“The Lord said to Satan, “Have you thought about My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth. He is without blame, a man who is right and good. He honors God with fear and turns away from sin.” Job 1:8 NLV
Success is something entirely out of my hands, but excess is a matter to which I must give diligent attention. Unless my righteousness shall “exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees,” said Jesus, I will not “enter” (Matt. 5:20 KJV).
Jesus did not come to earth to match earth’s best, but to produce heaven’s better. He does not call disciples to equal the “flower” of man, but to produce the glories of God. What value is my discipleship if a sinner faces death with better hope than I?
In what way am I better spiritually than my unsaved neighbor if he manifests a more tranquil, gracious spirit than I?
Jesus is in the business of producing superlatives!
The two sins of Israel, basically, were forsaking God and not glorifying Him enough. There were multitudes of Israelites who were not idolater, but the same could have been said of many non-Israelites.
The sin of Laodicea was that which made it so attractive to the world—balance, sense, moderation—the very thing that makes Jesus nauseated.
I must exceed. I must be an overflowing lake, not merely an in-filled one. I must be so righteous that I sting, rebuke, and shame the world as Noah did. Unless I feel the jealousy or antagonism of the world, I am a poor disciple of Jesus Christ. I must make the world either despise or desperately long for the righteousness of Jesus Christ working within me.
I must always remember that God has called me, not to a “succeeding” life, but to an “exceeding” life.
I can do this through Him who is “….made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption”. I Cor. 1:30 KJV