The Beautiful Bride - Week 5, Day 4

Ambassadors of Christ

IF… “… he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are … Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:19b-20 (NIV)

IF… “He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.” Colossians 1:28 (NIV)

THEN I will be the best ambassador for Christ that I can be, bringing the message of hope and reconciliation to a lost and hurting world. My love for God and others will compel me to lead others in truth and obedience and toward spiritual maturity.  The wisdom of God’s Word and the power of God’s Spirit in me will equip me with everything I need to teach and minister to others. 

You have been challenged to evaluate how you view the world, to notice the people who need to hear about God’s salvation. Today, I want to encourage you to see beyond the need to save lost souls. Many churches are in the “business” of counting converts. I think that they are really trying to do the right thing, but the problem is that Jesus did not ask us to make converts; He told us to make disciples.

Please don’t get me wrong. I love the Church, and I believe that we must be an active part of a church body. However, many of us have become comfortable living out our faith through just church attendance and maybe some Bible study classes.  We are not equipping ourselves for the Great Commission that Jesus gave us, to reach others with the Gospel and to teach them how to grow and mature in Christ. Often we are encouraged to invite people to church services or church programs to hear the Word of God, but for many of us that is the extent of our disciple-making ability and energy. Most of us leave the job of disciple-making to the “paid professionals.”  After all, for something so important, shouldn’t the ministers and missionaries be the ones to handle the job? 

This faulty thinking produces some devastating consequences!

Problem: The majority of church-going Christians do not know God’s Word well enough to be able to train another disciple. Why should they? They don’t have to be ready because the “pastor” went to school for it.  Effect: Pastors and church staff simply cannot disciple an entire congregation (Jesus only had twelve). Effect: Most Christians are not living through the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit and cannot stand up under Satan’s attacks.

Problem: Churches have often become hospitals for those that are hurting. Many people run to the church for help when their lives are spinning out of control with major life crises. Effect: Many members of church staffs find themselves only having the time to put out fires and and to place band-aids on heart problems that need intentional discipleship. Having been on a church staff for more than a decade, I can testify that your church staff works harder than you can imagine!  Unfortunately, their time is often used up in survival mode.

So what is the solution to these problems? WE ARE! We are God’s plan for the world to know HIS love! Jesus chose twelve men that were “not qualified” to build his church.  He spent time with them; He trained them; and then, He sent them out to do His work and to train others to do the same. This method of discipleship took the world by storm and changed the course of history.  As Christ’s ambassadors, we all must take an active role as His representatives in the world, bringing his message of hope and salvation to people who desperately need it.  What more important work do you have to do today?

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