Ambition Sermon Illustrations

Ambition Sermon Illustrations

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Once the poet Carl Sandburg said, "Before you go to sleep, say to yourself, 'I haven't reached my goal yet, whatever it is, and I'm going to be uncomfortable and in a degree unhappy until I do."—R & R Magazine, Research and Review Service of America

A person's sights should be as high as his ambitions can raise them, and everyone should try his best to hit his target.—George E. Ruff, M.D., "Three Secrets of Successful Living," This Week

"He's daydreaming beyond his talents," said a friend about a mutual acquaintance. The subject of this remark was an overly ambitious young man.

"He would actually go further if he would moderate his ambitions: added my companion.

Paradoxical? However, it's quite true.

Unfortunately, most of us were taught at an early age to "hitch our wagons to a star." This often results in building our hopes beyond our abilities, with the inevitable disappointment. And the higher we fly, the greater the damage when we crash. The wound suffered can cause a sensitive individual to give up a promising career...

The rule is simple, but important Use common sense to keep a check-rein on your daydreams. Moderate your demands on life—and achieve more!—K. F. Lloyd

In the primeval days of America an old Indian Chief was accustomed to test the mettle of his braves by making them run in a single effort as far up the side of the mountain as each could reach without stopping to rest. On an appointed day, four willing braves started on the new adventure before daybreak, to prove their worthiness.

The first returned with a bunch of spruce, indicating the height to which he had attained. The second bore a twig of pine. The third brought an alpine shrub. But it was by the light of the moon that the fourth made his way back. He came, worn and exhausted, his feet torn by the rocks.

"What did you bring, and how high did you ascend?" asked the chief.

"Sire," he replied, "Where I went there was neither spruce nor pine to shelter me from the sun, nor flowers to cheer my path, but only rocks and snow and barren earth. My feet are torn, and I am exhausted. I am late"—and then a wonderful light came into his eyes—"but I saw the sea!"—Friendly Chat

The Christian's Ambition

The Greek `philotimeomai', to be ambitious, or, literally, to covet the honor, occurs three times in the New Testament, and is not once translated 'be ambitious' in the Authorized Version. The ambitions a true Christian should have are: To get on quietly with his own business—translated 'study' (1 Thess. 4. 11). To be well-pleasing to the Lord—translated 'labor' (2 Cor. 5. 9). To preach the gospel in places where Christ is not known-translated 'strive' (Rom. 15. 20). 29.

A Conqueror's Ambition

Cineas, when dissuading Pyrrhus from undertaking a war against the Romans, said, 'Sir, when you have conquered them, what will you do next?' `Sicily is near at hand and easy to master,' replied Pyrrhus. `And what when you have conquered Sicily?' `Then we will pass on to Africa and take Carthage.'

`When these are conquered, what will be your next attempt?' asked Cineas.

`Then,' said Pyrrhus, 'we will fall upon Greece and Macedon and recover what we have lost there.'

`Well, when all are subdued, what fruit do you expect from all your victories?'

`Then,' said Pyrrhus, 'we will sit down and enjoy ourselves.'

`Sir!' said Cineas, 'may we not do it now? Have you not already a kingdom of your own? He that cannot enjoy himself with a kingdom cannot with a whole world.' (1 Tim. 6. 8; Heb. 13. 5) 30.

Unworthy Ambition

Cardinal Wolsey, dying, charged Cromwell:

`I charge thee, Cromwell, fling away ambition:
By that sin fell the angels: how can man, then,
The image of his Maker, hope to gain by it?'—Shakespeare in Henry VIII (Jude 6; Jer. 45. 5)

How like a mounting devil in the heart
Rules the unreigned ambition! Let it once
But play the monarch, and its haughty brow
Glows with a beauty that bewilders thought
And unthrones peace forever.—Willis

A Christian minister once said, "I was never of any use until I found out that God did not intend me to be a great man."—Selected

Oliver Herford sat next to a soulful poetess at dinner one night, and that dreamy one turned her sad eyes upon him. "Have you no other ambition, Mr. Herford," she demanded, "than to force people to degrade themselves by laughter?"

Yes, Herford had an ambition. A whale of an ambition. Some day he hoped to gratify it.

The woman rested her elbows on the table and propped her face in her long, sad hands, and glowed into Mr. Herford's eyes. "Oh, Mr. Herford," she said, "Oliver! Tell me about it."

"I want to throw an egg into an electric fan," said Herford, simply.

"Hubby," said the observant wife, "the janitor of these flats is a bachelor."

"What of it?"

"I really think he is becoming interested in our oldest daughter."

"There you go again with your pipe dreams! Last week it was a duke."

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