What Is Excellence?


Here is Pastor Carlos Emilio Baez is preparing the orphanage for a devotional and a time of ministry. Every time that we had an outing Pastor Carlos would take several young people with him. Always mentoring, he is a spiritual father by example and hands on experience.


his wonderful man was born with a severe dysfunction. He walked on all fours like a frog. Today he walks with great difficulty. Yet he is married with child, is a wonderful worship leader and a recording artist. We should never feel sorry for ourselves.


This girl is one of the over 100 handicapped children that Pastor Carlos and a Heart to Give supports in Nicaragua. On this day miracles were flowing. We saw a number of children receive marked improvements in their conditions. When I got to her, I saw Jesus healing one of her hands. I looked at it and it was severely deformed. This did not stop her or me from believing for a miracle. I grabbed her fingers and gently stretched them. She did her best to stretch out her hand. Real faith was operating. At the end, nothing happened. Yet, it did not discourage me. I’d rather see nothing while stepping out in faith, than sitting in fear and doing nothing. I pray that this beautiful child will be healed from the condition that she has had since birth.


Pastor Carlos Emilio Baez is a tremendous man of God. An excellent organizer, a wonderful administrator, a man who uses ever second for the glory of God, a mentor to the young, and an extravagant giver, I was privileged to be in his presence for two weeks. Last year his ministry, A Heart to Give, fed 49,000 children. He began the orphanage after rescuing many children from scavenging in a garbage dump. Here we see how seriously Pastor Carlos takes baptism. I’ve never seen anyone baptize with a tie!

So How Does A 2013 Christian Minister Look Like?

Romans 15:19  Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached( I have filled up the gospel) the gospel of Christ.

It is important for us to be aware that if we are to do our part in filling up the gospel of Christ it will never be accomplished through our mere preaching of God’s word.

The gospel must be proclaimed in the power of  signs and wonders that go with our spiritual gifts.

Sign: The manifestation of a spiritual gift as it is focused upon the believer to prove his or her authority as one sent by God.

Wonder: The manifestation of the same spiritual gift, as it is focuses upon the ones that behold it, to stimulate them to wonder and amazement and the giving of glory to God.

2 Tim 1: 3 I thank God, whom I serve (our religious service to the Lord) from my forefathers with pure (free from evil, and innocent because it is free from evil, and resulting in nothing that the devil or man can point an accusatory finger at) conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;

The conscience is a simple barometer of what dwells in our lives.  A pure conscience reflects a life that has nothing for the devil to hold on to and keep us in bondage, or for others, to lawfully charge us with wrongdoing.

The issue of purity of life is huge with God. God’s anointing can only flow where there is a conscience which is free from guilt. For me, if I’ve done something wrong, and try to minister, the anointing is hindered.

If I justify what I’ve done wrong and proceed, a hard heart is created. Because God dwells in our hearts, a heart which is calloused becomes progressively unable to discern the still small voice of God. A calloused part of our body does not feel pain. A calloused heart cannot discern the movements of God. This is the beginning of deception.

The message of cheap grace, that because God is love and will forgive you, discourages purity, allows us to betray our conscience, and harden our hearts. Christians are produced that cannot hear God’s voice. Nothing is as vital as having clear communication with the voice of God.

Many have betrayed their conscience to gain something else. This is a most tragic thing.

2 Tim 1: 3 I thank God, whom I serve (our religious service to the Lord) from my forefathers with pure (free from evil, and innocent because it is free from evil, and resulting in nothing that the devil or man can point an accusatory finger at) conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;

Serve:  There are different aspects which define the Christian as a servant of the Lord.

One is the servant in the capacity of his or her relationship to God.  Yes, our relationship with God is always one of sons or daughters.  Our sonship however, must be executed in the capacity of “love slaves” of the Lord Jesus Christ, or what the gospel calls a “doulos.”

The slave or doulos renounced his rights, so that he could serve the master.

Really, if we are a servant of God; our only right is the right to obey Him.

Holding on to our rights, will produce anger.  Angry people are people who are not willing to let go of things, or rights.

The opposite of anger is meekness. The meek person is one who has yielded his rights.

Nu 12:3  (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

Ps 22:26  The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

Ps 25:9  The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

Ps 37:11  But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

The second characteristic is the servant in the capacity of his or her ministry through the use of spiritual gifts.  This is the “diakonos”.

2Co 3:6  Who also hath made us able ministers ( diakonos) of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

2Co 6:4  But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers ( diakonos) of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,

The third type of servant which is the one mentioned in verse three, is the servant in the capacity of rendering general religious service versus another type of occupation. This is “latreo”

2 Tim 1: 3 I thank God, whom I serve ( latreo: our religious service to the Lord) from my forefathers with pure (free from evil, and innocent because it is free from evil, and resulting in nothing that the devil or man can point an accusatory finger at) conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;

The bottom line is that for believers to serve in their religious occupation, it must be done with a pure conscience. This is a conscience which has not betrayed the Word of God or the voice of God for another kind of gain.

2 Tim 1: 4 Greatly desiring(pursuing with love) to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;

The defining principle of mentors is the creation of spiritual fathers and mothers.

Greek: Paul had an unceasing remembrance of Timothy; as he daily and nightly longed for him.  Paul was reminded of this as he counted his own tears, knowing that only at seeing Timothy would he be filled with joy.

What one of the great vacuums in our world is the absence of fathers and mothers.

Almost everybody suffers from  an orphan spirit.

As a Christian please allow God to mold you into a father or mother. You will never lack in ministry.

A father or mother hears the hearts of others. A father or mother becomes a listener. This is the gospel. Those who do not believe in Christ are looking to Christians to note if they see fatherhood instead of religion.

 2 Tim 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift (charismatic or spiritual gift) of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

Stir up Greek: to bring back to life the dying embers on a grill.  When the fire on a charcoal grill is in danger of going out, we must stir up the breaking pieces of coal and fan them back into the reddish glow of heat.

This is what must be done with our spiritual gifts.

First, we must discover what they are.

Sadly to say, most of the body of Christ has no idea what their spiritual gifts are.

Secondly, we must step out in faith with the little that we know.  As we do this, the Lord will give us more and we will keep our gifts glowing red for the Lord’s service.

2 Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

The spirit of fear- The spirit of cowardice.

I used to be a coward, but God has changed me.

The spirit of fear is just that, a spirit. The work of demons is to paralyze us with fear and make us into passive and ineffectual Christians.

A demon will entice us with a lie in our mind, and might even use tangible physical symptoms to deceive us. If we get up from our seats and step out, the demon of fear, and his lying tactics will flee from us.

Sound mind – Greek: making wise or understanding.

A mind which operates in wisdom is one that understands the will of God and walks in His ways.  This type of thinking matures the believer in spiritual discernment and discretion, which allows the Christian to refrain from what, is evil, resulting in self-control.

We live in times where people do not like to read. Only the washing of water by the Word of God can create soundness of mind.  I was in pornography for many years before becoming a Christian. Pornography makes huge inroads into our thought processes and robs of soundness of mind. It was God’s word which set me free and produces soundness of mind.

Many today hate reading and rather look at Face Book statutes. We must become readers and students of God’s Word. If we do not read our Bibles, we will not experience the washing of our souls which come by the Word of God.

2 Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (dunamis), and of love, and of a sound mind.

The believer must live out of God’s dunamis power in the same way that a tree does from its roots.

Dunamis power is power in ability. God’s power in you has the ability to carry out anything. It is progressively demonstrated in Christ’s resurrection life in you. Christ’s resurrection life is demonstrated as our natural life is put to death, by the cross of Christ. This is why our understanding of the cross is so essential. Today, the cross is not being preached, and Christians are not experiencing the power of God.

 2Tim 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony (martyrdom) of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

Testimony is an interesting word. It comes from the word that means martyr or martyrdom.

The only way that we can give adequate evidence of the invisible Lord is through our dying on the cross, so that the Christ within us can then be revealed as a testimony to a lost and dying world.

Timothy was to present enough external evidence of the person of the Lord Jesus living within him, so that his hearers would have a sufficient proof to either accept or reject the gospel for themselves.

People will either accept or reject Christ on the basis that He has something to offer that they are lacking. This is the work of providing testimony.

Genuine testimony, comes by a martyrdom, at least of our natural soul life so that Christ can be revealed.

If the cross is not embraced, martyrdom of our soul life cannot take place and Christ will not be displayed through is for a testimony.

Mat 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness ( martyr or martyrdom) unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Are we doing our part to present the gospel with accurate and undeniable evidence (as spiritual martyrs of the Lord) which will allow for the jury of the world to either accept or reject it contingent upon our testimony of it?

The witness of the Lord was to be manifested through Timothy’s use of his spiritual gifts. The purpose of spiritual gifts is to manifest externally in plain evidence the Lord Jesus Christ who lives within us in a mystery.

2Tim 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony (martyrdom) of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

Partaker of the afflictions – A co- sharer in the hardships, afflictions and evils brought upon us by the gospel.

We are to be partakers of these hardships together with Paul for bringing salvation to men and women.

Colossians 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up (supplement) that which is behind( deficient)  of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Paul saw Christ’s sufferings in the believer (not those brought forth by sin or maliciously by Satan) as the source of what supplements what is deficient in the church.

Any man or woman of God desirous to be used greatly in supplementing and meeting the deficiencies of the church will only do so through the avenue of suffering and sacrifice.

2Tim 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony(martyrdom) of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

According to the power of God  – There is nothing worse than to see a believer ministering according to his own power, programs, or psychologically driven agendas .

Ephesians 3:7  Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. (the energy of His dunamis power)

Paul was made a minister in relationship to the grace of God, which is the labor of Christ within him. Grace is the superhuman labor of God.  As we die to our own labors by embracing the cross, the superhuman labor of God kicks in or is displayed within us. This has nothing to with the message, that because we are under grace we can do whatever we want to. This borders on blasphemy.

Effectual working of his power.  The grace of Christ is defined as the energy of God put out by His dunamis power. Dunamis power is dynamite power, or power in ability.

We must learn to ride on the crest of the wave of this superhuman power and not our own strength.

Once again the revelation of God’s superhuman power is proportional to our own weakness as our natural life is taken to the cross. This is why the preaching of the cross is so essential. When the cross is no longer preached we know that the devil has gotten into the church.

God is looking for a generation of Christians who will love and preach the cross.

2 Tim 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Called us with an holy calling.

The holiness of the Lord is what cuts or sets us apart from the world so that God can use us for His sacred, uniquely rare, and highly specialized eternal purposes.  This is the opposite of what the world is involved at large. The common purposes entangling the masses are what God calls the profane.  My father always told me “Jose, remember, the crowd is usually wrong.”  Boy, has that proved to be right, even in the church!

Ezekiel 44:23  And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.

The calling of God entails first, an invitation for us to become born again.

This calling however must lead us into our spiritual vocation, which is holy, cut or separated from the world, and highly specialized in a military fashion of sorts.

If as believers we are simply content to become born again, but do not allow the Lord to separate us enough from the profane, we will not enter into the fullness of our spiritual vocation and will have missed our calling.

The world will see in us something which is no different to what they have and will not be attracted to Christ.

2 Tim 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began

Not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace.

With every God given vocation, the Lord Jesus will also equip us spiritually and materially fully so that we can execute this calling successfully.

The grace or labor of Christ’s endows us with all that is necessary.  If we are not operating within our calling, the grace of Christ will not be fully present and neither will be His endowments.

As I teach everywhere, we must realize the difference between being religiously busy, versus walking in our calling.  We must be used in our correct ministry.

In Kenya, where we lived, it was a big thing to become a pastor, when for many, that was not their calling. The grace, or superhuman labor of God is proportional to how closely we are walking in the calling to which God has called us to.

2 Tim 1: 10  But is now made manifest by the appearing ( epiphany) of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

(Greek:  Appearing: “epiphany”).

In Christ’s appearing resides His superhuman labor or grace, which is proportional to how much He is manifested.  This is because Christ is always laboring for the salvation of men.  Even in heaven, Christ is constantly interceding.  His labor always brings forth the incorruptness of eternal life, which we are commanded to take a hold of and make our own.  Knowing Christ is the same as taking a hold of this life.  It is never enough for us to simply become saved.

His appearance is in proportion to our dying and vanishing, by the work of the cross. Nothing here, that because we are under grace, God forgives us and we can do as we please.

John 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

1Tim 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

In relationship to the revelation of Christ who calls us into our vocation by His grace and superhuman energy, we receive our ministries.

True ministries can never be the planning of men, but must come as the vocations brought to us by the revealed Christ.

Some of the riches found in Christ are the ministries and spiritual gifts dwelling within Him.

12 or the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

The sufferings of Christ come to us in proportion to our spiritual vocations.  The greater the calling, the more extreme and extensive will be our period of training.

Paul is convinced in verse twelve that God is of sufficient power to guard the very calling the He gave to Paul in the first place until the commencement of the eternal ages.  The guarding of God here does not simply mean the watchful eye of God hovering over Paul.

God’s mode of guarding is to lead, labor, and supply continuously to Paul so that the apostle might be faithful to execute his ministerial responsibilities till the consummation of his earthly life.

 1 Tim 1:13Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

Greek: Hold fast the outline or pattern of healthy words in a world that belongs to faith and love.

Today, many suffer from sickness of body and mind. The pattern of healthy words brought to us by the Bible is not theirs, since many do not like to read. This is a very serious problem, a tragic phenomenon of this decade. By all means become a reader. Don’t allow the devil to deceive and rob you from the love of reading.

Here is one way of our fulfilling all that Paul has spoken to us since the chapter began. Only the outline of the healthy words (comprised of the gospel) placed before our eyes can carry out this.  Doctrines of men such as selfish financial prosperity or  our “American Santa Claus God” who has come to make us materially wealthy, and shower us with continuous gifts of miracles and blessings, and forgive us whatever we do no matter how bad, is not the form of healthy words.

Neither is the sacrificing the pattern of healthy words of the Bible to accommodate current cultural views correct.

We must love people, but never scarifies the scriptures to do so.

14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

The Holy Spirit is He who guards the gifts of the Spirit as well as the words of the gospel within the believer.

A life of disobedience results in the enemy making inroads into our lives by the landing strip that we create for him to fly in and land upon us. This will result in bondage. We see this much in the body of Christ, because the pattern of healthy words which the reading of the Word can bring, is not there.  People are not reading their Bibles.

Ephesians 4:27  Neither give place ( a space or landing strip which has been marked off) to the devil.


I am reminded of this young Maasai girl who I met, who is a preacher in Maasai land, and whose biological name is “Witness”. Talking about prophecy coming to pass!