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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Just call me "Ambassador"

It is central to our good news that God was in the Anointed making things right between Himself and the world. This means He does not hold their sins against them. But it also means He charges us to proclaim the message that heals and restores our broken relationships with God and each other. So we are now representatives of the Anointed One, the Liberating King; God has given us a charge to carry through our lives—urging all people on behalf of the Anointed to become reconciled to the Creator God. (2 Corinthians 5:19-20 VOICE)

Many of us watch the news each evening, or prior to going to bed, only to get discouraged by all the stuff we see and hear reported. Officers shot in the line of duty, car wrecks, mass shootings, downed planes, war efforts redoubled, natural disasters - the airwaves are full of these kinds of reports. Rarely do we receive the heartwarming reports of kids being kids, families reunited after years apart, or the like. Why? News isn't considered "news" most of the time unless it carries a negative report! Yet, the most important "news" to be shared is definitely not negative - in fact, it is shared in order to deal with the negative!
An ambassador is one who had been duly authorized to act on behalf of the official under which they were commissioned to perform the mission of the official. We are called ambassadors of Christ - commissioned to perform a specific mission he has designed for those he calls. We are called to urge others to be reconciled - not just in word only - but in every fiber of their being. This type of message is indeed "good news", for anything which brings and maintains the condition of being in right standing and reconciled to God and one another is definitely worth celebrating!
The good news also carries the important message of faith - our sins are no longer held against us because Jesus has dealt fully with them. When we invite him to be the one who governs our lives, we are coming under that authority or rule. When we come under the authority or rule of a particular official in our own community or country, we enjoy the benefits of that rule. The same is true in terms of our alignment with the authority of Christ in our lives. But...that alignment also means we are charged with a mission - to ensure that others hear the message of healing and restored relationship with God through Christ.
When a surgeon identifies there is a diseased or damaged part in the patient, what does he do? He seeks to remove it, right? After it is removed, the patient goes through a series of "restorative" periods. Some rest is necessary so the body will have the strength to heal. Good nutrition is essential to knit together the tissue and form a good bond at the site of the surgery. Consistent care of the surgical wound is critical in order to ward off anything which could contaminate, thereby slowing the process of healing's return. 
In much the same way, Christ sets out to not only remove what is damaged in our relationship with God, but he also ensures we can know his rest, so we have the strength to stand strong under his watchful care. He provides all that is need to nurture that restored condition and ensures that we come to a place of solid bond with him. In much the same way as a patient extols the skill of his surgeon, the child redeemed from their sin will shout the praises and share the good news of what Christ has done to bring about restoration within them! Being an ambassador of the message of hope which is found in Christ is not that hard - it just means we share our story of restoration and invite others to see theirs written as well! Just sayin!