Ambitious

Written by cycleguy on April 18th, 2013

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“He got to the top alright, but do you know how many people he climbed over to get there?”   Some people are ambitious.  And some people are

AMBITIOUS…

if you know what I mean.

We see it all the time.  People climbing to the top and not caring who they “move” along the way.  “By hook or by crook” is the saying we often hear used.  Cutthroat comes to mind.  “Stomp them to the ground” comes to mind.  What is often missed along the way is the reason for it.  Sure, there are those whose sole goal is to be top-dog.

There are those who do the “knock down drag out” thing because of a profound emptiness.  It is tied to self-worth.

There are also those who truly believe they are doing what is best for the company and will cast aside all restraint to either prove the value,  or maybe even the superiority of the company.

I think Saul/Apostle Paul falls into that latter statement.  I truly believe he was doing what he thought was best for the Jewish tradition; was willing to cast aside all restraint (pursuing Christians with all he had); and firmly believed in the superiority of his Jewish tradition.  If there was ever a reclamation project, it was Saul!

His story is the basis for my last sermon in the series of “Reclaimed.”  You can read his story in several different places.  Acts 9. Acts 22. Acts 26. Philippians 3.   It is one of those “you-gotta-read-it-to-believe-the-change” stories.

Sort of reminds me of this movie clip.

Saul/Paul was used by God to become known as probably the greatest missionary who ever lived.  Overcoming so much to take the message to the known world, he became what God intended him to be.   How did he do it?  This is how.

I can’t think of a better way to end my series on a high note than to talk about Saul/Paul.  God’s reclamation of him is primo stuff.  He is truly the God of the Second Chance.

Have you been given a second chance?  Do you know of someone whom God has reclaimed from the trash heap of life and has been put back into circulation?  I’d love to hear the story.

I will be in another city performing the funeral of a dear friend who has gone to be with Jesus.  I will be unable to comment quickly, but will do so as soon as able.  I can approve comments with my phone, but it is terrible for responding. :(

 

16 Comments so far ↓

  1. Daniel says:

    Paul is indeed an amazing story. Talk about a 180 degree turn. He is the poster child for reclaimed. Good luck on Sunday, I will pray for you. also I hope the funeral doesn’t cause you too much pain. Blessings to you.

  2. I’ve had umpteen chances. Not just a second one.

  3. Eileen says:

    Reading about Paul’s journey has encouraged me over and over in life. I remember reading his words in Romans when I going through a season of addiction. The verses where he discusses the tug of war match going on inside him. “When I want to do good…evil is right there with me…who will rescue me” I remember thinking…that’s me. So thankful for the second chance!!!

  4. floyd says:

    That’s a powerful verse. “Our only defense is a life of integrity.” If the church looked like the way Paul defines us, I’d say the world would look much different…

    I’ve been given second chances. While some people have grander or dramatic stories, I think we all get second chances everyday. His grace is a living and loving second chance for the fallen.

    Praying for you for the service and sermon. God bless, Bill.

    • cycleguy says:

      I like that line in that Scripture also Floyd. Gotta agree on “we’ve all been given a second chance.” Thanks for your prayers.

  5. Betty Draper says:

    There will some in the funeral service needing another chance. What better place to hear the sweet old story that can transform anyone. Praying. No response needed.

  6. Debbie says:

    Thinking of you and praying too. So thankful that our God is a reclaimer! I was one of those on the trash heap .. drugs , alcohol, and suicide attempts. Yet here I am now, able to praise Him. :) God bless you as you go and comfort others.

  7. Dan Erickson says:

    I’d never say I was in the trash heap, although I’m no flower either, but God did take me from an abusive and fearful way of living to a much better place of sharing my story. I think you and your readers are familiar with it, but if not, my blog http://www.danerickson.net is a start.

    • cycleguy says:

      I do hope people check out your blog Dan. I have come to look forward to it. Can’t wait to read your books “The Cult Trilogy.”

  8. It’s one of my all-time favorite Bible accounts. I really loved the portrayal of Paul in the Bible mini-series. Blog commenting is something that really needs to be improved for mobile devices. Hope your friend’s funeral is a day of honoring her and the Lord.

  9. My little boy loves to talk about Saul – how “he was bad but God turned him good.” And the crazy thing to me is how God then uses Saul’s evil streak for good. Paul could later talk about how he was a Pharisee of Pharisees and zealous in persecution but it didn’t matter and it was worthless compared to Christ.