We make it our aim (we are ambitious) to be well-pleasing unto Him.
~ 2 Cor 5:9
There is scope for ambition within the sphere of the Christian Faith, and to be without it is to miss an influential incentive to high and holy endeavour. Our Lord does not destroy any natural faculty, but directs 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 which are the legitimate objects of holy ambition. In two other passages the Apostle Paul uses this same word. See 1Th 4:11; rom 15:20 (R.v. marg.).
There is the ambition of daily toil,—“Be ambitious to be quiet, to do your own business, to work with your own hands.” In the age in which the Apostles lived there was much unrest, and in the case of the Christian Church this was still further increased by the expectation of the approaching end of the world; many were inclined to surrender their ordinary occupations, and give themselves up to restlessness and excitement, all of which was prejudicial to the regular ordering of their homes and individual lives, But the injunction is that we are not to yield to the ferment of restlessness; we are not to be disturbed by the feverishness around us, whether of social upheavals or for pleasure or gain.
The ambition to be well-pleasing to Christ. At His judgment-seat He will weigh up the worth of our individual mortal life, and He is doing so day by day. Not only when we pass the threshold of death, but on this side, our Lord is judging our character and adjudicating our reward. Let us strive to be as well-pleasing to Him in this life, as we hope to be in the next.
The ambition of Christian work—“Being ambitious to preach the Gospel.” The great world lies open to us, many parts of it still unevangelized; and 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 Him, 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).
Give us grace, O Lord, to work while it is day, fulfilling diligently and patiently whatever duty Thou appointest us; doing small things in the day of small things, and great labours if Thou summon us to any; rising and working, sitting still and suffering, according to Thy word. Amen.
At times I feel an ache, an inner loneliness that cripples me.
But I forget about God. I forget that God loves me, and actually wants a relationship with me.
A Christian friend of mine told me that God has emotions. Not that he’s defensive and unstable, but he loves me and is sad when I turn away from him. He feels sadness when I’m hurt, and feels love and joy at my happiness.
I matter to him. He isn’t an emotionless deity, watching from afar and not caring. He doesn’t go about his plans without caring if I’m involved. What I do matters to him. What I say matters. How I treat him. If I spend time with him.
He loves me, and just as I would be hurt if someone I love rejected me, he’s hurt when I reject him. Just as I feel sad when someone I love is sad, or I’m in pain when they’re upset — God’s the same. He aches when I’m upset. He actually loves me. He cries when I cry. If only I could see it. Any pain I feel would be diminished in light of God’s love. He cares about every part of me. If only I could see it.
I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face.
~ 3 John 1:14
Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down! As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.
Our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope. Whom having not seen, ye love.
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly; Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. It shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
Isa 64:1, Ps 42:1-2, Song 8:14, Phil 3:20, Titus 2:13, 1 Tim 1:1, 1 Pet 1:8, Rev 22:20, Isa 25:9
If You Only Knew
John 4 tells the story of a shunned Samaritan woman who encountered Jesus when she came to draw water at a well. When she asked Jesus why He (a Jew) would ask her (a despised Samaritan) for a drink of water, this was His amazing response: that she would ask Him for living water, the only thing that would satisfy her from within and slake her deep thirst for acceptance and love forever.
What an amazing Savior! Although this woman had a past of looking for love in all the wrong places that imprisoned her in shame and self-loathing, Jesus met her at her point of greatest need with the offer of Himself, the living water. He knew all that she had ever done and yet offered her the true intimacy that fully satisfies every aching need. He invited her to discover, taste, and experience His perfect and unconditional love.
Jesus is saying the same thing to you today: If you only knew who it is who comes to you in your darkest and weakest moments. If you only knew this gift of God who will never leave you nor forsake you, who has gone before you and who comes to you in the midst of your storms. If you only knew the One who reaches out to you even when you have failed and who doesn’t hold your past mistakes or present failures against you.
Beloved, if you only knew this gift of God who offers the living water of His unconditional, endless love to you and you drink of that love, you will never thirst again. You won’t need to look for love or acceptance in all the wrong places, have your heart broken and fearful about the future, and have your life derailed. You can wake up with a fresh expectation of good every day.
Jesus was essentially inviting the woman to ask Him for the living water of His love. Will you do that today? Your life will never be the same again when you personally experience His love!