October 25, 2018
“A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.” Proverbs 13:17.
As Christians we represent Jesus. Representatives reflect on the company they work for and people judge the company by those who represent them. For instance, a good salesman will listen to the needs of a customer and know what product he has that will best fill that need. That reflects well on the company he represents. In the political arena, there are ambassadors. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines an ambassador as “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 or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment.” That sounds like an important position, and it is. Did you know that you’re an ambassador? This world is only a temporary residence for anyone, and a Christian’s true home is in Heaven. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20. While we live on this side of Heaven we are ambassadors for our Lord in this lost and fallen world. It’s important to reflect Jesus in all we say and do. We must represent Him honestly.
When we first come to Christ we come dragging a load of sin with us. No matter what sins you were drowning in, Jesus still died for you. He loved you then and He loves you now. All your sins are forgiven when you accept Jesus for salvation. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. You need to repent of your sin. Repent is to understand what sin is and turn away from it. Once you know you cannot save yourself from damnation and turn your life over to Jesus you need to change your mind about sin…ask for forgiveness. It’s important to study Scripture to understand what sin there is in your life and turn away from it. If you intentionally hold on to a sin, then you haven’t repented. Jesus needs to be your Savior, but He also needs to be your Lord. If He is your Lord then you submit to His rule over you. His light won’t shine through the blackness of sins you refuse to let go of. He is patient, and the Holy Spirit will keep urging you to turn from sin. The full joy of your salvation can only come when you let go of sin. Study Scripture and apply it to your life.
We’re all sinners so how can we reflect God’s love? Studying Scripture will show us God’s way. As we study we learn to judge our life by His standards, not human standards. Prayer helps us to seek God’s guidance and give us the strength to resist temptation. As we grow in our understanding of God we learn to conform our will to His. The closer we walk with Him the more we will reflect His love and His light. The sun is a powerful source of light which God created on the fourth day of creation week. That same day He created the moon which reflects the light of the sun. The Son of God is the light that Christians should reflect. Just as the moon reflects sunlight, Christians need to reflect Son-light. We can’t reflect His light if we choose to continue walking in darkness. After Jesus had forgiven a woman who was taken in adultery, He told her to go and sin no more…leave the darkness of sin behind. Then He turned to the crowd. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12. This world is a dark place filled with wickedness and we need the Light of God’s love. Another time when Jesus spoke to a multitude of followers He said “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid…let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14 & 16. Christians reflect the light of God into this world so that He will be glorified.
What was it that brought you to Jesus? Was it a huge building with stained glass windows? That building might draw you in out of a cold winter’s night, but it will never bring you to salvation. Salvation comes from understanding that you’re a sinner and only the blood of Jesus can take your sin away. The only way you’ll come to know that is if an ambassador for Christ shares the Gospel with you. “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:19-20. Unfortunately, Christians quite often keep silent instead of speaking boldly. Why do we keep silent? One reason might be that we haven’t studied Scripture and are afraid to be asked questions we can’t answer. Another reason is that we aren’t reflecting Christ as we should. Many Christians live with one foot in the world and forget that we’re supposed to turn away from the lusts of the fallen world to follow Jesus. You cannot reflect His light if your motto is “Do as I say, not as I do”. You might also keep silent because you’re afraid of judging. If we first get the mote out of our own eye by submitting our will to Jesus we can better see to discern God’s will in all things. “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24. According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary, the use of the word “krino” (translated judge) in this verse means “to form an opinion”. For example, Scripture tells us that stealing is a sin. If you see a fellow Christian shoplifting, should you ignore it? None of us are perfect, but we can use Scripture to form an opinion regarding our own actions as well as the actions of others. We cannot be a reflection of God’s love if we allow a brother or sister to continue in sin. When Jesus met a sinner, which was everyone He met, He didn’t leave them in sin. He loved everyone enough to lead them out of sin and eternal death into His love and eternal life. We need to reflect that love to others.
Scripture is clear that God is love. He IS love. Sugar is sweet, water is wet, and God is love. If we claim to be born again we need to let it show through our actions and words. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8. John wrote these words to believers and says to “love one another”. If we care for fellow Christians with the love of God, then those who don’t know Jesus will see our love for each other and want the be a part of it. That’s when a door is opened to share the Gospel. Jesus commanded us to spread the Gospel throughout the world, and what better way to open doors to reach the lost than to love our fellow Christians. Don’t get me wrong. A kind word or a bit of food could be the reflection of God’s love that draws a lost sinner to salvation. Don’t ignore the lost, but give them the Gospel message. Do all things in the name of Jesus and for His glory.
In showing God’s love to others, don’t allow sin to diminish your witness. In other words, don’t become a thief to reach a thief. “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” Romans 12:9. It takes judgment and discernment to recognize what is evil in the sight of the Lord and to abhor it. Jesus never turned a sinner away, but He never joined in their sin. Jesus became sin for us when He sacrificed Himself on the cross, but that’s very different than sinning as an excuse to reach the lost. Jesus is our example to follow. He loved the people around Him but He didn’t allow their sin to corrupt Him. “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:4. Be vigilant over your own walk with God. We’ve all heard of pastors who seemed to be on fire for the Lord and their congregations grew by leaps and bounds, but then sin overtakes them and they are brought down. Their sin reflects on all of Christians and mostly on our Lord. Their lusting after the riches and pleasures of this world show where their heart is. It isn’t with Jesus. Like all sin, they can repent and find forgiveness in Jesus, but damage is done to all Christians. We need to look at our life and our actions daily to be sure that we are walking right with Jesus according to His word. The unsaved world around us take pleasure when a Christian fails. That shows that people are watching us. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” 1 John 2:6. Let all those around you see Christ reflected in your life.
The moon reflects sunlight. It orbits around the earth and the earth orbits around the sun. Each day there is less light reflected as a shadow begins to cover the moon. Eventually the sun’s light is hidden. That’s how sin can block the light of Jesus from shining in us. Be vigilant over your walk with our Lord and let His light be fully reflected in your life.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at our Home Page under the Newsletter Archive tab.
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.