February 18, 2024 | Doug Sauder
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“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 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 5:16–20 (NIV)
Have you ever served as a representative? Perhaps you’ve acted as a stand-in for a boss at a meeting or were part of a model United Nations in school. Maybe you got to represent your college or even country at a competition or sporting event.
Years ago, I worked for a small college that sent me to a college fair to recruit prospective students. On that day, my words, actions, and attitude not only represented what type of institution we were, they also were instrumental in whether or not prospective students would become enrolled students!
As believers who’ve been saved by the blood of Christ, the apostle Paul tells us we’ve been given the great privilege to serve as Christ’s ambassadors in the greatest recruitment and rescue mission of all time. The Greek word ambassador used in the passage 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 calls us to be for His kingdom!
As Christ’s ambassador, you’re an official representative of heaven and its King. And get this: The Lord is confident you can do the job! How does He know? Because He’s with you and He’s working in and through you by the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19–20).
But listen, in order to do this well and faithfully fulfill our call as ambassadors for Christ and ministers of reconciliation, and to do so “as though God were making his appeal through us,” we must have verse 16 always in the forefront of our minds: “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.” What do I mean by that? Well, if we as believers regard the people from a worldly point of view, our viewpoint will not be favorable. Why? Because all we’ll see are no-good sinners and enemies of God, full of wickedness and depravity. And this will cause us to turn cynical and apathetic toward our call as ambassadors. Instead, we must view people as Jesus views them, as He viewed us when we were lost, dead in our trespasses, and trapped in our sinful state. We must view them through heavenly eyes as those whom Jesus gave His life for, whom God is making His appeal to be reconciled to Him.
This is how we’re called to represent Christ 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, any person who may resent or outright hate Christians, to those whose lifestyle are completely opposed to God’s ways, to the atheist who thinks we’re ignorant fools, to the self-righteous religious person, and to the marginalized person who has been crushed.
God has mobilized a people to reach those who are lost and broken with the good news of Jesus Christ. He’s invited us to come alongside Him in this great mission. He trusts, equips, and empowers us to represent Him, as though He Himself were making His appeal to people, and to view them with His eyes. Will you take up the call?
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’re His mouthpiece—His megaphone—to the people around you. 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 you’re not alone in this work as an ambassador. He’s called you, He’s 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’s 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 is a licensed minister who has served on staff at 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.