June 16, 2018
READ: 2 Corinthians 5:11-21
We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” (v.20).
For many years, I held on to the dream of one day adopting a five year old boy from Russia. “Why such a specific desire?” a former colleague once asked me. “Because,” I explained, “Close friends adopted a five year old orphan from Russia and he’s amazing!” Samuel, the young boy from Russia, continues to be an (unofficial) ambassador for his native country.
The actions and attitudes of citizens, whether positive or negative, can significantly affect how others perceive their country of origin. That’s why it’s so important that those of us who profess to follow Jesus remember—at all times—that “we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’ ” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
As ambassadors, we’ve been given a “fearful responsibility to the Lord”, to represent Him in a manner that persuades others to know Him too (v.11). Our motives should not include seeking attention and applause for ourselves or our ministry, but to glorify God through our words and actions (v.12).
As ambassadors, may we grasp that we are empowered by Christ’s love, that He died for all and that we’ve died to our old way of life (v.14). In response, by His strength, our aim should be to no longer live for ourselves but instead to live for Christ (v.15). This is an important charge as others are watching us and will make assumptions about what it means to believe in Jesus based on what our lives reflect.
What an extraordinary gift we have from God! He saved us from our sins, made us right with God through Christ and permits us to be part of His work of reconciling people to Himself (v.18). Yes, we are His ambassadors.
365-day plan: John 1:19-34
Read Ephesians 6:20 and think about what it meant for Paul to be an ambassador for Jesus.
How is Christ shining through your life? What does it mean for you to be an ambassador for Him?