The Christian's ambition!
(Alexander Smellie, "The Hour of Silence" 1899)
"So we make it our ambition to please Him" 2 Corinthians 5:9
"It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known" Romans 15:20
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands" 1 Thessalonians 4:11
Three times over in his Epistles, Paul speaks of the Christian's ambition. I may learn much from every one of his three messages.
What should be the ambition of my personal life? It should not be to be merely pardoned, nor simply permitted to escape from eternal wrath. "We make it our ambition," the apostle says, "to please Him."
What should be the ambition of my church life? It should be to further the prosperity and to enlarge the boundaries of my Lord's kingdom on earth. It should be to proclaim His Evangel, and to extend His realm, and to win some new captives and subjects for Him. "It has always been my ambition," the apostle says again, "to preach the gospel where Christ was not known."
And what should be the ambition of my social life? It should be, in my ordinary duties, in my simplest and lowliest occupations, to exhibit Christlikeness and my heavenly citizenship. If I cannot be holy at my daily work, it is scarcely worth while taking trouble to be holy at other times. "Make it your ambition," says the apostle to me once more, "to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands."
These are the apostolic ambitions. Lord, let them be mine. Towards such goals, to gain such prizes — I would lay aside every weight, and run the race with perseverance!