Summary: This is a sermon I put together for our 100% Sunday. Helping our church to realize our amazing potential.
“An Unselfish ambition”
Ralph L. Woods: An ambitious farmer, unhappy about the yield of his crops, heard of a highly recommended new seed corn. He bought some and produced a crop that was so abundant his astonished neighbors asked him to sell them a portion of the new seed. But the farmer, afraid that he would lose a profitable competitive advantage, refused.
The second year the new seed did not produce as good a crop, and when the third-year crop was still worse it dawned upon the farmer that his prize corn was being pollinated by the inferior grade of corn from his neighbors’ fields.
That is what’s know as a pretty selfish attitude. Too often that is what we live like, we can be selfish with things, even things that God has given to us and said share them. That is something that we must change to be a great church.
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
This is a very interesting piece of scripture. Warren Wiersbe in The Bible exposition commentary says , In Philippians 1, it is “Christ first” and in Philippians 2 it is “others next.” Paul the soul winner in Philippians 1 becomes Paul the servant in Philippians 2.
It is important that we understand what the Bible means by “humility.”
The humble person is not one who thinks meanly of himself; he simply does not think of himself at all! Humility is that grace that, when you know you have it, you have lost it. The truly humble person knows himself and accepts himself. He yields himself to Christ to be a servant, to use what he is and has for the glory of God and the good of others. “Others” is the key idea in this chapter; the believer’s eyes are turned away from himself and focused on the needs of others.
That is where the rubber meets the road. I have been talking for a while now about the fact that we can become a great church right here in Lake Odessa, Mi. But the question becomes how…well it is summed up right there… the believer’s eyes are turned away from himself and focused on the needs of others.
Friends lets all be clear about one thing…and that one thing is the mission of ICCC…in short that mission is, “Connecting people to Jesus through His Word, His Love and His Fellowship.”
That is what we are about. So how do we go about getting there…well I believe it all begins with us developing an Unselfish Ambition. That simply means the opposite of the selfish ambition, which means that we look out for me myself and I.
An unselfish ambition means that we turn that mindset around and look out for everyone around us first and make sure that we are meeting the needs of others before we concern ourselves with our own needs. You might be saying to yourself…hold on Fred, I too will have needs that must be met!
Fair point, but think of it like this…if we as a church can develop this unselfish ambition which by the way will take commitment and time, then there will be others that are seeking to meet our needs.
You may be asking what is it going to take to accomplish the mission here at ICCC…What are the steps that is takes to develop this unselfish ambition…well I am sure that there are many but we are going to look at three specific this morning. It is going to take us making some sacrifices…you see it is all about giving. The first step, the first thing we must give is…
1. THE GIVING OF OUR TIME.
Our time might be our most precious commodity, and maybe the most difficult to give away. Make no mistake about it people, I understand that you are all busy people that’s why I so appreciate it when you get involved in the ministry here because I know there are other things you could be doing…but you recognize how important this ministry is.
We all have things that are constantly competing for our time and because of that there are always going to be things that get pushed out of out schedule. We prioritize and we decide what is going to get our attention.