CHRIST’S AMBASSADORS; Our Power to Influence

To be an AMBASSADOR in the ancient world (Greek, Roman, Jewish), as in modern times, involved three things:

1.  A commission for a special assignment.

2.  Representing the sender; and

3.  Exercising the authority [“delegated power”] of the sender.

The basic idea is to “function as a ruling authority”.  The authority’s power has been given to his representative or his AMBASSADOR.

Greek:  “huper Christou oun presbeuomen os tou theou parakalointos di hemon; deometha huper Christou, katallagete to theo”.  II Corinthians 5:20

In English:  “So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.” Amplified Version

According to the Apostle Paul, in verse 18,  II Corinthians 5,  God  “gave us the ministry of reconciliation”;  that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him.

The Bible scholar Harris, sounds a word of CAUTION regarding  AMBASSADORS  “for all their exalted status, they have not been invested with the FULL POWER of independent action, for they deliver rather than create the message and lack any authority to alter the message”.  The full power comes through us, as Christ’s ambassadors by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are here to “deliver” the message not “fake it till we make it” approach.

WE CAN ALL MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Jude 22-23 says,  “…refute [so as to] convict some who dispute with you, and on some have mercy who waver and doubt.  [Strive to]…

To “strive” means to “exert oneself vigorously” or “to contend in battle”. With that definition of “To STRIVE”, finish reading verse 23:  “[Strive to] save others, snatching [them] out of [the] fire…”

People don’t see God, they see us!  We are Christ’s Ambassadors.

In defining INFLUENCE, I discovered several sources.  The one I like best was given by Taffi Dollar on April 30, 2007 on a World Changer’s Broadcast:  “An act or power to produce an effect with little effort.”  Whether you are aware of it or not, you can have an influence. Bad or Good influence [watch your mouth and guard your heart]. ALL of us have a pulpit.

“SALT changes the taste, even without contact”:

Colossians 4:6,  “Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned [as it were] with SALT, [so that you may never be at a loss] to know how you ought to answer anyone [who puts a question to you].”

In 1985, with two teenagers living at home, I found myself unemployed after almost sixteen years with the same company. I was given a nice exit compensation package on my leaving but with a daughter who was about to graduate from high school, I would need a job soon.

I received a phone call one day from an old acquaintance in the business I was in.  He asked if I might be interested in a job at his company’s Honolulu location.  So, I left my family on the mainland to meet the Western Division President of the company. With trade winds, sunshine, beaches, what could I do but to accept the position [Oh darn]. It worked out that the compensation included a company truck and accommodations while selling the house in Washington.  Being a bachelor again really wasn’t my idea of fun after twenty-one years of marriage. I made a suggestion to the President of the company, that his son-in-law had offered a room at their home for me to stay, while looking for a new residence in Oahu. If he thought it was a good thing to do, since his daughter and son-in-law both worked at the same company, rental compensation could be dispersed to his kids; it would help them out financially.  So, for the next month and a half, I rode to work with and lived with the Presidents daughter and son-in-law in Hawaii Kai, Oahu.

My AMBASSADOR’s Assignment:

One day after work and driving home, the son-in-law ask me this question:  “I have noticed that you get up early while we are still in bed and go to church every Sunday. I have also notice you reading your Bible in the Lanai every evening. Are you that religious?”  Where did that come from?  I wasn’t aware he had been watching . “I am not religious but I AM a born-again believer in Jesus. When we get home tonight I will explain to you what happen in my life in 1972. Will that be okay?”  He agreed and that night, the son-in-law accepted Jesus as his personal saviour. 

A few weeks later, I came to the conclusion that I had become sick in 2-1/2 months. I had come down with a fever; Island Fever as they called it. You can only drive around an island so many times! So I decided to return to Washington and enjoy life in the Northwest, without a job!

My first thought after returning home was, why would I go through and put my family through this experience? My wife had put the home up for sale with not one person coming by to see it.  When I called her and told her of my decision and the why s, I blubbered and said, “I’m coming home”. I barely arrived back home in time for my daughter’s graduation (I missed her Senior Prom). I had made some friends on my adventure to the Islands and was missing them too; not Honolulu.

The Why’s:

The Holy Spirit informed me that my experience wasn’t for my benefit.  Heaven had arranged it all for one person the Father had chosen. I was sent there for the reason of seasoning; being SALT.  At that moment of awakening, I felt somewhat like Philip the deacon in Acts 8:6-40.  In verse 29, it says:

“Then the [Holy] Spirit said to Philip, Go forward and join yourself to this chariot”.

Now did the Holy Spirit tell me to “Go forward” and join this place of employment in Hawaii?  I think he did but I wasn’t listening to His voice at the time. I had the “no duh” moment after I returned back and was given an understanding of God’s purposes had really been.

Romans 1:16  “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel (good news) of Christ, for it is God’s power working unto salvation [for deliverance from eternal death] to everyone who believes with a personal trust and a confident surrender and firm reliance, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

AMBASSADORS in my city and in your city:

Proverbs 11:11 says,  “By the blessing of the influence of the upright and God’s favor the city is exalted…”

This verse in Proverbs addresses our SALTINESS or influence in and around us; in our cities. We have “The Blessing” to be a blessing; to those who are around us in our coming in and our going out. REMEMBER, you are an ambassador representing God’s kingdom whether you are aware of the responsibility or not.  We are SALT of the earth.  Have you ever heard of the expression, “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make the horse drink”?  That’s not a true statement!  You can make the horse drink if you place a salt block next to the watering trough.

INFLUENCING the EARTH:

How can each one us influence our surroundings; in our neighborhood, in our churches, in our city, in our county, and beyond?  The Gospel of John gives us an example of how the effectiveness works in the world, even today’s world.

John 4:6  “…and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down [to rest] by the well. It was then about the sixth hour.”

Here Jesus was, tired, hot and thirsty, in the middle of the day (about noon), sitting there awaiting an opportunity.

John 4:7  “Presently, when a woman of Samaria came along to draw water, Jesus said to her…”

When you are out shopping, waiting to be seated at a restaurant, standing in a long line at the grocery store ever thought afterwords, I should have said something to that person?  NOTHING just happens! It didn’t just happen here at the well and it didn’t just happen to me in Hawaii. 

John 4:28 says,  “Then the woman left her water jar and went away to the town. And she began telling people.”

The woman at the well knew something significant had just happened thru her interaction with Jesus.  Because of His INFLUENCE, she then told others.

As  believers in JESUS, we have been giving the authority and the power to influence others as CHRIST’S AMBASSADORS. Don’t be remiss in your responsibility to your identification as SALTINESS.  There are people who are thirsty and they will drink from the water of life if you will take the time to open your mouth and speak as Jesus did. Go back to the beginning of this blog for the three requiremnts of being an AMBASSADOR and remember who your are and where you are.

 

 

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