Perfect Courtesy, part one

As followers of Jesus I think it’s pretty clear and easy to understand what it is we’re expected to do with this life changing, salvation granting, loving God of ours.  Jesus himself let us know.

Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

There’s no “if you feel like it” or “on the days it’s convenient” attached to that, by the way.  Trust me, I know, I’ve looked for them.  Later on in the New Testament, Paul says it this way.  

2 Corinthians 5:20  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

If we can just enjoy some true honesty here, can I just admit that being an ambassador sounds an awful lot like a job?  And that there was a point in my life upon rededicating myself to Jesus when I didn’t want anything to do with that job?  Jesus?  Yeah, give him to me.  I want the salvation, I want the healing, the wisdom, the renewed mind, I want all that.  But I didn’t wanna work.  I didn’t accept Jesus just so I could have another job and another responsibility.  I was looking for freedom here, not obligations.  

You know what the funny thing is?  No one convinced me to change my mind.  A preacher didn’t guilt me into it one day, God didn’t speak to me from on high about it, there was no “Ah ha!” moment that made me embrace my position as an ambassador for Christ.  I can’t even actually point to the moment when it became a thing I started to do. But I can point to the cause.  

I got to know Him.  It’s really as simple as that.  Just like when you meet anyone, it’s a process of getting to know them.  Usually, we meet Jesus in these huge, major moments in our lives.  It’s emotional, overwhelming, and life changing.  And yes, this is the son of God we’re talking about here, but it still operates under the rules of a relationship.  It deepens over time and you get to know Him better day by day through spending time with Him in prayer, in Bible study, and worship.  You see more of who Jesus is and what He is, and as you see that, your love for him deepens and deepens.  Then something happens.

You become an ambassador without even realizing it.  

The things you love most in your life just come spilling out of your mouth.  It’s just what happens.  People who love their pets tell you all about them, people who love sports talk about them for hours (and hours and hours), movies, TV, books, music, relationships, money, whatever it is that we’re devoted to and we love, those are the things that we talk about.

So not only will talking about Jesus become more and more natural and frequent as your relationship with Him deepens, but you’ll also take on more of this role as an ambassador.  An ambassador doesn’t just talk about a thing, that’s more like being a publicist.  An ambassador represents something.  The United States ambassador to a different country represents the United States in that place.  In certain situations, they’ll speak on behalf of the United States.  As ambassadors of Jesus, we represent Him to the world around us.  In certain situations, we’ll even speak on behalf of Him.  

Just like a United States ambassador can cause serious issues between the USA and whatever country they’re in, we can cause harm between a person and Jesus.  If we poorly represent Him, or worse, wrongly represent Him, then the picture that person got of Jesus was bad, and thus they’re going to be likely to reject Him.  The role of an ambassador is vital. They can start wars, if not careful.  And that’s just physical life and death stuff.  As an ambassador for Jesus, we’re dealing in matters of the eternal soul.

I know, right?  No pressure.  The position of ambassador calls for a deep level of faith in the God we’re representing.  We have to tell ourselves that He knows what He’s doing, that He knew what He was getting when he chose a guy like me, and that if He puts me in a position where I am sharing about Him then He’s going to give me favor and the words to say.  

The nice thing is, He also gave us the Bible, and it just so happens to have some instructions on how we’re supposed to carry ourselves as ambassadors of Christ.  We’re going to dig into those in the next blog.

PRAYER

Father God, today I just ask you to help us with our relationship with you.  It really is that easy.  All it takes is getting to know you, and everything else falls into place.  I used to try so hard with you, Lord, and I’m so thankful that I’ve finally learned that it’s not about effort, it’s about relationship.  For those who aren’t working on getting to know you better, I ask that you just put it on their heart to make it a priority.  Help them see the beauty and the love that you represent, and day by day transform them and grow them and renew them.  Do the same for me, Lord, please help me to always stay focused on keeping you first in my life.  And as that relationship with you grows, helps us embrace our position as your ambassador.  Let it not be our burden but instead our great joy to represent you.  Speak through us and work through us, and let us forever realize what an incredible privilege it is to be able to represent you.  Thank you for trusting us and making us a part of your beautiful plans.  I love you and thank you.  Please bless all who are reading this today and speak to them in a special manner.  Show your love to them in a way they’ve never experienced before, just come alive in their day in a manner that can’t be ignored or dismissed.  Thank you for the beauty you continue to create in my life, and thank you for being my friend.  I pray all these things in the precious name of Jesus, amen.

 

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