August 31, 2008

My Ambition

What is your ambition?   

We all have something in our lives that we want to do.  That we make sure we do.  When this thing is challenged by time, effort or affections, we fight for it. We want to do this.   

What is yours?   

I think this is a good thing to consider.  Many people will say, “This is my vision for my life ______.”  But, did that come out of the Scriptures?  I love John Piper’s book, Don’t Waste Your LIfe. The challenge is clear…DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE!!!  And we must be clear that this doesn’t mean I become more ambitious or assertive and do great things for people.  These things aren’t bad…They are if they are an end in themselves or if the end is that we don’t waste our lives for our own sake only.  Meaning “I don’t want people to see that I have wasted my life.  I need to do something!” 

The point is:  What ambition do you have for your life that is going to bring Glory to God.  The only way that we don’t waste our lives, is when we are spent for the cause of Jesus’ fame. 

Being a good student is a fine ambition. If you realize that it must tend to showing the Greatness of God to those around you (Mt. 5:16, 1 Peter 2:12).  Being a good friend is fine as well, if you realize it is to be done for God’s Glory (1 Cor. 10:31).   

But I am thinking more than this life stage, I am talking…LIFE Ambition.  What is the thing that you want your life to be characterized by.  What is the one thing you want to do?  That if you could do one thing!!!! Just this one thing!!!  You would know…I have given glory to my God.   

Sometimes, God will take a verse and set it ablaze in your heart.  And when I think about my life’s ambition of giving Glory to my Savior by this verse….I know that this is it.    

It is probably a good practice to have a verse for your ambition.  If it is in the Bible, then you know it is a Biblical ambition ; ) 

Here is the text that I constantly think about. This text plagues my mind. 

Colossians 1:28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

I love this passage!  Here are the implications for my life and ministry. 

  1. The subject of my life and ministry must be Jesus.  ”Him.”  Jesus is what I am to proclaim sermon after sermon, discipleship after discipleship, good work after good work.  Jesus is what must be made known.  Any proclamation but Jesus, will not do! 
     
  2. In what ways? 
    - By Warning =  I must make it known that wrath is coming.  There is a Holy God that has been sinned against by our actions and he has appointed a day and Man with which He will judge you and He has confirmed it by raising Him from the Dead (Acts 17).  We must plea with people to repent.  I must evangelize. 
    - By Teaching = I must encourage, exhort and equip the Believers in Jesus by teaching God’s Word.  The way that we grow in Christ is by learning more about Him and His Word.  We need to apply God’s Word to our lives so that our old self is being killed by the Spirit day after day, along with life being breathed into our walk with Jesus (Romans 8:13).  I must teach and preach in such a way to reveal the ineptness and fleeting pleasure of sin and the depth and lasting enjoyment of the glories of Christ. 
     
  3. How?  
    - With all wisdom =  I must study, pray, mediate, and ask for wisdom.  I cannot do a single ounce of this without His wisdom.  And wisdom only comes from God.  Without Him, I can do nothing (John 15).  I must pray as James tells us, for wisdom. 
     
  4. What’s the hope/goal? 
    - That people are presented mature in Christ.  I do not want to be an immature believer.  I want to be reading my Bible, applying it to my wicked heart, growing in my faith, thinking on the Gospel. I don’t want to be splashing around in the baby pool of Christianity when I am in my 40s.  It is sad when people that have been following Jesus for decades and are still immature.  They ought to be growing, discipiling, leading, and maybe teaching by then (Hebrews 5-6).  I don’t want to be that kind of follower. I want God to use me in bringing people to grow in Christ. 
     
  5. What should my work look like? 
    - Toil!!! This word is also rendered, labor. Literally this word means, “grow weary.”  I am to work for this cause in such a way that it would wear me out.  Whenever  I say, “Man!!  I am tired.  Been working a lot.” Remind me, “Good!!!! Don’t forget Col. 1:29!” Paul says clearly in the verse that he is struggling.  Ministry is not an easy job.  It is labor.  In 1 Timothy 5, pastors are compared to an ox.  They work and work hard.  Struggling literally means, “contend for a prize.”  It is a fight.  But it is worth it. 
     
  6. How will I make it? 
    - It is Jesus’ energy that powerfully works within me.  Jeff Medders has no power. It is all Jesus.  The only way that I can stay the course and complete the ministry that I have been given is because Jesus works within me.  This gives me great comfort and fervor to continue. And this also provides pride cutting truth that it is Jesus that does it all, not me. Jesus tells us that without Him we can do nothing (John 15).   I must be reminded that Jesus works within me.  Prayer = I need you Jesus. 

To listen to John Piper talk on a Holy Ambition…see above post.

What is your ambition?

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