Out of all the apostles and biblical characters, I can relate the most to the apostle Paul. Like Paul, I used to be a sinner who chased away Christians left and right. I spoke ill of Christians and whenever a Christian spoke of Christ, it used to make my blood boil. I honestly think the reason why i reacted like this was because of the way people spoke to me that was supposed to be representing Christ. I was either going to burn in hell or I was being spoken down to like I was a lessor than them. Honestly, it was not until I married my wife and met her family that I knew what being a Christian was all about. Being a Christian is not about words, it is about the way we walk, talk, and think. Being a Christian is something that we actively do. We fight hard against our sins, we try to be above reproach to be an example to our children, our spouses, and our families. We have to represent Christ in everything that we do as Christians. Paul understood this more than anyone I think and I want to share some of his wise words with you all today.
Paul wrote, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him,” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21, NASB).
Our outlook on how we interact and speak with people should always be one of humidity. As Christians, we are ambassadors for Christ. That means that every fiber in our body should be trying to emulate Him. As Christ reconciled us to God, we are trying to help guide others to do the same. We are only made righteous through Christ and yet we some of us can accept that truth but not share it out of Christ-like love. This makes me think about the days when I disliked Christianity because of the people, not because of Jesus. I think about how much faster I would have come to know Christ as my Lord and Savior if those “bad ambassadors” would have been reflecting the humility and love of Christ with their words.
I am only bringing this piece of my past up because I was lucky. I eventually found Christ and I am here today. However, what about those who are not. My heart saddens by the thought that so many others were once pushed away from Christ because of bad ambassadors and are suffering for eternity because of my very own brothers and sisters in Christ. This is the very reason why I am writing this message today. We should never forget two simple truths to guide our daily Christian walk.
First, we are all Christ’s ambassadors! We are not all called to evangelize or preach, but we are all called to live out our faith. We are called to love others like no other. We are commanded to forgive those who trespass against us because we have trespassed against God himself and He forgave us, so who are we to not forgive the sins of others? We are commanded to holy. Being holy carries the connotation of moral purity. This means that we are set apart or have been dedicated to God. When we are set apart and belong to someone, we represent them in everything that we say and do. This is what it means to be an ambassador.
Secondly, through our words and actions, God is making an appeal for others. What this means is that people who do not know God will come to know Him by us first. Therefore, we need to always have the mindset that we will represent God every day. It is not a suggestion, as Christ took our sins and exchanged them for His righteousness, we are now committed to doing something with that righteousness. This “doing” is appealing to those around us for God. God does not want people to die without knowing Him or His son Jesus Christ. Therefore, He has us as His servants. It is up to us to make the appeal to others to come and get to know Him. This cannot happen without the heart of humility and love. We are only here to help reconcile others to God and share His truth through Christ. It is that simple.
For today, I pray that we all reflect on our actions, and if we have been a good ambassador for Christ. If we have, keep fighting the good fight. If we have not been, this is the chance to adjust our lives and seek forgiveness. This is the chance to change the impression others have about Jesus because of our past actions. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.