By Carmen LaBerge, Crosswalk.com
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. - 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
God calls us to walk in the Spirit and keep in step with Him. That means that the life of the Christian is not passive. In order to be a Kingdom ambassador as He has called us to be, we need to take three important steps: the first is incarnational, the second is relational, and the final step is transformational.
Step One - Incarnational: Letting the Holy Spirit Lead
Jesus is the Word made flesh. He took on humanity and dwelt among us in order to fulfill God's plan to atone for our sin on the cross. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we become the physical vessels that Christ uses to reach others to reconcile them to Himself. We are His hands and feet, and when people encounter us, God's plan is that they would also be encountering Christ. We must take every opportunity to demonstrate the Gospel to others.
Now, don't allow that to cause you to fear. It's not you that’s doing the work, it's the Holy Spirit in you. The Holy Spirit empowers us to walk with people in the midst of the realities of life and to help them think from God’s perspective. Don’t feel like the person has to accept Christ on the spot or you have failed. Your job is to keep the divine appointments that God has set each day. For example, the next time you are out in public, don’t be afraid to pray over your food in public. I typically also take this as an opportunity to ask the server if there's a request he or she would like me to lift up in prayer. This offer has NEVER been refused. At the end of the meal I make sure to let the server know that they will continue to be in my prayers and also leave a generous tip. Even if I have to order less of a meal in order to be generous with the tip, it's worth it to be a good witness.
Step Two - Relational: Caring about the Issues of Others
News flash: you weren't saved merely for your own benefit. Yes, Christ died for you, but the Gospel is a whole lot bigger than that. God is a relational Father and cares deeply about what He has made. Because of the relational aspect of God, we must care about the concerns of others. In our friendships, at work, or even with our family, we care about the issues of their lives because we have concern for them as God would. It is the Christian relational witness that leads us to value, appreciate, and have concern for Creation, people of every nation, tribe, and tongue. Whether it’s politics or any other issue, it’s all about people and that is what leads us to engage and lead in order to be Christ’s witnesses
Step Three - Transformational: Jesus Changes Everything
Do you believe Jesus changes everything? Although there are individuals, institutions, and situations in which a spirit other than Christ is now reigning, God uses His ambassadors to change the current reality. The Millennial generation is typically described as those born between 1980 and 2000. Millennials are most likely to be religiously unaffiliated so unless something changes, they will not replace Baby Boomers in the pews of America's churches. In order to fulfill the Great Commission to this generation and the next, we must make sure that we tell them our story, listen to God, and also to the conversation going on in the world around us. Consider this: if you start putting yourself in proximity with sinners, over time you might actually meet someone God is interested in reaching with the redemptive good news of the Gospel. People can't hear what no one is saying.
So, as Kingdom ambassadors, we represent a King that is and always will be. If you wondered what on earth you are supposed to be doing today, that, my friend, is it. Time to step up to our calling.
Carmen LaBerge is the author of Speak the Truth: Bring God Back into the Conversation published in September 2017 by Regnery Faith. Carmen is a writer, speaker and host of the daily Christian talk radio show The Reconnect. She is also in her ninth year serving as the President of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, a ministry that’s been working to equip Christians for faithful witness for more than 50 years.
Publication date: October 4, 2017
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