Looking through the Cross – Ambition

Passage: Philippians 2:1-11

As we continue our series based on the book "Looking through the Cross" by Graham Tomlin, Jonny looks at the topic of "ambition" and helps us reflect on a few questions.

Music for the introduction: "Acoustic Breeze" from Bensound.com. Other music taken from Worship Lyric Videos - all rights reserved - and used with their permission.


The following is an audio of the sermon.


You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:42-45

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9

Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
Isaiah 6:2-3

Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.
John 12:41

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Isaiah 53:3

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.
(Christina Rossetti - In the bleak midwinter)

By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”
John 5:30

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
John 13:12-15


Psalm 99

Psalm 99 meditates on God’s sovereignty, glory, might, faithfulness and holiness.
There are a range of different responses to such a description,
fascination, awe, fear, worship, disbelief.
This view of God comes from revelation, but it is from experience the psalmist knows it to be true.
The psalm references the exodus, the victories in Canaan,
and the establishment of Israel as a nation.
Each of these things for the psalmist displays and confirms God’s might and glory.

Yet in all his majesty and splendour God is not inaccessible.
He can be called upon and he speaks.
He is clearly active in the lives of his people.
It is always good to remind ourselves of God’s greatness when we come to pray.
We do not merely throw a wish to the sky, but we are laying hold of a mighty, generous, faithful and forgiving God.

Spend time meditating on God, and all his attributes.
What responses does this stir up in you?

The marvellous thing is that this same God, worthy of all these praises,
is the same God perfectly revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ.
Who laid aside the glory and majesty due to his name,
And came to earth for us.
When we read Psalms like this in light of the New Testament,
the wonderful conclusion is that there cannot be any doubt,
This God,
Who reigns and the nations tremble,
Who sits enthroned between the cherubim,
Who is exalted over all nations,
Who is holy,
is unmistakably, unreservedly, unwaveringly
for us.


Hebrews 12:1b-2

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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