TODAY'S WORD FOR Wednesday, August 19, 2020:
An earnest desire for an achievement or distinction, as wealth, power or fame and a willingness to strive for it; an aspiration to achieve a particular goal, good or bad.
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
When we think of having ambition it is usually an inward desire to be successful. What most people seek in order to fulfill their ambition in life is either the acquirement of power, the accumulation of wealth, the attainment of a desired position, or the accomplishment of a personal goal they have set.
Ambitions like these can be a positive force in one’s life because it can motivate a person to accomplish things in his or her life that makes them more useable by God. It becomes negative when an ambition becomes self-centered and drives one to go to any length to fulfill his or her personal ambition to glorify self.
The apostle Paul has a different perspective on ambition that we need to look at today and apply to our lives as believers. In the above verse Paul tells us that we are to do nothing through selfish ambition.
Paul tells us that our ambition in life must be to offer ourselves before God as lowly and submissive individuals. We are not to walk with pride, arrogance, haughtiness or being assertive for personal gain. Unfortunately, too often when one succeeds in his or her ambitious desire the result usually is pride and arrogance and a desire to flaunt one’s success.
God wants to bless us and to help us be successful through our ambition, but He also wants us to give Him the glory for any success and be humble with a servant’s heart and attitude. No matter how successful, how rich, or how powerful, the successful Christian must not think of himself as better than others. God wants us to remain humble and be submissive to Him so that our ambition will be to attain what God wants for us in our life.
For some reason the world looks upon humility as a weakness. The world seems to regard humility as being a sign of being a coward or a lack of self-confidence type of person. They often feel that being considered humble will make them the object of contempt and abuse and cause them to be shunned and overlooked. This is because they are focused on what people think rather than what God thinks.
A non-believer’s success is in themselves. A believer’s success comes from God. God is the strength of our life and He enables us to conquer the impossible. God wants us to walk with humility and not with pride. We are not to brag that it is “I” that is successful. We must never forget that it is God that gives us success. God is the one we should “brag” about. If our ambition is to be the best we can be for our Lord, He will fulfill our ambition.
Our memory verse for this week is found in James 5:16.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt prayer of a righteous man is able to accomplish much.
Give me today a new ambition to serve You humbly and faithfully every day of my life. Help me to teach my children to have ambition to be the best they can be for the Lord. Help us as a family, as we study Your Word together, to give You the glory and to be humbly grateful for the successes You have given each of us.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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