Week 19 Saturday

Excel in Everything

Today’s scripture selection: Second Corinthians 6-8

Key verse: Second Corinthians 8:7

A lot of us like to excel at something – at least one thing.

Maybe it’s part of our nature; maybe it’s a reflection of our competitive culture; maybe we just like to feel good about ourselves – plain old “self-esteem.”

But it’s interesting to me that the apostle Paul, when writing to a group of fellow Christians, talked about excelling in things that the world sometimes almost overlooks.  He counseled them to continue excelling in

  • Faith
  • Speech
  • Knowledge
  • Earnestness
  • Love
  • And what he called the “grace” of giving

In other words, they weren’t to worry so much about being successes as defined by the world – wealth; power; fame.

They were to strive to reach higher ideals – not the least of which was love – what the old King James Version of the Bible calls charity.

It’s noble and good counsel.

While the rest of the world worries about getting ahead – we are challenged to simply give of ourselves more and more.

It’s a shame that this only seems to happen at certain times of the year, like the holidays, or during times of great natural disaster.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could all honestly say we excel – at all times – in acts of selfless charity.

Prayer: Lord, show me how to be filled with grace for others, as you are.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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