Yesterday I quoted Paul David Tripp on God’s agenda for the church to be an incarnational community on earth, so that our very presence would reveal His grace and truth-laden glory. And in 2 Corinthians 5:14-6:2 we find the call of incarnational living, that is, to be an ambassador for Christ. So what is an ambassador? Paul David Tripp gives us an excellent look at the answer:
“The job of an ambassador is represent someone or something. Everything he does and says must intentionally represent a leader who is not physically present. His calling is not limited to forty hours a week, to certain state events, or to times of international crisis. He is always the king’s representative. He stands in the place of the king (or the government of his country) wherever he is, whatever he is doing. His relationships are not primarily driven by his own happiness. He decides to go places and do things because they will help him faithfully to represent the king. Thus the work of an ambassador is incarnational. His actions, character, and words embody the king who is not present.”
“The primary issue is, ‘How can I best represent the King in this place, with this particular person?’ This is not a part-time calling; it is a lifestyle.”
Now, if that is the work of an Ambassador, and we are to be Christ’s ambassadors, then how do you measure up?
“We represent God’s purposes to the people he places in our lives. This is much broader than a commitment to formal ministry occupying a portion of our schedule. It acknowledges that our lives belong to the King.”
If we are honest with ourselves, we are great ambassadors who represent ourselves! If you get right down to it…we act like counterfeit kings who wander the kingdom seeking to make all people our subjects. “Ambassadors must DIE to their own kingship to properly represent the one true King.”
The real issue is: that we think of our lives as our own, and we are more committed to the purposes of our own kingdom than we are to God’s. We need to recognize that the people in our way have been sent to us by a wise and sovereign King.
So in what way or what exactly do we represent?…
Tomorrow: The Work of an Ambassador.