Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ambassadors for Christ

We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. -1 Cor. 5:19-21

In my time as an international business reporter, I've had the chance to interview diplomats from all over the world. I've talked to the Malaysian, Korean, Swiss, Namibian, Slovenian, Chilean, Greek, Belarusian and Indian ambassadors to the U.S. as well as American ambassadors to China and Romania. I've also had the privilege in these nine short months to come into contact with a variety of consuls and honorary consuls. There are more than 50 in Atlanta.

What always impresses me is the breadth of diplomats' knowledge and their ability to achieve a consistency in relating whatever message flows down from their superiors. Their governments' agenda is paramount, and they do whatever they can to be knowledgeable on those points that their leaders deem relevant to the national interest.

After seeing firsthand the unwavering steadfastness diplomats display, Paul's use of the word "ambassador" to describe the Christian mission has come life. As an ambassador, an authoritative representative and a commissioned messenger of Christ, Paul says the boss has just one item on his agenda. For all the foreigners who may not understand his kingdom, this is God's transcendent theme: Be reconciled, brought back into relationship, with Me.

I've struggled to consistently disseminate that singular message, but by his grace, I have yet to be fired as God's diplomat. I pray that I will continue to allow him to make his appeal through me.

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