It is no secret that John MacArthur pushes the polemic line and causes many of us to be uncomfortable. This is just who he is and I don’t really expect him to be different. But this conference is an excessively eristic and unnecessarily divisive crusade against charismatics. And, to be frank, it is even over-the-top for him.
Love is something often talked about in today’s culture. There are countless love songs played on the radio each day. Many magazines claim on their covers to contain the magic formula for lasting love. The daily news often contains stories of the latest love interests of the rich and famous.
Most of this is meaningless when we compare these definitions of love to those of Scripture. While references to love constantly surround us, more often than not, it is not the type of love Jesus shows us and requires of us each day.
Neither selfish ambition nor coasting honors Christ. We need to reject both and pursue a biblical approach to handling ambition. As a working definition (from Webster), ambition is simply “the desire to achieve a particular end.” That short definition has three keys words: desire (referring to the heart), achieve (referring to the will), and end (referring to the mind). When I am truly ambitious, my mind, my heart, and my will are all fully engaged. Under the influence and leadership of the Holy Spirit, these faculties are employed as redemptive components of a glorious ambition to live whole-heartedly for Jesus Christ.
Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook and the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board. Previously Chief of Staff for the US Secretary to the Treasury and Vice-President at Google, she has also made the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.
She’s now written a New York Times bestseller, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, and with one million sold in less than a year she can add a few more dollars to her $400 million personal fortune. It also taught me some valuable lessons.
Paul uses this same metaphor and stresses the progressive nature of it. He writes that believers are “built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” (Eph 2:20). But then he notes that, “the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit” (v. 21-22).
In other words, the work is on going. We ARE being built…right now the work is continuing. And if the church is an ongoing building project, that affects the way pastors view their work. In fact, this is exactly Paul’s point in 1 Corinthians 3:9-14). The work is ongoing, and that should seriously affect the way pastors view their work.