Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Young Men and Women, Be Christ's Ambassadors (End)

"[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, NLT)

Paul used many metaphors to illustrate the privileged ministry to which God had called him. One of the most impressive is that of "Christ's ambassadors." An ambassador, in Dictionary.com, is a "diplomatic official of the highest rank." It is rightly considered one of the highest honors any country can grant on one of its citizens. Even in chain, Paul delighted to use this term for himself: "I am in chain now, still preaching this message as God's ambassador" (Ephesians 6:20). It is told of John R. Mott, the YMCA leader, that he was once offered the post of ambassador of the United States to Japan. In declining the honor, he said to President Coolidge, "Mr. President, since God called me as a student to be His ambassador, my ears have been deaf to all other calls."

An ambassador has both privileges and responsibilities. First, as to privileges, he actually represents his absent king or president or prime minister, whose honor is in his hands. He does not go aboard at his own expense. All the resources of his country are behind him. He has personal fellowship with and access to the highest authority. While on nation's business, his personal safety is guaranteed. It is not difficult to relate these privileges to the post of an ambassador for Jesus Christ, the King of kings.

Then, as to responsibilities, he is required to have no associations, however seemingly innocent, that would any way compromise his country. He must keep in constant communication with his higher authority. He must live and conduct himself in a manner worthy of the one he represents. He is expected to watch over and protect the interests of fellow-citizens living in the country to which he has been empowered.

And this is important: he has no right to either add to or subtract from the message of his government but must deliver it as it is. Nor he needs to apologize for his message. He is not expected to originate his own message, but to receive his government's instructions. He is to present his government's viewpoint – not his own. He may use persuasion but not manipulation.

It is not difficult to connect this worldly ambassador's responsibilities to the ambassador of Christ. Do you qualify for the post?

We Are Christ's Ambassadors

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