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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 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. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”—2 Corinthians 5:17–20 (NIV)
Have you ever been a representative for your company, family, team, or country? I remember while working at a college, I was sent to a college fair to recruit prospective students. On that day, my words, actions, and attitude not only represented what type of organization we were, but was also instrumental in whether or not prospective students would become enrolled students!
As believers, we have the most amazing, life-changing news to share: the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s both our great privilege and mission to share this good news. In today’s passage, the apostle Paul calls us Christ’s ambassadors. The Greek word for that is presbeúō, which speaks of one who acts “as an established statesman or diplomat–a trusted, respected representative who is authorized to speak as an emissary.” It was a term ascribed to official representatives of the Roman Emperor. This is basically what I was for that college, and it’s what God wants us to be for His kingdom!
Ambassadors must be responsible and trustworthy. Imagine if the President sends you to represent the U.S.A. at an international meeting. He’s trusting your presence will characterize what it means to be a citizen of this country—to exemplify hope, freedom, opportunity, truth, and justice. And the very fact you were asked shows he’s confident you can do the job. Similarly, being Christ’s ambassador means you’re an official representative of heaven and its King, the Lord God.
But there’s a second aspect of this word ambassador that I find to be very interesting. It means a person who can deal with people in a sensitive and effective way. When you combine those two definitions of ambassador, you understand more clearly what Paul was communicating in today’s passage. He said, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”
Friends, as children of God, as brothers and sisters, as a community of heirs in God and coheirs with Christ, we’re called to represent Christ the same way He represented Himself when He walked among us. That’s how we need to represent Him—sensitively and effectively—to the people in our world: to our friends, neighbors, teachers, classmates, the waiter or waitress at the restaurant, the customer service rep when we call about our internet service, the homeless person asking for money, the person who is mean to us, the LGBTQ+ person who may resent Christians, the atheist who thinks we’re ignorant fools, the self-righteous religious person, and the marginalized person who has been crushed. We’re called to represent Jesus to all people with love, compassion, grace, peace, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, and truth as we walk in, live out, and share the glorious gospel, the good news of Jesus!
Pause: What are the responsibilities of an ambassador? How are you living in light of your calling as Christ’s ambassador? In what ways can you grow in your representation of Christ to the world?
Practice: Consider this: God has called you to be His ambassador as though He Himself were making His appeal to the world. That means you are His mouthpiece—His megaphone—to the people around you. But there’s an amazing promise in that calling. Matthew 28:20 (NLT) says, “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Romans 8:11 (NLT) says, “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.” And Hebrews 13:20–22 (NLT) declares, “Now may the God of peace—who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.”
Rest in these promises today, friends. Know that you’re not out there alone in this work as an ambassador. He has called you, He has equipped you, and He will work in, through, and around you as you surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the good works He has prepared in advance for you to walk in!
Pray: Father, I thank You for giving me this amazing privilege to be Your ambassador in a world that desperately needs You! I pray You would equip me and my fellow brothers and sisters to honor this call, to come together to represent Your kingdom and Your Son in such a way that it draws people to You! Amen.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.