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Redeeming Ambition

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
February 24, 2020 9:00 am

Redeeming Ambition

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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February 24, 2020 9:00 am

In a new series called Home Wreckers, we’re taking an in-depth look at how to avoid many of the dangers and pitfalls that corrode our relationships and destroy our homes. But don’t let the title fool you! We’ll be covering so much more than just marital issues. Whether you’re single, married, widowed, divorced, we all have relationships that need healing and strengthening.    

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Today on Summit life pastor Jamie Greer talks about the benefit and hazards of ambition, desire success to decide your marriage and children. Those are good, God desires.

It is licit.

It is how we respond with our convictions or disappointed that reveals whether they were godly or selfish once you might've noticed new voice today to our new host Molly benefits she's just joined her Summit life team Somali welcome. Thanks lady I'm excited to be here and doing while you join us in the very beginning of a teaching series a priest quite a few years ago called home records. It's an in-depth look at the ways to avoid a lot of the dangers and pitfalls that often corrode our relationships and destroy our homes, but bore the title for your work in the coverage so much more than just marital issues to logistics ground running and for all of you listening with us today. Be sure to stick around the end of today's program we can get to know Molly a little bit.

Looking forward to that. For now let's jump right in and join Pastor JD title redeeming MS that is to talk for a couple of weeks about how God's Word teaches you that you should think about your work place to do that today, per the book of Philippians. So you got your Bible, you open the Philippians. Now some of you would ask this question, you say well the series is about home records.

Why are we going to talk about our jobs. Question here is why.

Because for many of you, especially some of you men your whole life is out of whack because your job life is out of whack by everything about a thing about what is the source of most of the stress that you end up bringing into your own work dissatisfied in your job you hate your boss money is tight.

You're under a lot of pressure so you take that out on your family and for many of you ever get your job life right a lot of issues at home would just end up resolving themselves. The majority of your adult life is spent at work now see I think the church has done a patently bad job at teaching you what it means to follow Jesus in the workplace going on to talk about working for God as if it's like 45 minutes that you volunteer your church on the weekend and hearing. I want you to volunteer your church on the weekend. It's just that many of you, your primary ministry is not volunteer for 45 minutes or the weekend your primary ministry is happens happening in the place where you spend 5060 hours a week and that is in the workplace often pointed out to you that many miracles are the other. The book of acts 40, 40, 40 miracles of the book of acts happen outside of the workplace.

37 of them. 37 of them so question. Where does the power of God was want to manifest itself here.

This isn't right here in my preaching a little bit, but only about 347 3740 or Summit wants to happen through you in the workplace.

So we want to see you learn how to take the kingdom of God how to take the power of God out of this place into the workplace and that's what I want to try to teach a little about the next couple weeks. Specifically, the subject for today and that is the role of ambition in your life. Ambition is often what drives us in our work now ambition. On the surface has got a pretty bad rap is when you say that somebody is a really ambitious person that usually has a fairly negative connotation. We should think of Michael Douglas and Wall Street greedy proud cutthroat, overly competitive, so let me be really clear right the Bible in no uncertain terms tell you that selfish ambition is wrong and simple.

James chapter 3 verse 13 tells you that selfish ambition is the source of all kinds of bad sins in your life. Bitterness, jealousy, exportation, constant dissatisfaction, and that over competitive nature that some of you live with it just makes you really annoying to be around. I get an amen from some wives out there. I know that overly competitive nature means are always competing so Jeremiah 45 five tells you you then see great things for yourself. Seek them not see there's another kind of ambition that is good and right. It was ambition that led David to expand the borders of Israel. It was ambition that led Solomon to build the temple. It was ambition that led Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. It was ambition that led Paul to extreme measures to spread the gospel to the boys and said there's Romans 1526. I have made it my ambition to take Christ we've never been named Carter that if anybody works of their job. The gospel writer say about Jesus that he was more ambitious than anybody you ever live John chapter 2 verse 17 says about Jesus zeal for God's house had eaten him up, you can transfer the words.

It was ambition. Ambition for the house of God had eaten him up like just selfish ambition has caused greedy executives to exploit the poor and ruin our economy, selfish ambition has driven some dictators to drive nations into war. Selfish ambition has made some men and women destroy their families and neglect their children, but in our reaction to that we don't need to get rid of all ambition.

We need to redeem ambition.

We need to rescue it. We live in a world that is desperately in need of people who should be ambitious for the right things for the right reasons so many real clear. The goal of this sermon is that you become more ambitious, not less. That ambition that some of you have burning in your heart that is made you such what Paul was showing you about himself is pretty remarkable here Paul is genuinely disappointed, but he hasn't grown bitter, and he hasn't given up at his dreams. He is a man that is disappointed in his ambitions that he has not given up on his dreams. He faces disappointment without disillusionment.

He is genuinely sad at his losses but he is not in despair, he is hungry for more yet happy with less we say there 1.7 million people in Raleigh and we want every one of them to have a chance to hear the gospel and to see it up close before they die.

That is ambitious and God has told us to be ambitious for those things. So Paul displays the good kind of ambition in the book of Philippians kind of ambition that I want to show you try to show you what is ambition look like me give you some litmus tests that you can take along the way as we go through this to you can test yourself to see whether not your ambition is a good kind of the bad time right background of the book of Philippians Philippians things are not going out well for Paul. Paul's career has taken a pretty substantial turn for the worse and not a really good time in his career he sees later on in his career as an apostle in you by this time things really ought to sell about this when you start enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Paul is writing the book of Philippians is imprisoned. People telling lies about it.

Other people have taken credit for his work, and then trashed his reputation. That's your brother happened bad enough when somebody takes credit for your work, but there when they trash you in the process.

If you ever had that happen to you. That's what is happening to Paul. Somebody has taken credit for what he did and it is tearing him down to the people that he spent so much time with him. Philippians is unable now to be with those people that he loves this Philippian church is in a lot of danger because there are people who are trying to correct the doctrine of whole plot and they are literally being persecuted like anybody who has children he wants to be with those that he loves any cameras you shut up in prison habit situation were somebody you love was in danger you wanted to protect you wanted to provide for them, which just couldn't for whatever reason, a member of first year that I was married I was speaking at a youth camp out and in Florida in about 130 in the morning might not.

My cell phone rings in my wife euros for we have kids, obviously she's at home by herself and she is convinced someone is in the house does not like I got screwed but I think I hear someone walk around downstairs 92 hours from the nearest airport. There's no possible way that I think I could get there.

That feeling of hopelessness. What I want to protect her. My new wife overprotected, but I that's how Paul feels about this church right now. His ambitions are good once he wants to protect them. He wants to help them but he just can't end the dangers of their face or no no less real to what my mom my wife thought that she was facing. Turns out was nothing released the person left. I don't know what came of it. But don't want to make you suppose in some pretty discouraging circumstances is ministries not surging is like his ambitions, which he thought were good once are being unfulfilled. That's when most of us were discontented right there when our ambitions are being unfulfilled and a lot of things are not turning out like we hope they would like we expected that they would so you think by now to be in this leadership position by now.

My career ought to be here by now I should be making this much money at this age I should of been married at this age I should have kids. I should've traveled here I should accomplish that and listen. Those are not wrong desires, but many others desires show that you're growing spiritually.

The desire leadership positions desire success to desire marriage and children. Those are good God-given desires, but it is listen is how we respond when our ambitions are disappointed that reveals whether they were godly or selfish once they go to live. In chapter 4 verse 11 looking for 11 will begin.

Paul says I have learned I have learned in what ever situation whatever means in prosperity or in prison, in whatever situation I am to be content. Verse 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound when you about is when you land a contract between you get the raise when you're engaged.

It's when you're pregnant.

I brought low is when you face failure you get overlooked for the promotion you're still single and all your friends have gotten married, you still don't have grandkids you're knocking on the door of your dreams and it just won't open your knuckles are bloodied from heavy knocks for so hard so long and you're looking at having think God why why what I do know how come the store is open for me. Verse 12. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of facing money and hunger abundance and that phrase I have learned to live in the big Paul was like some some something different that he's kinda got the stuff brought him when he got saved. But he just came out content anything that would be awesome. That's how we fix like discontentment in our lives is email attachment. You just point click apply comes and fixes everything your computer like this little Microsoft updates they sent out like every other day to fix the bugs in your computer. Bill Gates made a statement that if the car industry had kept up with the computer industry that we would all be driving cars that went safely hundred and 50 miles an hour got 200 miles a gallon in one of the Makar executive said yeah but who wants to drive a car crashes every 45 minutes, which I thought was helpful. Also, if that's how you fixed discontentment bug in your life is is the Holy Ghost just dropped off a little update package that update updated your spiritual life and Pam your content that will be awesome.

That's not how it works. Not for you, not for me to pull posted. I have learned this alert.

Many says it was a secret. Not only tells us just to be content in the stills what to do like because it get on with scissors a secret to this and then he gives us a verse that is the most misquoted verse older just verse 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me basketball players this verse where they have outshot the routine. It's been about backward you should jot talking about the house out there. Paul is talking about the ability to be content in all things scholars say that that word that's translated through through him really ought to be translated in him. He saying I have found in Christ. But the resources to succeed in the resources to have my dreams disappointed.

What Paul was showing you about himself is pretty remarkable here Paul is disappointed, genuinely disappointed, but he hasn't grown bitter, and he hasn't given up at his dreams. He is a man that is disappointed in his ambitions, he has not given up on his dreams.

He faces disappointment without disillusionment.

He is genuinely sad at his losses but he is not in despair, he is hungry for more yet happy with less. He wanted to preach to large audiences, but he was content to sit in prison. He's not sitting there in prison angrily brooding over the question God by now I was supposed to be here. God, what's wrong with me God.

What's wrong with you. He's not doing that Paul is not taking it out on those around him either did not want what we do a lot a lot of us are disappointed at work and so we take it out on our families trying to get them to fill in that gap in our heart that's been left by the disappointment we face in our careers you see in the book of Philippians that the Philippians that they let Paul down in some ways Paul is not writing in from prison going. Seriously guys seriously after all that I've been there for you.

This is how you repay me. This is how you respond is overflowing with grace and forgiveness that is not taking it out on them is how we respond when our ambitions are disappointed that reveals whether they were godly or selfish once how you handle it when you don't make $1 million more that you don't even make ends meet.

This year, when you're not married.

We don't have kids. We didn't get into the program, your spot get mad at God, you give up on your dream you despair about yourself. You take it out on others. Paul could face disappointment with contentment because his ambitions were godly once they were godly ones because they were rooted in Christ there is a question we need to have your ambitions rooted in Christ and Christ is one of those phrases but to be honest 40 something spiritual mumbo-jumbo Christ was let me know, but I'm in really like you wake up you know it for quite a morning strum and Chris Tomlin turns on the harp you have beside your bed that's in crime.

I don't know what it means. I'm sure you for things that Paul meant by in Christ from the book of Philippians is not what JD thinks it means to be in Christ. These are what Paul is explaining to you in Philippians that he means by that phrase in Christ.

Okay. Everyone Paul had found his approval in Christ. Paul knelt down his approval in crisis in chapter 3, beginning about verse five, Paul starts with a list of his accomplishments would become like his resume or CV. For those of you in the academic world, and it's pretty impressive by anybody standard special for somebody that day both like knocking for the right family. I went to the right school I had the top job in the country most sought after job.

I was a rising star in the job and I was famous in many says this verse eight and I tell everything everything that you would rule for everything you work for. I can't.

Everything is lost because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord, I count them as rubbish, that I might gain Christ rubbish. By the way, scholars tell us, is a really interesting word is the Greek word scuba to school for school you discussed the Greek's Google is a word that this is not gratuitous crassness okay Google is a word that is very rough and it really ought to be translated something like crap actually put transit something else but I'm comfortable saying that right Paul says those harbor degrees that Pulitzer Prize. The Congressional medal of honor that you hundred thousand dollars a year salary national championship. It's all crap compared to the worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord Jesus gives my soul more fulfillment and more significance than I could've found in anything I'm saying some of you men are driven to work at the expense of your family because you're trying to find a satisfaction and approval in your work so you are working working working chasing chasing chasing and you're trying to prove yourself what you need that satisfaction and I didn't your soul craves is not about achieving achieve a certain position to make a certain salary is given as a gift to Christ. Number two, Paul knew what he deserved.

Paul nobody deserved this in chapter 2 I will summarize their help with the chapter, Paul says I know you myself and what is happening to me. I view it through the lens of what I deserve see another secret of contentment and unfulfilled ambitions is understanding what you deserve, because the heart of discontentment is not getting what we think we deserve. When you complain when you can blame it for some of you is eight or nine times a day and nine times in our for some of you when you complain what is going on as you were saving your heart I deserve better than I have right now I deserve better than I have right now. None. I didn't someone complain about it. So you think this is over the top but it's not what does the gospel teach you about what you deserve. The gospel what you deserve short today trying to help when you understand that what you what I really deserve is that it changes her attitude everything that we actually have in life just my kids right now and those of you. Nothing deserve it.but I really want them to learn this month I wrote yesterday you could ask my federal alley alley your complaining again what does complaining show that you think you deserve out better things that I have alley. What do you really deserve help. So what does what you have now equal grace. You might think that is over the top but that is exactly how the Bible teaches you to see your life Puritan Thomas Watson said it this way. If we have not what we desire. Well we have not we should maybe have more than we deserve. You think you don't have what you deserve. You're right. And thank God for that. We realize that all the sudden find it remarkably easier to be content. Kind of a kind of a Disney dish prize version of content soapbox number two, but gets passed off a lot of times is the secret of contentment is the root like it basically goes like this Christian version of the here you are doing a job and you not satisfied because you get all the cars your friends drive your liver. They live in the satisfied you think about how come you haven't give me more, and then you go on a mission trip on this trip when you get overseas, you start to see people really live without anything and you're talking to some is little kids and the like while you got food in your cabinet like extra food, you cannot reporter you know you got a little groggy things that grinds out food you eat. Are you serious you the whole house just for your carport garage really 90 people to live in one room house to sleep you little leprechaun you see people who are in real deprivation you like all my life is not so bad after all and you come back and you're just content with what you have seen how some of the people live right.

I guess there is a little truth in that, but here's a problem that always wears off like that two weeks tops the mission trip bus come back in your bidder again is not as nice cars friend you have the Bible never ever tells you to gain contentment by comparing your situation with somebody else's tells you gain contentment by comparing your situation with what you deserve and when you understand what it is you deserve everything suddenly begins to look like grace, and you will stay with Thomas Watson.

If we have not what we desire. Well that I have more than I deserve the fact that I woke up this morning anywhere else but God's grace.

The fact that I read in the fact that I'm healthy whatever I have. Wherever you are is rings with an important perspective on your listening to Jeannie Greer. Today's message is called redeeming ambition in its from our new series called home records, Molly. I know you for quite a few years because you been part of our summer worship family here for a long time were done a lot of ministry together but but once you tell us how did you first come to sit in this scene to be part of the of the mission that were doing here at Summit life cell and I have been part of the summit church since 2011. We both quickly started volunteering with the worship ministry and I became a part of the staff team a couple years later the mission to create a movement of disciple making disciples quickly became our life mission as well.

So now we get to raise our daughter and sign in a church culture that lives out, joyous, generous, bold faith are so thankful to be a part of a church that truly has experienced the grace of God ever so many years Molly that is great to hear and we are just very grateful to have you as part of our summer like to know. Thanks, Katie now just like our own individual story help to create one beautiful story of God's grace. So do the stories and those who came before us. Our terms. We'd love to get you a copy of our new Summit life exclusive but called Henry the pricing stories led to a dying church's revitalization to get your copy when you get $25 or if you've been growing through this ministry. Diving into the gospel give us a call eight 665-5220 and remember to ask for new book titled memory can I request a resource online Greer Molly, so glad he's here to join us again on day on Greer

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