Don’t be Color Blind, Be Color Brave
Luke 10:36-37
What does it mean to be a “neighbor” someone, as today’s scripture says? To show mercy. To care for physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As Jesus tells the story of The Good Samaritan, he doesn’t say the Samaritan went out to look for someone to help-he literally stumbled upon him. If you read the entire story, Jesus says that the Samaritan-a cultural enemy of the Jews-“had compassion” when he saw this man (v.33). Compassion looks beyond the differences to see another person’s sufferings and need; compassion doesn’t hesitate offering assistance. And ironically, compassionate people usually discover their own needs are met by meeting those of others. So I had an encounter with an African American man at our local gas station. he was asking for some spare change, and I gave him some but also invited him to church. I told him, “See that building across the freeway, that’s my church!” So I invited him to give God a chance. Guess what? He and His wife and daughter came to church that Sunday. They came to church off and on for several Sundays. It was a person that needed hope and compassion. So we prayed for him and blessed him with gift cards, prayed for him each time I would run into him at the gas station. And though he would be absent for a good time from church, he would always make it back to worship with us, either alone or with his wife and daughter. I pray that we as a church were able to make an impact not just with food and money but also with the Word of God and our humble example of being a “Good Samaritan!” Sometimes you never know how you impact a person for the better or for the worse with our actions. Let us always strive to make a difference not only with those we know like our immediate family but also with the stranger that doesn’t look, dress, talk, like us. You may be the only “Good Samaritan” that person encounters. It is with sadness in my heart that just a few days ago, that man’s wife called me to let me know that he had passed away, and would I be willing to do the funeral for him. I told her “It would be my honor!” Since the news, I have pondered in my heart, “What could I have done different?” Maybe done more, went looking for him with a desperation of a father that had lost his own son? I know there will always be questions but I know that I prayed for him daily and every time I would meet with him, I would tell him to make sure he was right with God!


The difference between mediocre and excellent people is that mediocre people do only the basic amount to get by.  Mediocre people will only do the minimum that is required of them.  People of excellence go above and beyond what is required.  People of excellence go the “extra mile”.  Here are some steps to become a person of excellence.
1. Intentionally Choose the Best.  Phil. 1:9-10
-The true goal of excellence is to do the best with what you have every moment.
-Seeking excellence should never be a choice between what is just simply bad or good, but it should be a decision to choose what is BEST.  Ephesians 2:10
-God wants us to eliminate some things because though they may be good they are not the best.
2. Do Your Best In All You Do!  Ecclesiastes 9:10
-Do your work diligently.  Prov. 12:24
-Do your work with good hard effort. Prov. 14:24
-Do your work with a positivity.   Col. 3:23
What is your attitude?
Do you enjoy what you work at?
3. Put your heart into all that you do.  Deut. 6:4-5
-Excellence is a heart issue.  Prov. 4:23
-Put a seal of excellence on all you do!
-Things that are whole-hardheartedly are NOT pleasing to the Lord.
-Guard your heart.