Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. ~2 Corinthians 8:7
There are three levels of performance. There is what is known as a normal performance. This is when we do exactly as we are told and we have achieved what is expected of us. Next, there is a sub-par performance, when what we do is below the expectations and our result is not acceptable. Then, there is a performance that exceeds expectations. When we exceed expectations, we are considered exceptional and highly desirable. Exceeding expectations is way beyond the norm. It is doing way beyond what is asked of you. It is a performance that drives customers to brand-name companies, recruiters to the best colleges, and attendees to valued churches. God has great expectations of us, and it is critically important that we excel in our delivery.
We see a review.
“Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us….” Paul commended the church at Corinth for abounding in the exercise of the gifts of the Spirit. This was a body of believers who took very seriously the gifts that God had given to them to utilize in the church. They were diligent in the exercise of faith, speaking, and knowledge. In addition, they were very loving in how they cared for and responded to Paul. Paul said that they abounded in everything. Take a moment to do an unbiased assessment of how well you are exercising the gifts that God has given to you. Can it be said that you abound in everything? Is your performance level one that exceeds expectations?
We see a recommendation.
“See that ye abound in this grace also.” The believers at Corinth made an offering pledge one year before, but did not perform it. For some reason, they held back. Other sister churches were giving within and beyond their power, but the church at Corinth had done nothing. Paul made an encouraging recommendation. He exhorted them to abound, or exceed expectations, in the grace of giving. When it comes to financial giving, the majority of people do what is expected of them. This might be because we are selfish by nature and also financially insecure when it comes to giving more. However, Paul knew better. He knew that in the area of giving, God is able to make all grace abound to us so that we can exceed expectations. Your biggest challenge, this morning, is to realize that there are areas in your life where your performance is lagging. Let us receive the exhortation to excel where we have been weak.
We see the rule.
In order to exceed expectations, we must follow certain steps. First, we must know what we can do that is the norm. Second, we must realign what we do so that we make the time and set aside the needed resources to exceed expectations. Third, we must commit what we are doing to the Lord in prayer. “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established” (Proverbs 16:3). Exceeding expectations is not something that happens without prayer, planning, and precise execution. Let us remember that in everything we do, “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
We see the result.
When we exceed expectations, we are a blessing to others. We demonstrate faithfulness and dependability. We encourage others by our example. God blesses what we have done. Don’t fall into the trap of doing just the minimum or being a procrastinator and doing less than your best. Be a Christian who delivers great expectations!
Have an abounding God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Jeremiah 49-50