Devotional: Do you want to be excellent?
We’ve begun to look at a second main objective of God, which I call "excellence". For an example of this, I'm going to turn back to the account of creation in the first chapter of Genesis. And I want to point out to you that every major stage in creation was followed by divine inspection. God inspected His own work, and only when He was satisfied with its excellence did He continue to the next phase. So let's just follow through this process of creation, picking out the key verses in Genesis 1, first of all, verses 3 and 4.
"And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from darkness." (NIV)
He checked on the light. It came up to his standards. It was good. Genesis 1:10:
"God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good." (NIV)
He was satisfied with the land and the seas. Genesis 1:12:
"The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good." (NIV)
That's the vegetation. It passed God's inspection. It was good. Then, Genesis 1:16 through 18:
"God made two great lights ‑ the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. [That's the sun and the moon.] He also made the stars. Got set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good." (NIV)
It had to pass His inspection, come up to His standard. Genesis 1:21, the living creatures:
"God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." (NIV)
Fish, reptiles, and birds ‑ they had to pass God's inspection, come up to God's standard. Genesis 1:25:
"God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good." (NIV)
The animal creation again had to pass God's inspection. He did not move on until He was satisfied that it came up to His standard of excellence. But then we come to the climax, and the wording here is very significant. In Genesis 1:31:
"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning - the sixth day." (NIV)
Notice, at the end, it was not merely good, it was very good. And this brings out, I think, a very important principle. Each part was good, but the whole, when complete, was very good. The principle is, the whole is more than the sum of the parts. Each part was good, but when all parts were brought together in harmony with God's design and God's purpose, the completed whole was more good than each of the individual parts.
Father, thank You that I am Your son / daughter, with only one purpose and plan, namely doing what brings you pleasure. My basic motivation is to do the things You please! Amen