Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Good Ambassadorship Brings Glory To God

“A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health” (Proverbs 13:17).

“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”” (II Corinthians 5:20).

For Americans who wish to serve abroad, ambassador is one of the most highly sought after positions.  This position is commonly handed out based on political favors to the president or to the political party that the president belongs to.  Although our sinful nature can corrupt the appointment of ambassadors by placing people in these positions who lack the proper qualifications, there are a number of reasons why people who show loyalty to the president are appointed.

To develop a clear understanding of this and of what Paul was talking about, we need to know more about the duties and responsibilities that ambassadors hold.  It is first important to note that ambassadors live in countries that are not their own.   The Bible makes it clear that as believers, this world is not a home to us because our home is in heaven.  An ambassador, however, is not just someone who lives in a different country.  There are lots of people with visas who go to other countries on vacation, but these individuals are tourists, rather than ambassadors. Tourists enter into foreign countries solely for personal enjoyment or for a vacation.  None of them have the intention of working there.

Another important consideration is that ambassadors are the embodiment of the nations they represent. Many inhabitants of the countries they visit may be unfamiliar with the ambassador's home country. They may never have even met a person from the ambassador's homeland, and they may never met another person from that land again. An ambassador shoulders the responsibility of displaying behavior that he wants associated with his home country, because to the natives of the country he is visiting, this behavior will become representative of all members of the ambassador's home country. Bad behavior promotes a bad image of his homeland, and good behavior promotes a good image of his homeland.

An ambassador also serves as the face of his country to everyone he encounters.  Many people who live in a country are not going to travel abroad and this means that the ambassador is the only person who they will see from a particular foreign country.  If the behavior of the ambassador is poor, people will assume that everyone from his home nation behaves in the same way.

Marines who had been deployed to Japan were given a warning from their base commander that they were all serving as ambassadors for both their branch of the US military and their country and they were therefore instructed to behave honorably.  Some time ago, there were Marines in this region who raped a young woman from Okinawa.  Widespread protests arose given that most residents on the island believed that this behavior was indicative of every American.

These Marines were wicked messengers rather than faithful ambassadors.  As a believer in Christ, whether you like it or not, you serve as an ambassador for Christ.  This means that you have no right to promote an agenda of your own, but are instead instructed to share the message that you have been given to share.  This why Paul, when speaking to the residents of Corinth, said that he was talking in Christ's stead and asking that they be reconciled to God.

Is the life that you're living sanctified and holy in order for you to be a good representative of your heavenly home while you live in this world?  When people see you, what will they think that heaven is really like?  Would your lifestyle make people want to live in heaven or would they think that heaven should be avoided?  Are you a wicked servant or a faithful ambassador?  You have to make this determination, given that you are completely aware of your own lifestyle.

God is appealing to us as believer in Christ to live our lives in a way that He can be reflected through us. We are God’s representatives on this earth; He is doing His work through us by the person of the Holy Spirit. Our responsibility is to get into the word of God, so that we can know His ways. In addition, we are commanded to live a life that pleases Him. That's why it's very important that we learn what is sanctification?

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