Ever wish you could get a cushy government job appointment – one where you are selected by an old friend who just got into office, and pretty much just have to take on the title and get paid for it? Maybe you’re designated as a diplomat and stationed in a foreign country that is fairly quiet politically, and has nice weather. As long as you know how to shake hands, you’re pretty well taken care of.1
I’m pretty sure that none of my high school friends went into politics, and I haven’t saved anyone’s life recently, so there’s a good chance that I won’t score an appointment like this.
However, there’s another role that I can’t hope to earn, but which I have been offered. When I was living for myself, without any hope for eternity, God extended both the gifts of salvation and of membership in His family to me:
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
2 Corinthians 5:18-20 NLT
And, this role is a pretty great deal:
- I didn’t study for it, nor prove myself worthy of it. In fact, I haven’t always been good to God, who still gave me this mission. Despite my not deserving it, God selected me (and other adopted members of His family) to be ambassadors.
- The perks are pretty incredible. God gives His Holy Spirit to dwell in me. He speaks His word to the world through me (not that I necessarily receive prophecy, but just reiterating what God arranged to be written down in the Bible is still a great responsibility). He gives me the chance to spread His message of grace and mercy.
- No matter what rages around me in the world of evil in which I’m stationed, I’m always a member of the Kingdom of Heaven. The “foreign country” where I’m serving (this fallen world, ruined by sin…including my own, I’m afraid) is consumed with war, greed, selfishness, pride, and rebellion. However, I know that even if the embassy in which I’m serving (this mortal body itself) is burned to the ground, I retain citizenship in God’s kingdom.
On the other hand, just remaining holed up and not getting the word out about God’s kingdom would be selfish. Yes, I could stay in the embassy and just watch TV, complaining about how other countries aren’t as good as the one I’m representing. I could put on a tuxedo and look at myself in the mirror. But if I did, I wouldn’t be a very good ambassador.
So, I have an obligation to get out and tell people about the kingdom that I represent. I need to actually be an ambassador and advocate for peace with anyone who still lives in conflict with the Kingdom of God. I need to be sure that I’m accurately representing the principles of this kingdom, and giving other people a good idea of what citizens of that kingdom are expected to act like. It’s a good job, but it still takes work.
If you have signed up to be God’s ambassador, you have the same calling. Be sure you’re getting the word out and working for peace on earth. If you’re not already appointed to that role, let me know and I can put you in contact with Someone (Jesus Christ, that is) who can get you in!
- Yes, I realize that there’s more to being a diplomat than that, and I mean no disrespect to the ambassadors who have paid for their loyalty to their country with hard times, or even with their life. In many cases, though, an appointed diplomat to the right country can be a pretty nice job! ↩