Week Seven = Excellent
1) Every time, Jesus.
2) Ending my battle with Proverbs 31…Excellent.
3) Something different is Excellent
4) Excellent Authority, Excellent Respect
5) Figuring it all out…Discernment is Excellent
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent…
Session 1 – Every time, Jesus. He is Excellent
I know at this point that I sound like a robot. Jesus is the answer. Jesus is Truth, Jesus is Honor, Jesus is Pure, Jesus is Loveliness, Jesus is Commendable. But He really is the center of it all. It’s so interesting to Biblically examine what all these things are in Philippians 4:8, and every single time come out with the final answer as…
Every time, Jesus.
There’s more to being the Alpha and Omega than being the Beginning and End. Don’t forget the middle. All this space in between our birth and death, in between the discovering of who we are and where we fit. He really is in all of it. Every little detail, every piece of the untold story, every broken and mended heart.
And so, we should not be surprised that first and foremost, He is what is excellent. The Greek word for excellent in this passage is arete. It’s wrapped up in virtue, moral excellence, perfection, goodness, uprightness*. It is a word, according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, it is word wrapped up in ethics, but also in thoughts, feelings, and action. In other words, it is a holistic word. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches the triangle of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and helps people to begin reflecting on the connection between each of them. You see, our natural selves want things to be clean cut. This is what I think, this over here is how I feel, and then this here is how I act, but life is not like that. Beginning to identify that what we feel effects how we act, how we think, and what we think effects how we feel, how we act, etc., etc. This is so important to let Grace into each of those areas. Things in life are not neatly divided, and that’s ok. God is working in my whole person, not just my thoughts. Not just my actions, but all of me.
Jesus did in fact give His holy excellent self, perfectly perfect, for you. His thoughts are not our thoughts; His ways are not our ways. But He is our Savior. He invades all the spaces of our lives and attributes His excellency to us, His uprightness, His virtuousness, His goodness.
We can try to change our thoughts, we can try to adjust our emotions, we can avoid certain behaviors, but His Excellent is already our Excellent.
Let’s look at 1 Peter 1:3-8 for confirmation:
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
These qualities are yours….
He is yours. “His divine power has granted to us all things…” (v. 3)
Struggling with something?
Struggling with some thought? “I’m not good enough.” “I’m not like her.” “I need to do…”
Struggling with some feeling? Hurt, resentment, bitterness, anger, judgment.
Struggling with some action? Immobilized, guilt over sin stealing today, hurtful words.
Precious and great promises (v.4) are yours. Forgiveness, Life, Freedom. These are all ours in Christ Jesus.
He is excellent. He lives in me.
*Biblehub.com interlinear Greek