The other night, I began to have a heavy burden laid on my heart. It is a burden that all Christians should carry, though some of us may carry it more than others.
This burden is that of witnessing to my faith.
We should all be preaching the message, not just with our actions, but with our words as well. However, with this burden came something heavier:
Do my actions reflect my faith? Or is the message of God discredited as a result of the life that I live?
If I preach the gospel to those around me, particularly those who know me and see me regularly, will my message of the life-changing work of Christ have impact if my life doesn’t look like Christ changed it?
It was in those moments that God spoke very particular scriptures into my heart:
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light”. (1 Peter 2:9-10; CSB)
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: ‘Be reconciled to God'”. (2 Corinthians 5:20; CSB)
Listen to what Paul says: we are ambassadors. What does it mean to be an ambassador?
It means we represent God. We are His mouthpiece on earth. We are the vessels He chooses to work through.
Most nations in the world have ambassadors, people they send to other countries to represent them. Sometimes ambassadors are sent to help establish treaties and handle difficult situations. Other times, they are people who help establish a connection with the country to which they have been sent and represent the desires and policies of the leader who sent them.
There are also people who are known as brand ambassadors. These people typically where the brand they are representing, they talk about the benefits of the brand and sometimes do promos or sales for the company.
However, were either one of these types of ambassadors commit a crime or misrepresent their company or country, it is entirely possible that they could lose their position and be replaced by someone else who will be an effective representative.
Now, I’m not saying that God will cut us off for misrepresenting Him or that He will replace us with another ambassador if we screw up. That would subvert His own mercy and forgiveness.
However, we do run a risk if we misrepresent God. We run the risk of people not listening to us. We run the risk of people calling us hypocrites. And we run the risk of more people turning away from the Church.
It is important that, as His ambassadors, we accurately represent Him. We line our lives, our hearts, our will up to His. And we be reconciled to God, just as we are pleading on His behalf (2 Cor. 5:20).
Otherwise, we run the risk of this Scripture referring to us:
“…do you dishonor God by breaking the law? For, as it is written: ‘The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you'” (Romans 2:23b-24; CSB).