Text: 2 Cor. 5:9-11
Sometimes, one wonders if Christians can have ambitions in life, since we are waiting for the return of our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. If we can, what should be our utmost ambition and how should we prioritise our ambitions? This will be the focus of this message.
Our passage shows that there is room for ambition within the sphere of the Christian Faith. Therefore, to be without ambition is to miss the influential incentive to high and holy endeavours. Becoming a Christian does not destroy our natural faculty, but we should direct it to a worthy object. Instead of living for material good or the applause of the world, we must stir ourselves to seek those things that are the legitimate objects of holy ambition.
The Greek word employed here is “philotiméomai,” which can be interpreted “labour, study, strive to bring something to pass or aim at something.” In 1 Thessalonians 4:11 and Romans 15:20, Apostle Paul used this same word to describe the Christian ambitions. Therefore, as God’s Children, our ambition can be threefold:
• Ambition Of Daily Work- (1 Thess. 4:11)
There is the ambition of daily toil. Each of us must aspire to be greater in our daily work. Students must aspire to be better in their studies, graduates aspire to get good jobs, workers must aspire to do good jobs and be promoted. We must strive for greatness in our daily work. We must put in every effort to be the best among our peers. The fact that we are expecting the second coming of Jesus should not make us aimless or lack focus.
• Ambition Of Christian Work– (Rom. 15:20)
Aside our daily work, we must also have ambition concerning our Christian work. Every child of God must have the ambition to work for God in His Kingdom, especially winning souls for the Lord. The great world lies open to us, while many parts of it is still unevangelised. All around us, in our own country are thousands among the rich and poor who have no knowledge of Christ. Let us make it our ambition to bring them to Christ; always remembering that the things we do for Christ must be that which He works through us in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom 15:18-19) In the church of God, make it your ambition to serve God and serve Him well.
• Ambition Of Pleasing Christ (2 Cor. 5:9)
This is what I call the mother of all ambitions, the ambition to be pleasing to Christ. At His judgment seat, He will weigh up the worth of every individual and He is doing so day by day. Our Lord is judging our character and preparing our reward. Let us strive to be as pleasing to Him in this life, as we hope to be in the next. Our utmost ambition is to please the Lord in all our ways.
When you are not aiming at anything, you will hit the air and when you are not fighting for anything, you will fall for anything. Therefore, let us:
• Plan Purposefully
• Prepare Prayerfully
• Proceed Positively
• Pursue Persistently
As God’s children, let us be ambitious to be the best we can to our world; do the best we can for our God and be pleasing to Christ, so as to reign with Him in His Kingdom. Let us aim, strive, work, study, focus, purpose and resolve to make the difference for God, here and hereafter. Shalom.
Shepherdhill Baptist Church (Sanctuary of Grace & Glory), Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos.