An Ambassadorial Lifestyle

January 23, 2008

My Christian friend, do you realize that we are ambassadors for Christ?  2 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 20 says, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ,…” What a responsibility, what a privilege!  

In the book, “Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands” by Paul David Tripp, he says, “You must always seek to faithfully represent his message, methods, and character.  God sends unfinished people to unfinished people with the message of his grace so that he can reclaim every heart for his glory.”

Here are eight core truths of an ambassadorial lifestyle that Tripp lays out for us:

Truth #1.  We need God and his truth to live as we were meant to live (Gen. 1:26; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).

Truth #2.  Each of us has been called by God to be his instruments of change in the lives of others, beginning with our families and the church (Eph. 4:11-16; Col. 3:15-17). 

Truth #3.  Our behavior is rooted in the thoughts and motives of our hearts.  People and situations only prompt our hearts to express themselves in words and actions (Pr. 4:23; Lk. 6:43-45; Mt. 23:25; Ja. 4:1-10).

Truth #4.  Christ has called us to be his ambassadors, following his message, methods, and character (2 Cor. 5:14-21). 

Truth #5.  Being an instrument of change involves incarnating the love of Christ by sharing in people’s struggles, identifying with their suffering, and extending God’s grace as well call them to change.  

Truth #6.  Being an instrument of change means seeking to know people by guarding against false assumptions, asking good questions, and interpreting information in a distinctly biblical way (Pr. 20:5; Heb. 4:14-16). 

Truth #7.  Being an instrument of change means speaking the truth in love.  With the gospel as our comfort and call, we can help people see themselves in God’s Word and lead them to repentance (Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 6:1-2; Ja. 1:22-25).

Truth #8.  Being an instrument of change means helping people do what God calls them to do by clarifying responsibility, offering loving accountability, and reminding them of their identity in Christ (Phil. 2:1-14; 2 Pet. 1:3-9; 1 Jn. 3:1-3; Gal. 6:2).    

A True Hunger for God

January 15, 2008

Let’s begin by stating what Jesus, the Son of God said in Matthew chapter 5 verse 6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”  And let me quote my Saviour once again, when He said, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”  

Two verses from the Word of God, two quotes from Jesus Himself, two sayings that are noteworthy and true.  So friend, where does that leave us?  Does that leave us wanting? Wanting more? Are these verses quenching our thirst?  Do they leave us desiring more? Are we filled with other things?  Do we have an appetite at all?    

Now, any ‘joe’ understands that Christ is not speaking about twelve grain bread on the shelves of Wegman’s and mountain fresh water from a Nalgene.  But, maybe someone is a bit confused, similar to Nicodemus (Jn. 3:4).   So, let me try to explain a little what is meant here…if I can.  Now, God’s people in the OT complained about their basic necessities, food and water when God, through Moses, lead them out of the land of slavery.  So, God in His kindness, fed them from heaven, with manna.  Now, in John, Jesus says that He is the bread of life. With the physical bread in Exodus, people were full, but just for a brief period of time, but for us to feed spiritually on Christ, we are filled for all eternity.  So, when the Son of God says, “for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied”, it is meaning that what they seek will fill them, i.e. it will satisfy their spiritual needs for a right relationship with God.    See, we, God’s creation have rebelled against the Creator.  There’s a rift between us called sin.  God desires a right relationship, but a holy God cannot have that with an unholy being.  So, what God did was to send His one and only Son, Jesus Christ.  He sent Him to die a death that we should die.  So, the perfect man-child, the sinless Christ took on sin for us on the Tree.  He died in our place and rose from the grave.  He conquered death. Death could not hold Him.  So, we, those who repent and believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, will be saved.    

C.J. Mahaney asks, “Has the past year seen an increase or decrease in your appetite for God, his presence, his righteousness, and his Word?”  He continues on in “Disciplines for Life” by saying, “If your hunger has subsided, it is imperative that you seek God’s diagnosis and make whatever changes are necessary–no matter how drastic.  Your condition requires immediate care.”  With the Holy Spirit, one is enabled to repent and to change directions toward Christ and his Word.  Now, if this is you, and this is definitely me too, let’s “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”.  

Let’s begin with the simple “time bandits” of the worthless shows on the telly, the unprofitable bla of YouTube on the Internet, etc. and etc.  Let’s kill them completely.  Let’s get rid of the tool’s of Satan, for they hurt and dull our walk with our Saviour and God.  The question is asked, “Would you be willing to have all the movies you have seen in the past six months printed in next week’s church bulletin?  Why or why not?”  I would go as far as to ask, would you be willing to have all the time that you wasted on other things, than the Lord Jesus Himself, who took on sin for us, died a gruesome death, to be posted in next week’s church bulletin?  Why or why not?

Will you hunger now for God?  Truly hunger for righteousness?  Crave, desire? Will you be satisfied with Him and Him alone?  So, go.  Feed.  And be filled in Christ. Pastor and author, John Piper, says this in the preface of “A Hunger for God”, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.  The fight of faith is a fight to feast on all that God is for us in Christ.”   

Disclaimer

January 9, 2008

By God’s grace, I’m the church administrator at Guilford Baptist Church in Sterling, Virginia. This is my personal blog, and what’s here does not necessarily represent the views of Guilford Baptist Church. Feel free to leave a comment and Lord bless.

What is the World to Me?

January 6, 2008

I would like to start out the month and the new year with this hymn.  What a wonderful hymn it is!  May your month and year focus on Christ and Christ alone.  

What is the world to me With all its vaunted pleasure When Thou, and Thou alone, Lord Jesus, art my Treasure!  Thou only, dearest Lord, My soul’s Delight shalt be; Thou art my Peace, my Rest, What is the world to me!   

The world seeks after wealth And all that Mammon offers, Yet never is content Though gold should fill its coffers.  I have a higher good, Content with Him I’ll be; My Jesus is my Wealth, What is the world to me! 

The world is like a cloud And like a vapor fleeting, A shadow that declines, Swift to its end retreating.  My Jesus doth abide, Though all things fade and flee; My everlasting Rock, What is the world to me!

 

Words, Georg M. Pfefferkorn (1646-1731) trans. August Crull (1845-1923), Music, Ahasverus Fritsch (1629-1701) arr. J.S. Bach (1685-1750), Public Domain 

Happy New Year

January 2, 2008

“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” 1 Timothy 1:15  

May Christ’s blessing be upon you.