People face life’s challenges in different ways. Those who successfully navigate whatever comes their way are people who know who they are. Those who trip, stumble and make more than their share of bad decisions often haven’t figured out who they are. As Christians we need to understand who we are, who God is, and who God says we are. The same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells within those who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. Paul says in 2 Corinithians that anyone who is “in Christ” is a new creation! Can you imagine a butterfly crawling around like a caterpillar? That’s who it used to be, but now it’s made new. It has wings to fly. Some Christians crawl through life because they’ve forgotten who they are or never figured it out. If you are a Christ-follower, youhave been given the ministry of reconciliation. Because Christ reconciled you to God through his death on the cross, it is now your mission to bring others along and help them become reconciled to God.
Scriptures – 2 Corinthians 5:17-20, 10:8; John 15:16, 19, 6:38; Acts 9:15; Galatians 2:20
Verse – All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. (2 Co 5:17-20) “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last….” (John 15:16)
Thought – Jesus states that he has chosen and appointed you for the purpose of reconciling the world to himself! You were not elected by the people, you were chosen by the creator of the universe, appointed by God. When you are appointed, you serve in your position with the authority given to you! God chose Paul and appointed him to preach the message of Christ to the Gentiles. He was an unlikely candidate! He had persecuted and killed Christians until he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. That encounter changed everything. Paul accepted the appointment and served God for the rest of his life. When you are appointed, you are also an ambassador, and you don’t serve yourself. You serve as a representative of whomever sent you. If you serve as the US Ambassador to Japan, you represent the United States. You live in Japan but it’s not your home. You are representing your homeland, the USA. When you are Christ’s ambassador you represent God. Your actions, attitudes, everything about you should reflect your loyalty and allegiance to Him. You live on earth as God’s representative, but heaven is your home. You were created with a divine purpose, and God gave you wings. However, whether you crawl or fly is up to you.
Questions – Who do you want to please if you are elected? Who do you want to please if you are appointed? Why do so many Christians live as though they are elected? What freedom does being appointed by God give? What is spiritual authority? Do you know how to use your authority in Christ? Explain. Are spiritual leaders expected to hold to a higher standard of behavior than the “regular” Christian? Why? Do you think they should maintain a higher standard? Why or why not?
Response – As an ambassador for God, consider how you are representing God in a way that will draw others to Him.
Prayer – Lord Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for accepting God’s appointment as the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. Help me to live in a way that draws others towards you and your love. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.