My day job in in public relations. I do this work for a public school and also for the Episcopal Diocese of Albany. There is a lot of behind the scenes work like writing, social media, monitoring the news and so forth. However, occasionally I get called by a reporter or receive and email or Facebook message that requires me to give an answer on behalf of my employer and I must always remember that I am representing them when I answer. I have been given the authority as the Communications Officer to speak on their behalf. Therefore the biggest part of my job is to get to know the person and the organization that I am representing and that takes time building relationships, listening, asking questions and increasing my knowledge about the person I am representing. In a way, I am called to be an ambassador.
I came across this phrase when I was preparing my sermon and I want to tell you that it really empowered me….
“When you know WHO you are, you’ll know WHAT to do”
I think a lot of times in life we have a hard time figuring out who we are. We sort of look at different aspects of our life and use them to try to define ourselves. I’m a wife. I’m a mother. I am an artist. I am a student. I’m a minister. These things are all true but my identity comes from something that is bigger than myself.
I am God’s Child and I am Christ’s Ambassador
In our 2 Corinthians reading (2 Cor 5:16-21) St. Paul says:
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come! …..We therefore are Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us”
So guess what – if you profess that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior – you are an ambassador of Christ.
This gets me excited and I hope you also find that to be empowering. But where do we go from here? The first step is recognizing WHO we are.
Paul says if we believe in Christ we are a new creation. Accepting the forgiveness that God offers is important and should cause your soul to stir a bit. Listen….
Once you were lost, but now you are found!
Once you were a sinner, but now through Christ you are made righteous!
The old is gone, you are forgiven!
In Psalm 32 we read in the opening verse:
“Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven and whose sin is put away……..”
And in the last verse “ Be glad, you righteous and rejoice in the Lord; shout for joy, all who are true of heart”
There is nothing greater out there then the fact that through Jesus our sins are forgiven and that God has adopted us into His family and just like the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, when we make bad choices our Father in Heaven still considers us His sons and daughters and forgives us when we make our way back to Him.
We have to believe this and understand that this is where our identity lies because….
“When you know WHO you are, you’ll know WHAT to do”
So I’ll tell you again….
If you are in Christ, you are His ambassador.
So, what does that mean….
In our country an ambassador is the President’s highest-ranking representative to a specific nation. An ambassador is not an elected office but is chosen by the President and appointed with authority to represent him.
Dear church, YOU WERE CHOSEN BY JESUS AS HIS REPRESENTATIVE. Jesus says in John 15:16, “You did not choose me, I chose you and appointed you go and bear fruit”
The way you speak, the way you act, the way you behave changes when you know you are chosen by God to be his ambassador. Think of yourself in this light, and believe me, it will change you. Because when you own the fact that you are Christ’s ambassador you realize that you are not representing yourself, but you are ALWAYS representing Christ.
Sometimes we get too concerned with ourselves. We think about how we look, our performance, our ability to speak, our reputation, our image, what others will think…
But guess what, it’s not about you, or me, as an ambassador we represent someone else…..and he is PERFECT
Our confidence lies in the one who has called us, not in our own ability. And if that weren’t enough – God promises us that he will be with is.
Do you remember the story of Moses in the book of Exodus when stood in the presence of God in front of the burning bush being given the task to lead the Israelites? He offered many excuses as to why he was not qualified. But God told him “I will be with you”. At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, as Jesus is sending out his disciples he says, “I will always be with you, until the very end of the age”
Jesus is with us. He is with us individually. He is with our church and I do believe He wants to use us to reach those around us and here is how we can start.
#1 – I told you earlier about my job and I said the most important thing for me to to is get to know the person I am representing so that my words reflect who they are. So I encourage you to dive daily into God’s word and spend time in prayer so you can get to know Jesus. As his ambassadors, we need to do that work. Fellowship with other believers at church and in community to experience God’s church. Listen to Christian radio, music, immerse yourself in Him, so you get to know Him and are able to represent him the best you can.
#2 – Allow that fact that you are Christ’s ambassador to fill you and carry that confidence with you as you go to school, or work, or to the committee you volunteer for, or to the grocery store. Don’t leave that identity at the door, but take it out into your community and the world – and remember that Jesus goes with you.
You are Christ’s ambassador in your community, and through you He can and will change the lives of those around you.