Devotional: January 22, 2021
We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.
Second Corinthians 5: 19-20 The Message
Who are we as followers of Christ? In this portion of his second letter to the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul reminds us that we are Christ’s representatives to those who do not know Jesus. Other translations characterize us as “Christ’s Ambassadors.” Regardless of the exact English word used by various bible translations, the idea remains the same: Representing Christ to the world is one of our primary responsibilities as followers of Christ.
When I was in seminary at Princeton N.J., we would go to Washington D.C. quite often. My mom’s sister lived there, and we were only a couple of hours away. The Embassies of different countries are scattered throughout the city, but many are clustered together along Embassy Row (Massachusetts Avenue). Each embassy represents a different country from around the world. Sometimes, the exterior design of an embassy would reflect that country's architecture.
The ambassador is the representative of their country in a foreign land. His or her words and actions can have a great impact upon international relationships. Ideally, the ambassador represents the best interests of their own country, and contributes to healthy relationships with the host country. This is an enormous and extremely important responsibility. An ambassador is usually conducting his or her job on foreign soil.
As Christ’s ambassadors, we are not representing ourselves. We represent Christ to the world. How we present ourselves, even in the tiniest of moments, is still a representation of Christ. We literally are representing Christ in everything we say and do. As one person observed, “You may be the only Christ that some will see, the only bible they will read.”
A brief conversation with someone may resonate with them for some time. As they walk away, will they say to themselves, “Wow, that person really talks and walks their faith!” Or, will they mutter to themselves, “…and that person calls themselves a Christian?”
How well are we representing Christ to our friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, a clerk at a store, or a delivery person? Are we worthy of the title of “Christ’s ambassador,” or “Representative of Jesus?”
Most importantly, do we make it easier for people to understand the reign of Christ? Only Jesus knows the ultimate answer to this question. We must never settle into thinking that our work here on earth is done. There will always be new territories and opportunities for us, where we might share God’s love for everyone. We all have the opportunities to be Christ’s ambassadors. What an honor! May we live up to this high calling!
Thank You, Lord, for that person who introduced me to You, and taught me about Your unconditional love. They were truly Your ambassador, even showing me the way to begin a personal relationship with You. Help me to be the person that causes others to want to know more about You. May I be Your ambassador, and Your faithful representative. Forgive me when I neglect You, or forget that every interaction I have with others is an opportunity to represent You to them. May I be an ambassador of Your love to all who cross my path today.
Humbly I pray this prayer in the name of Your Son, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen