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That is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
When St. Paul wrote these sentences, few people cared about the Christian church. Most of them could not care about it because they had never heard of it. Those who did know apparently did not believe that much would ever come of it. Today the church is a vast fellowship of believers throughout the world. Yet, despite this apparent success, the debate goes on everywhere—inside the church and out—as to whether the Christian church makes any difference or even whether it possibly can or should make any difference.
All the world has a stake in what the church does as it carries God's mission forward. Even as God sent His Son into the world, so He sends His church, His "ambassadors for Christ," into the world, too. In politics, a nation's ambassador is always on foreign soil, serving on temporary assignment. They must have the capacity to identify with and be sympathetic to the people they live among. They must be able to clearly communicate the message and intention of whomever has sent them into service.
As ambassadors for Christ, we come as brothers and sisters in search of brothers and sisters who are lost and need our help. We communicate God's eternal love to them (see Ephesians 1:3-10), reminding them that because of what Jesus has done on the cross, forgiveness is available to all: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
We of the church come to the rest of the world as Christ came to men and women in His time. We seek nothing but to live as spokespersons for God. We carry His message forward, and we do so by His authority (see Matthew 28:19-20). We are prepared to share the truth of God's love in word and deed. It is our hope our daily lives and actions point to the Savior who gave His all for us.
If we fail as ambassadors, forgive us for falling short as Christ's representatives. But if in our words and deeds you sense something of the love that God has for you, then thank Him for this gift. If by God working through us you come to know and love Him, then join us as ambassadors to others—sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with a world and making a difference by your witness.
Heavenly Father, thank You for making us ambassadors in the service of Your Son. Amen.
Taken from the message, "The Church as God's Ambassador to the World" by Rev. Dr. Oliver R. Harms
1. Do you consider yourself an ambassador for Christ? If so, how does that figure into your day-to-day life?Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
2. How has God reconciled the world to Himself through Jesus?
3. How does God use people today to make His appeal to others?
When St. Paul wrote these sentences, few people cared about the Christian church.