say, "That's not me". I don't care what was you and how you were raised. Become like Christ. And so as you look at Solomon. I mean, in 2 Chronicles chapter 9, the queen of Sheba just goes off about this guy and how everything's incredible right to the person who is looking after his house, setting his table, closing and opening his doors. There's excellence and it was the way they were dressed. It was how passionate they looked after their work, how much they love their leader, their character, their emotions, everything about this entire team was excellent. She was in awe of it.
Many times, Christian leaders they just feel like because we're getting volunteers a lot if you're involved in church, we can't really expect too much of them. And I think that we have to be careful with unrealistic expectations of how much time they have to give us because you've gotta use wisdom. They're raising families and businesses and careers. But as far as being excellent at what they do that should not even be a consideration to take it out. We serve God. We are excellent. So God does everything with excellence. There's nothing in God's work in the atmosphere, you know, and as far as the skies can see and out in the universe everything is excellent. Psalm 8:9 says, "O Lord our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth". And then in the Amplified it says majestic and glorious.
Did you know that, when you begin to live with excellence, yield to the Spirit of Christ, His excellence is within you. If you say, "Leon", One guy just told me, "I'm lazy. I'm never on time. That's just kind of who I am". I said, "No. You're not. That's who you were trained and raised up and allowed to be. But if you have given your life to Christ, and He is excellent, and He is in you. Then let, just yield to that excellence, rise up with a determination and it will make you and your life majestic and glorious because that's who God is". In Psalm 76:4, "Glorious and excellent are You from the mountains of prey splendid, majestic, more than the everlasting mountains".
When people walk in to our church, our homes. When they walk in to our office. When they meet us, there ought to be a sense of majesty, there ought to be an excellence. Because where we are excellent in character, emotion, appearance, how we talk, how treat people, the work of our hands, how, you know, etcetera. This excellence wows people. They sense God in you when we make a choice to be excellent. Now, you were created to be excellent and to do everything with excellence. Listen to this verses in Philippians chapter 1, "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment". You'll notice that your love. How does love abound? One growing in love. No. It's the showing of love. Love that is not shown is almost wasted.
So you show people love. You learn to give compliments. You learn to treat them with honor. You learn to be excellent. So this showing of love is crucial. Verse 10 of Philippians 1 says, "That you may approve things that are excellent and that you may be sincere and without offense until the day of Christ". We just did a really good series on Sunday. Three parts on offense. Oh, man. People's eyes were opened. We had so many questions and people picking up that series. But whenever people do not live or work with excellence. I often look at them and know there's an offense. They've been offended. Haven't been given the position they want. They don't think they're paid enough. They don't think they're looked after enough. They aren't noticed enough.
And so they judged their leaders. They judged the team, the school, the church, the television station, me, people around them, or just life in general and God. And so once they begin to judge and get offended about something, they no longer have the spirit of excellence and it just shows in their work. It's just kind of, you know, good enough for gospel. It's just kind of well, let's just get through today. I'm giving them my money's worth. You're paying me $10 an hour. I'm giving them $10 an hour worth. And no one's getting paid that low. But anyway, so we gotta understand that. So we must prove things that are excellent. We must be excellent.
In Psalm 16:3, listen to this. It says he delights in his excellent ones, us. Wow, you know God love excellence. Even when you, you know, people think, sometimes husbands get annoyed with their wives because they have this nesting instinct. And they want certain couches and paints and fabrics and styles. And husbands they get upset, "All you want is to change stuff. You're always looking for stuff". Did you know, that this desire to be surrounded by beautiful things, to have things looked great and excellent. You know, just how the room is set up and how the home functions, etcetera, etcetera. That this is from God. God's not making heaven a desert. It's not the desert of Eden when He put us on the planet. It was the Garden of Eden. I bet you it was a magnificent. In fact, I know it was. And so He delights in us, His excellent ones.
Now, we are called. If you've given your life to Christ, you are called to ministry every one of us but it's a ministry of excellence. Hebrews 8:6, "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises". This new covenant is better in every way. But when Jesus does ministry, it is excellent in every way and we must do it excellent in every way. Now, I know that we can talk about, "Well, we just do it as good as we can for now". No, I'm not talking about perfectionist. Okay, that's a whole another teaching.
A perfectionist is a person who there's something wrong on the inside and because they deal daily with their self-worth. They need perfection on the outside because they feel so low or little on the inside. They'll spend hours on clothes and makeup and inordinate amount of time on details nobody cares about because they only have a sense of excellence on the outside because on the inside they don't have a sense of excellence. And you must spend time with God. You must know who you are in God. You must recognize what Jesus did at the cross. One of the greatest lies being preached from pulpits today is that God is perfect and wonderful. And you, lowdown little two-tone skunk aren't worth anything. And so you better just be happy with God and realized, and they think that's humility. But the Bible doesn't even teach that.
Now, when it talks about your own righteousness, in other words you trying to be right with God with your own power. Now, that's when the Bible will take potshots at you. But when you've given your life to Christ, and you know who you are in Christ. That righteousness is a gift. To be right with God is a gift from Jesus. To be qualified for every promise in an amazing life is a gift. That grace is a gift. That everything in God's Word Jesus qualified us for and you are excellent. He's in love with you. And that you can work out at your own salvation with fear and trembling. Meaning, that this power of God is available to you to live, to act, to feel. You can have the mind of Christ, His emotions, His feelings, etcetera.
So this is crucial that we know, that we have an excellent spirit. At your core you are excellent. Why? Because Jesus is in your spirit and you have a new nature. The old nature is dead and gone. You don't have two natures. The old, but you have the nature of Christ. Now, what is this looked like this sense of excellence? Well, this sense of excellence has to start with how you knew you. And so you've gotta know and meditate on in your devotional times that Jesus is within me, His Spirit is within me, His nature is within me. Therefore, I am excellent at the core. So I'm gonna yield to that and be who I am. I'm not trying to be something I'm not. And if you've always been a person and you know it. That lazy, late, lousy attitudes, lousy emotions. There's nothing excellent. That's not who you are if you are a believer. That simply how you were trained or how people in your world tolerated you and allow that to happen.
And so you must become now a person that's self-motivated, self-driven. But that I mean quit waiting for someone to change you, quit waiting for someone else to discover you and raise you up. You know, David encouraged himself in the Lord. Begin to yield to Jesus, His Word. Begin to study and know who you are. Then your work habits will become excellent. Even your choice of who you hang with will become excellent. You know, there's many people that I would have raised up and worked with because they look so excellent, but their choice of friends was so horrendous. That I knew there was a problem somewhere because like attracts like and who they hang with. I just knew that wow.
You need, you know, if they're allowing, and I don't mean that they weren't quite up to par. I mean, people that were negative, anti-church, anti whatever we were doing, anti-school, anti-MIRACLE CHANNEL and that they just had a lousy attitude and people were hanging with them. The second I saw that, I knew right away they were capped or I didn't know if they were gonna make it. Because it's so crucial that you have excellent relationships. People often, that's been my friend for years. Cool. Then make sure you're the leader and not them. Make sure that they are following your example and that you're not going down to their gossip, their negative attitude, their problem. This excellence will follow you and your marriage and how you do your home, your family, how you raise your kids, your choice of who you hang with.
Because see, if you feel like you're really a nobody, then that's all you'll reach for is people who feel the same way. You'll have a hard time even reaching out. In fact, you'll even think that people who know who they are in Christ are proud. Because you don't feel that way and you don't know how they can feel that way. We should be excellent in our health. Well, the reason with God wants healing in our lives is to be excellent in health. Energize, able to go do what He's called us to do. We should be excellent in our conduct. Excellent in our thinking. These are crucial. The spirit of excellence will allow you to be content by the way. This desire for perfection is never happy within itself.
Now, a lot of people don't recognize that you think you'll be happy when you are making more money, higher up the leadership ladder, in a different job, etcetera. And that's one of the greatest lies of career. The greatest lies that you have swallowed. Because you see, when you begin to yield to this excellence that is in your spirit which is Jesus, and you begin to decide, I am going to do excellence. I'm gonna be excellent. My attitude is gonna be excellent. When I get up in the morning and I feel mighty low, I'm just gonna choose.
Now I choose excellence. These are choices. This is the day the Lord has made. I will. Your will must be involved. I will rejoice and be glad in it. One person told me, "I'm not a phony like you. When I don't feel happy, I'm not put that on that I'm happy". Well, what a foolish thing to think through. That's a person that doesn't even understand how you live by faith. Faith is believing what you don't have in which you haven't got yet. And making the determination that nobody wakes up happy every morning. But I can literally rejoice my way happy. This is the day the Lord has made I will. It's not if I feel like it, I'll rejoice. You know, if that's kind of a day, I'll rejoice. No, no. It says I will. These are choices that we make to be excellent.
Now, I've noticed that people who are excellent, that there's a contentment that is about them. That like we said earlier, that you just think that a better job, more money, more power, etcetera is gonna make you happier. But the Bible says I've learned and whatever state I'm in to be content. You see, when you do where you are and what you are. I mean, positional and leadership or management or career, etcetera, that if you do that, with excellence. You know, one of the decisions every person must make is who they are all by them self. Not who you are with your spouse, not who you are in your career, not who you are... Who are you? What is your character? And what is your emotional makeup?
You must choose this and then believe and begin to act that out. Then with your spouse isn't there with you, you still are who you are. If the people around you begin to go someplace else, you still are who you are. You know, when the king was looking at Daniel, he looked around at all this people and they just rose up because of their excellent spirit. How they handled things, how they acted. They're not gonna be betraying that one man. You know, we were talking about being offended just a little while ago and how that when you get offended that you begin to betray the people closes to you. It will first start in your thinking as you look down upon them, as you begin to judge them, and then you'll develop a hatred.
No way! Yes. You'll begin to betray the people close to you. The boss you used to love. You'll begin to steal from him. Go work for his competition and share all of his secrets. You begin to talk about the people who pay your salary in a betrayal way. There is no honor, no integrity there and you begin to hate. It doesn't show up at first, but it just begins to creep through you. The Bible says that when you allow offenses in, everybody around you becomes bitter. I see whole families. I've seen generations of families and offense and bitterness begin to just creep through every generation. And they don't understand excellence is for first it's in the spirit, then it's gotta be on our mind, our emotions, our choosing, our believing. Then it's gotta be in our actions, in our physical world and all that we put our hands to. Excellent is crucial.
Now, as you go into Gods' Word, excellence is doing as good as you can for now knowing you'll be better. Excellence is letting where you are, doing what you're doing, and knowing that there's new seasons coming as I learn new skills. God's got new opportunities. Everybody is always transitioning. Now listen close to me. Everybody is entering and leaving opportunities. You will leave what you've learned and done now, and you will transition into that next season of life, of opportunity where your skillset has grown, where your wisdom has grown, where this excellence within you has grown and a wise leader is seeing that and watching you and knowing there's much more that you could do. This excellence, it just begins to flow off of us. And you've gotta find that in Christ first.
So I just wanna say that in closing. Find that in Christ first, from the cross to the throne is the new covenant. What did Jesus do at His death, His burial, His resurrection? He is now seated at the righthand of the Father. And you are made in His likeness and image. You're not junk. You're not nobody. And so you are excellent in nature. You are excellent at the very spirit level because Jesus is there. Now, renew your mind to it and make your body a living sacrifice. Make it, do the things that you are. I am excellent, so body you're gonna be excellent. I'm excellent so I'm gonna think excellent. I'm excellent so I'm gonna have excellent emotions. And these decisions, and then yield into God's Word. Yield into Jesus is where the true power really is.