Updated: May 11, 2020
More on Paul’s “ambition” of Romans 15:20
I remember when I asked my father back in 1982-1983, “Dad, what would you think if I told you I wanted to be a missionary to the Middle East and Muslim world?”
His answer was, “well, if you want to throw your life away, then do it.”
. . .
But then he said something interesting,
“But at least you aspire to something; and that is good; have an aspiration and ambition!”
I will never forget that. The NASB version of Romans 15:20 uses that English word, “aspire”. “And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ is already named . . .”
My dad was not a believer at that time; he did repent 3 years before he passed away in 1996; and he asked me to preach his funeral.
When he said, “If you want to throw your life away, . . . “, it reminded me of Jesus’ words —
And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. “
(Mark 8:34-35; see also Matthew 10:38; Luke 9:23-24; Luke 14:26-35)