Dad was a U.S. Navy chaplain, but first he was an ordained Assemblies of God minister. When church denominations ordain a person, the ministers are representatives or ambassadors of their denomination. If they are commissioned into the military as chaplain they are brought in as ambassadors of their respective church, but they also become ambassadors for the military.
What is an ambassador?
Merriam's online dictionary says: 1) an official envoy; especially a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government. 2) an authorized representative or messenger. 3) an unofficial representative, such as ambassadors of goodwill.
That covers a lot of ground!
One time when dad preached in the Navy chapel on the Pentecostal experience as found in Acts chapter 2, he was challenged by his Navy superiors. But dad wisely explained that he was an ambassador for his authorities -- both church and military -- and could be accused of gross negligence if he forsook his responsibilities. His superiors understood and backed down.
One time when I was told that I could lose my job because I openly stood for Biblical morality and against politically-correct morality, I explained on a scientific basis what the issues were, that I was an ambassador for truth, and that I would not back down from truth. I did not lose my job; instead, my reputation increased.
What or whom do you represent? If you work for a company, you represent that business and are its ambassador. If you work for yourself, you should be known as a person of integrity; and therefore, are an ambassador of honesty, reliability, and accountability.
When you call Sears (or whatever company) to do a job for you, if the worker looks sloppy or acts disgraceful you will be hesitant to do business with that company again. Why? The company may be great, but that ambassador presented a poor image. It works that way all through life -- including with your faith.
Are you a Christian? A Jew? An Atheist? You are an ambassador of your faith. (Yes, an Atheist has faith: faith that there is no God.) With more than 4,000 religions in the world, I'll refer to Christians now because I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
A U.S. ambassador represents the U.S. President; therefore, he must act in a manner that befits the office of the president. Likewise, a Christian represents Jesus Christ and should live and worship in a manner that befits the office of our Lord.
The U.S. ambassador knows the president, has personal interaction with him, and learns to know how the president thinks.
But Jesus is more than a president or a king -- Jesus is God. So how do we properly represent Him?
As with the president's ambassadors, Christ's ambassadors must know Jesus, have personal interaction with Him, and learn to know how He thinks. How do we do that? We diligently read and study the Bible.
Second Corinthians 2:16 starts with, "Who can know the Lord's thoughts?" And it ends with, "We have the mind of Christ." The end of the verse answers the first part. Having the mind of Christ means His thoughts are available to us. We can know how Jesus thinks by studying the Book that tells us how He thinks: the Bible.
Second Corinthians 5:20 says, "We [Christians] are Christ's ambassadors; God is making his appeal to you through us. We speak for Christ ....'" THAT is a heavy responsibility!
The following are words of a song written by Verona Wagner that I learned as a child:
We are Christ's Ambassadors, and our colors we must unfurl.
We must wear a spotless robe, clean and righteous before the world.
We must show we're cleansed from sin and that Jesus dwells within.
Proving duly that we're truly Christ's Ambassadors.
In order to be an ambassador for Jesus, we must be loyal and obedient to God, live a life that honors God, and treat others the way we want to be treated. We should avoid activities that Jesus would not approve. Christ's ambassadors must not allow their worship experiences to reflect the ways and actions of the non-Christian world. And don't mock the Lord by an ungodly lifestyle.
Jesus is the best friend you can have; but do not forget -- He is God. And if you claim to be a Christian, you also claim to be Christ's ambassador. Are you fulfilling your responsibilities?
-- Gene Linzey is a speaker, author and mentor. Send comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed are those of the author.Religion on 08/01/2018
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