This is the first of three posts. Read the second post.
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
I love the Apostle Paul’s word choice here - ambassador.
The job of an ambassador is to represent someone or something. Everything he does and says must intentionally represent a leader who isn’t physically present. His calling isn’t limited to forty hours a week, to certain state events, or to times of international crisis. He’s always the king’s representative.
In other words, the work of an ambassador is incarnational. His actions, character, and words embody the king who isn’t present. In the same way, Paul says that God has called us all to function as His ambassadors. Everything we say and do has import because of the King we represent.
This isn’t a part-time calling. It’s a lifestyle. We represent God’s purposes to the people He places in our lives. The primary issue is, “How can I best represent the King in this place, with this particular person?” This is much broader than a commitment to formal ministry occupying a portion of our schedule.
When we, as ambassadors, assume our responsibilities, our lives cease to be our own. We need to acknowledge that our lives belong to the King. Our lives don’t belong to us for our own fulfillment anymore.
Can you see where we get ourselves into trouble? Often we don’t really want to live as ambassadors. We want to live for ourselves. But I’ll discuss that in the next post.