Monday, April 04, 2016

Identity in Christ - 66 (Ambassadors for Christ)

After leaving the A's far behind, I discovered recently that we missed one.

An ambassador is an agent of one government, chosen to represent the government to another government.

An ambassador is a trusted, respected person, fully capable of communicating the heart and position of the government he/she serves. Fully capable of acting in a way that brings honor and favor to the government he/she serves.

♦ God's Perspective

We choose allegiance with god. We become a part of this family. We become a citizen in his kingdom. And he names us an "Ambassador at Large to the World."
We do not have a particular country or culture that we represent the kingdom to. We are representative wherever we are.

There are some who represent God to particular people groups. Usually, it is the people group around them.

We are trusted by God to represent him truthfully and accurately. We are trusted by God to demonstrate his motives, his desires, his habits, his practices, and his ways.

People know what God is like, by looking at Jesus. People should also be able to the same thing by looking at his ambassadors.

Yes, Jesus is going to do a much better job that we are. Yes, we are going to fail. There are children of God who keep sinning. There are some who keep sinning in the same area … for 30 years!

Do you suppose the Father does not realize that we are a bunch of air-heads? Has he ever revoked the office of ambassador from anyone?

He does not expect perfection. He expects truth, and reality. He expects growth. He expect the pursuit of his image, and maturity.

We expect these things too. But we tend to see them in terms of "following the rules" with less failure. Is the Father merely concerned with following the rules. Scripture says love automatically follows the rules. Maybe we need to focus less on the rules, and more on love. Scripture says God wants relationship with us. Maybe we need to focus more on being connected to him, listening to him, and being reliant on him.

♦ Living My Life

We are God's representative. We need to demonstrate who he is. We need to listen and carry out his instructions.

I do not mean to imply that obedience to the King is not necessary or important. However, some people assume that maintaining a particular standard of morality, or a particular set of Christian practices is enough. We can see through the life of Jesus that he went beyond the status quo. It was this following the heart of God, beyond what the religious authorities preached, that got him into trouble with them. But his Father was very pleased.

I do mean to suggest that our focus and emphasis might be slight skewed. Perhaps we do not emphasize love enough. Perhaps we are not alert for persons of peace enough.

"Person of peace" is a term Jesus coined for people who are open to learning the things of God. They were open to the point of extending hospitality. They wanted to include friends and family in the learning process. Jesus instructed his disciples to be watching for these people. Not only could their lives be affected by the gospel, but there could be a door into a family, or a community.

Ultimately, being God's ambassador in the world is living like Jesus in the world.
- Loving the world's rejects.
- Seeking to connect everyone to God.
- Creating a community of ambassadors.
- Creating a community of servants.

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