WEDNESDAY’S WORD – AMBITION – Sadell Bradley 03/22/17 – New Life Covenant Cincinnati

Sadell Bradley

Sadell Bradley

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“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sake and for our own.”
-Cesar Chavez


AMBITION is a strong desire to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work;
desire and determination to achieve success. 
We used to sing a song,“A Living Sacrifice” by John Stevenson. The lyrics said, “Lord, I want to be with You, that is my one desire. I want to know You face to face – not from afar. To die to my own will and lay ambition down. To wholly seek your face, while walking in Your grace. Take my life let it be wholly unto Thee, a Living Sacrifice. Lord, I giveYou my life.”  That lyric was startling!

I’d grown up in environments that strongly encouraged ambition, success and achievement. Did my ambitions need to be laid at the foot of Jesus? Yes! God was altering my

motives and the course of my life, including my vocation. David had a singular aspiration in Psalm 27:4: The one thing I ask of the LORD–the thing I seek most–is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in His temple.” Paul gave this admonition, “Therefore I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.” So is all ambition wrong?

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It seems there is more than one kind of ambition in Scripture, so it will require us to check our hearts. James said, where you have envy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:16) Paul talked a lot about ambition. To the Philippians, he wrote, Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” (Phil. 2:3) He said even some preachers preach from selfish ambition, while others preach out of true motives. (Phil. 1:16-18) Dangers lurk where there is jealousy, pride, comparison and competition.

What are positive ambitions? We’ve established one is to seek the LORD wholeheartedly. Paul instructed, make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you.” (1 Thess. 4:11) That directly opposes our live loud and let everybody see it cultural norm. Paul also states his own desire, “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent (from the body), to be pleasing to Him.” (2 Cor. 5:9) Live a quiet life, mind your business, work and please the LORD? that can’t be enough. I need more impact and notoriety than that! Well, here’s a great impact-filled goal for us all. Paul told the Romans, It has always been my ambition to preach the Gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not build on someone else’s foundation.” (Romans 15:20) An ambition to preach the Gospel to new people. Rarely have I heard that on a vision list! God says, I want you to go hard…but after the right things.

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ABOUT SADELL BRADLEY

ABOUT SADELL BRADLEY

Sadell Bradley, Pastor of The Warehouse Church OTR, is a dynamic teacher and worship leader, with over 30 years in ministry in various contexts including: as a conference speaker and trainer, music, worship and arts pastor, providing background vocals for various artists; as a campus missionary, and as a ministry development director.
Sadell’s main desire is to see people saved, healed, delivered and set free by the ministry of Jesus, the Word of God, and presence of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 4:18)

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