Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rising To The Top

By Julie Ackerman Link
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Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Read: 1 Samuel 15:17-30
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit. —Philippians 2:3
Bible in a year:
Proverbs 19-21; 2 Corinthians 7

“Lacks ambition.” That is not a phrase you want to see on your performance review. When it comes to work, employees who lack ambition seldom rise to the top of an organization. Without a strong desire to achieve something, nothing is accomplished. Ambition, however, has a dark side. It often has more to do with elevating self than with accomplishing something noble for others.

This was the case with many of the kings of Israel, including the first one. Saul started out with humility, but he gradually came to consider his position as something that belonged to him. He forgot that he had a special assignment from God to lead His chosen people in a way that would show other nations the way to God. When God relieved him of duty, Saul’s only concern was for himself (1 Sam. 15:30).

In a world where ambition often compels people to do whatever it takes to rise to positions of power over others, God calls His people to a new way of living. We are to do nothing out of selfish ambition (Phil. 2:3) and to lay aside the weight of sin that ensnares us (Heb. 12:1).

If you want to be someone who truly “rises up,” make it your ambition to humbly love and serve God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30).

Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things:
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings. —Merril

Ambition is short-sighted if our focus is not on God.

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