We have been looking at various aspects of living for God’s Eternal Purposes while on this earth (see “Living for Eternal Purposes Pt 1,2, & 3). Every follower of Jesus should endeavor to live their life on earth like David did, so it can be recorded as it was about him, “David after he served the purpose of God in his generation fell asleep” Acts 13:36.
Serving God’s purposes while on the earth can seem like a mystery to some. Yet God isn’t playing hide and seek with His pruposes. It isn’t only for a few select Christians to discover and serve His eternal purposes. It is for everyone who follows Jesus.
We have enough clarity from God’s word to know essential aspects of His purpose and start serving them now. While there may be certain aspects of His purposes that become clarified as we go forward, there are three overall areas that are extremely clear and should embraced now. I call these the egg of God’s purposes. For an egg to be successfully birthed in the earth all three parts must be together. The same is true for His purposes to be birthed in and through our life. All three are to be embraced simultaneously . We have explored the first two and this week we want to look at the third.
Representing Christ as His ambassadors to a world that needs Him
Scriptures reveal that God had designed His people to be joined together by Him, and sent on His mission in the earth. Jesus prayed for those two elements to be in His church as He prayed for them the last time in John 17. Notice the connection between being joined together as one (which reinforces the reality of Him sending us) and being sent into and the earth
Joh 17:11-23 NASB “… that they may be one even as We are.…18 “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world…20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me….23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
Joh 20:21…as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” The Apostle Paul uses the idea of being sent as an “ambassador” on behalf of Christ to this earth.
2Co 5:18-20…God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 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.
In Biblical times, as well as today, an ambassador was an official representative of a king or government to a foreign land. This is a very accurate spiritual picture of the calling on God’s people. We not only serve Jesus,(the King of Kings), but we represent Him and His government (the Kingdom of God), to a foreign land (the earth). This is what Jesus intimated in Matthew 5 when He said we are the salt of the earth (touching and influencing the earth) as well as a city set on a hill (demonstrating an alternative government/society, the church).
Jesus told us to go into all the world and be his ambassadors, but many churches today have inadvertently changed the “go and be” command to a “come and see” appeal. We have grown attached to buildings, programs, staff and a wide variety of goods and services designed to attract and entertain people.
When it comes to being ambassadors, the measure of success isn’t primarily in bigger buildings, bigger budgets, larger staff, and numbers in meetings. The bigger yardstick of success is to what extent we go out as ambassadors to influence our culture. As Paul said in 2 Cor 5 the heart of our representation is so people can “be reconciled to God.” A church full of ambassadors faithfully proclaims the gospel through word and deed. Words alone are not sufficient; how the gospel is embodied in our community and service is as important as what we say.
When we understand our call as ambassadors it changes our whole approach to everyday life. We no longer simply go to work, school, or the marketplace, we head to our mission field as ambassadors. Every Christian spends about 65% of their waking moments in work, school, or the marketplace. There is a strategic nature of these places in the plan of God.
The early church advanced in the first century not primarily by preachers, teachers, debaters, and evangelist. It was the nameless thousands of people who brought Jesus into their everyday life and reached out as His ambassadors. Men and women shared to gospel with their friends, colleagues, customers, and others in their everyday course of life.
Think what would happen if the vast majority of people in churches became serious about their calling as ambassadors everyday. What if they didn’t wait to go to a third world country for a missions trip, but went on one everyday. Instead of waiting to cross an ocean to be an ambassador, what about crossing the street or the office? I have heard estimates that America is probably the fourth largest non-Christian nation in the world. Some report that there are 235 million non-Christians in America. Ambassadors understand that every time they head out of their house, or out of the church building, they are entering their mission field as an ambassador for Christ.
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