Grant Me a Mother’s Ambition, a poem and daily devotion

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:1-4

Grant Me a Mother’s Ambition

When You come into Your Kingdom
Flesh flailed, hands nailed
Cursed, rejected and despised
Let my sons be on Your right and left
On crosses impaled
And in agony die
Grant me a mother’s ambition
Flesh flailed, hands nailed
That they sit on Your left and right
And let me triumph in their screams
Their flesh assailed
The cup of wrath emptied on their hides

Note: If today’s poem is a bit obscure, I have included an explanation of its source and meaning at the end of this post.

Today’s Reading:

Exodus 16-18; Matthew 18:1-20


When Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa listed the qualities of a man God uses, one key element was a lack of ambition.  The man God uses is glorifying God and not himself.  He is seeking God’s will and not His own.  His own role and status is not the point.

Oh, God help me.  I think this quality half describes me, and in half of it I fail.  I seek God’s glory and His will.  I’m not after my own glory and fame.  But this does not mean I have no ambition in the matter of the Kingdom of God.  Here, I either fail or I misunderstand the quality Pastor Chuck was describing.

I’ve known plenty of men who are happy to do whatever the Lord desires.  They are not looking for a position.  If they have a position within the church, you might never know it.

I honestly don’t know how to do that.  While these godly men mean what they say, I fear for me it would be an excuse for my laziness.  By being open to do “whatever”, I would ultimately do very little at all.

It may also be a factor of my constant pressing forward to be at work for the Kingdom of God.  I chafe under the timing of other men.  There is something to be done now, and it is heavy on my heart to be done.  Perhaps part of what I seek is the freedom and authority to act.

Then, how does a man communicate his work and passion for God?  Perhaps I’m warped by the culture in which we have defined ourselves by our titles at work, and I have carried this over into the church.

I feel as if I will both explode and rot inside if I cannot do more.  I make myself miserable in my desire to plant another church or pastor an existing one, but I read this passage and once again ask myself: Is my heart in the wrong place?  Is this more about me than about God?  Would God have me elsewhere, even exactly where I am now, but I am unwilling?

He says to become like a child, and I am more like His disciples asking, “Who will be greatest?”  I am Martha, busy about many things, and God asks us to take the better place, like Mary, sitting at His feet, listening, learning, worshiping, and enjoying His presence.

God help me.  I don’t know where you are in all of this, but may He help you, too.

Tomorrow’s Reading:

Exodus 19-20; Matthew 18:21-35

Audio Sermons

Chuck Smith: Exodus

Chuck Smith: Matthew

Our Reading Plan

Note: We are 5 days behind the dates listed in this plan from  Their plan starts with Nov. 1.  Our reading schedule began Nov. 6.

Program Details:

Join us every morning for a poem and short devotional. If you follow along with our reading plan, you’ll read through the Bible in one year. This plan includes both Old and New Testament readings, every day.  Read the Bible in a year.  Christian poetry.  Daily devotional.  All in once place.  Oh, and that’s not all Calvary Training offers, either, but because Daily Devotionals are, well, daily, they do take up more of the main page.  See our menu at the top of the screen for more news, sermons, Bible study, and inspiration.  And if there’s something big happening in the world of Calvary Chapel, and I haven’t written about it, yet, give me a shout.

Bonus: About Today’s Poem

Today’s discussion of ambition brought to mind the mother of Jams and John, asking Jesus to grant that her sons would sit on His right and on His left.  She imagined that He had come to be a political ruler, and she wanted her boys to the be the most powerful in His kingdom.  She did not realize that He had come to die for our sins.

Christ asked if James and John could drink of the cup from which He would drink.  They did not understand that He would drink the cup of the God’s wrath against our sins.  They said they could drink of it.

The poem is a contrast between the ambition of their mother and the reality of what she was unknowingly asking for her sons.


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