A Review of Excellence
Excellence is “unusually good”.
Synonyms for Excellence: First Class, premium, choice, first, exquisite, high-grade, wonderful, magnificent.
Excellence is a Character of God!
Psalms 76:4 “Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey.”
God’s Name is Excellent!
Psalms 8:1 “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set they glory above the heavens”.
Psalms 148:13 “Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.
The Excellency of God is in YOU!
II Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels; that the Excellency of the power may be of God and not of us”.
The Amplified Bible says “However, we possess this precious treasure (the divine light of the gospel) in (frail, human) vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.”
With this in mind,
We are able to “tap into” the Excellency of God because we have the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ in us as vessels of God in the earth realm. Therefore, we should (as believers) strive for Excellence in all that we do. Keeping in mind that it is the Character of God that is showing forth (through us)!
Excellence should be what we BECOME (i.e. come, change and grow) into! Even as it relates to our “friendships”, we should strive to “Become the Excellent Friend”!
“Becoming the Excellent Friend”
What’s a FRIEND?
Dictionary.com defines a friend as: a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
What we can learn from this definition:
- Friends are “attached” to one another
- What attach friends are “feelings of affection” (i.e. PHILEO)
- OR friends are attached by PERSONAL REGARD
(Which one of these two “attached” you to your friends or was it something else, hmmmmm?)
A Biblical Perspective on the word FRIEND:
In Exodus 33:11 it mentions that God spoke to Moses “face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend”. We can definitely learn something from this; friends don’t talk about each other behind their backs. So, let’s all bow our heads and REPENT NOW!
Listen to the wealth of wisdom that is shared in the Book of Proverbs regarding FRIEND(S):
Proverbs 14:20- The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends. Here you see “money” will definitely attract friends (beware of these kinds of friends)!
Proverbs 16:28- A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends. Here we can learn that gossiping and whispering has the ability to separate really “good friends”. You know those BFF (“best friend forever”) types of friendships.
Proverbs 17:9 –He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. Here we can learn that if you tell your friends business, this can cause a bust up in the friendship.
The Book of Proverbs even gives up some “standards” or criteria for someone that is deemed a FRIEND and even for those that “desire” friends.
Listen to Proverbs 17:17 in the “a” portion- A friend loveth at all times…
Listen to Proverbs 18:24- A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Listen to Proverbs 27:17- Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. We can definitely learn something here, as a friend you should be able to “uplift” your friend’s countenance and spirit!
More insight and wisdom from The Book of Proverbs (as it relates to friendship),
Proverbs 22:24- Make no friendship with an angry man…..
Everyone needs a friend…..
Did you know that God had a friend!
His name was Abraham.
Listen to Isaiah 41:8 “But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.”
And James 2:23 says, “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Wow! Abraham was “called” a friend of God.
Jesus had friends….
John 11:11 lets us know that Lazarus was Jesus FRIEND.
John 15:14 lets us know that we can be friends to Jesus (IF) we do as he commands. Listen to the scripture “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Jesus showed “great love” (as our friend) because he laid down his life for us! John 15:13
The Pharisees said that Jesus was a friend of “publicans and sinners” which says this in Luke 7:34 and this is because they would come and seat down with Jesus when he ate (see Matthew 9:10-12). However, these people “befriended” Jesus because they had a “personal regard” for Him and Jesus knew that they needed Him; (and He correlated it to the sick needing a physician). Because of Jesus assignment in the earth realm, he knew that “sick people” or people needing help would be attracted to Him, but the Pharisees (could not) and did not understand this.
Moving along, Peter was one of Jesus friends (we’ll come back to him later).
There is so much written in the bible about FRIENDS! Search the scriptures!
Job was the Excellent Friend
In my study I have determined that Job was the excellent friend and he (as well as Jesus) had something in common that made them “The Excellent Friend” to their friend(s).
As you know Job lost his livestock, his fortune, his family (only his wife remained) so she could instruct him to “curse God and die”, (no support there), when God permitted Satan to take away his stuff and afflict his body!
When Job’s 3 friends (Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar) came to visit him they were the most horrible “friends” one could ever have. The book of Job has some great lessons to study (and learn) as it relates to friendship and what NOT TO DO when your friend is going through a tough time in life! The word “friends” is mentioned often in the Book of Job.
Job’s friends did not encourage or edify him, they actually “accused” him of doing something wrong which caused his condition. Read Job 15:4-6, 8; 12, 20-25
Listen to how Job describes his friends (Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar) in Job 16:1 and how he said he would have “comforted” them in verse 5 (in the Amplified Bible).
Finally take a look at Job 42:1-10 and see why Job was The Excellent Friend!
Job was the “excellent” friend because he prayed for his friends! Even though his friends were horrible to him, judged him, were less than supportive to him, called him a hypocrite and wicked, Job did not deem them as (enemies) as many of us would have done, but still counted them as friends and did the honor (as God requested of him) and prayed for his friends.
What an excellent friend you are when you can still consider your friends (YOUR FRIENDS) when they are less than friendly to you AND PRAY FOR THEM.
Notice God didn’t like what Job’s friends did to him and He spoke to one of them (Eliphaz) about what he and the other two friends of Job did to him.
God made Job’s friends take him an offering and God knew that Job would “pray for his friends”. When Job “prayed for his friend”, (i.e. the ones that did him wrong and did not support him during his most difficult time in life), notice the scripture says in verse 10:
- That the Lord “turned the captivity” of Job and
- Returned his fortunes
When he prayed for his friends!
Again, Job was “The Excellent Friend”
How many of you could have done this? How many of you HAVE DONE THIS?
Remember I said Peter was Jesus friend, well Jesus (also) prayed for his friend Peter (in advance of his betrayal) and with full knowledge that Peter was going to betray Him. Listen to the words of Jesus in Luke 20:30-32:
“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Jesus demonstrated that he too (like Job) was The Excellent Friend!
Also listen to what the angel tells Mary Magdalene and Mary (the mother of James) in Mark 16:6-7 at the sepulcher (tomb) of Jesus after he had died on the cross:
6And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
Jesus friend “Peter” (one of the one’s that betrayed him) was included in the meeting in Galilee with Jesus! I am certain Peter’s name was singled out because Jesus did not want him to think that he was no longer a “disciple” or a friend of His.
So in conclusion just because your “friends” do you wrong, even betray you or don’t support you during difficult times; you on the other hand should not “dismiss” them as your friends and (try to turn them into enemies), instead see it as an opportunity for you to Become The Excellent Friend and go ahead and pray for them!
Father, I pray that everyone reading this will use the insight shared in this teaching in their efforts to become the “Excellent Friend”. I thank you for the wisdom of your Word! I thank you for the revelation of your Word, even concerning friends and true friendship. I thank you that your Word is true and I thank you that your Spirit leads and guides us into all TRUTH. Therefore, God move upon the hearts of the hearers of this Word that they will seek to become doers of your Word in Jesus Name I pray!
I call for “Godly” Friendships into the earth realm and by doing so your people will show the Excellency of God, in Jesus Name I pray.