"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
February 6, 2019
Growing up in the Assemblies of God denomination, one of my most fond memories is the monthly youth rallies that our church attended with the other area A/G churches. Only back then, it was very different from today. We were called Christ's Ambassadors (C.A.'s for short) and it included everyone from ages 12-35.
Our church would load up the old bus, which had formerly been a school bus, and basically the entire church would attend. We would join together with 5-6 other A/G churches within a 40 mile radius and would have a huge joint church service once a month.
The service would always begin with us standing and enthusiastically singing the A/G Christ Ambassadors theme song:
"We are Christ's Ambassadors; and our colors we must unfurl. We must wear a spotless robe, clean and righteous before the world. We must show we're cleansed from sin; and that Jesus dwells within. Proving duly that we're truly Christ's Ambassadors..... Christ's Ambassadors."
I sang that song for many years, but recently it was as if I finally really "got" it! The Holy Spirit gave me an understanding of what this meant.
What is an ambassador? I looked it up and for the United States, this is what an ambassador is and what they do, in a very simplified nutshell explanation: An ambassador serves as a personal representative of the President of the United States. They are stationed in a foreign country, but retain US citizenship. They work to support U.S. interests in foreign countries. An ambassador is the highest ranking government official sent by one country to another to serve as it's diplomatic representative.
Here is a very key statement: At all times, an ambassador must be a role model for the United States and exhibit behavior befitting of a national diplomat.
2 Corinthians 5:20 says, "So we are Christ's ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, 'Come back to God!'"
This verse establishes the fact that we are all to be ambassadors for Jesus. This isn't only a duty assigned to a few select people, but all christians are Christ's ambassadors.
Philippians 3:20 says, "But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior."
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are no longer citizens of this world, but our citizenship is in heaven. But we are here on earth as ambassadors for God, our King. We have been sent here as representatives of our homeland, heaven. As such, it is our duty and responsibility to be a role model of heaven and exhibit behavior befitting an ambassador of Christ!
Wow! That is amazing, but also a big responsibility that I'm not sure we really take seriously or fully comprehend what our mission on earth is.
As Christ's ambassadors, God uses us to make His appeal to the those who don't know Him. We speak for Christ when we plead with the lost to, "Come back to God."
I finally understand what our old C.A. song that I enthusiastically sang all of those years ago truly means. I get it, that I am truly an ambassador of Christ; a representative of Him.
It's so important that we represent well the Savior who appointed us. We cannot live in such a way that we cause the name of our King and the heavenly government over which He reigns to be harmed in its reputation by our poor behavior. We have to guard our words and actions and consistently remember that we are truly the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth.
In order to represent God well, we have to know Him well. We have to know His Word and live His Word well. We have to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, and mind; and love others as we love ourself, in order to fulfill the greatest commandment of all. There must be fullness of joy in our life, at all times; after all, who wants to listen to or follow someone who is negative, critical, judgmental, complaining, or adhering to such religious rules and regulations that it seems as if God is either a harsh taskmaster or else christianity sucks all of the fun and life out of a person?
Our words should build up others, not tear them down or cause hurt or offense. We should encourage others and speak words of hope. We show love by how we speak to and about others. We listen to others -- really listen. We don't gossip or speak rumors that could damage reputations.
The best way that we represent Jesus is by our love. It's not by how many scriptures we can quote, although it is a good thing to know the Word of God and have it deeply planted in our heart; but it's how we love other people and show that love to them.
1 Corinthians 12:12-31 speaks about us being the body of Christ. Do we really "get" what this means? Verse 27 says, "All of you together are Christ's body, and each of you is a part of it."
Colossians 1:18 says, "Christ is also the head of the church, which is His body...."
Christ is the head, but together we are His body. So we truly make up the hands and feet and heart of Jesus! As such, we are to represent Him well to the world! We are to work together well with our brothers and sisters in Christ to make sure that His body is functioning properly. If we are arguing and holding grudges and being offended and harboring unforgiveness and constantly having our feelings hurt and complaining, then the body is not going to be effective. We have to be in constant contact with "the Head" and follow His leadership and allow Him to work within us.
I truly want to be an effective, honorable, anointed ambassador for Christ! I want to represent Him well and love the world like He does. I want to be a healthy member of His body and function properly, so that the other members that are working with me and around me can function at their very best.
We are Christ's ambassadors! Let's represent Him well!!
One of our tasks as ambassadors is to demonstrate God's love for others. They don't see God themselves, so it is up to us to represent God and show His love for others.
That isn't always so easy. In fact, sometimes, it is just plain hard to do. But it is possible.
The thing I've learned makes it easiest is to keep trying to remember that they are also God's creation, and anything they do against God breaks His heart. It's easy to imagine God getting irate at sinners. I'm sure He gets irate when people claim to be His followers, and still embrace sin. But again and again, Jesus went to 'sinners', to eat with them, and teach them. He wanted them to know Him and accept Him.
So, when people frustrate you, speak ill of you, or act hateful, try to remember that their actions hurt God as much as they hurt you. But He still loves them and wants nothing more than for them to come to Him. It is our job to show that same love and desire.
1 can crescent rolls
2 tablespoons milk
1 pound sausage, cooked and drained
Brown sausage; drain. Pat crescent rolls to cover bottom of 9x13 pan for crust. Layer with hashbrowns, sausage, mushrooms and any other desired toppings. Whip eggs and milk with salt and pepper and pour evenly over the top. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes, or until eggs are set. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top for the last 10 minutes.
Other toppings you may use are: cooked and crumbled bacon, diced green pepper, diced ham, etc.
Being raised in the country, and living in a very rural area, we didn't eat out much growing up. There was a burger joint about 5 miles from our house that we would occasionally eat at; and it was delicious! The couple that owned it raised their own beef and their burgers and shakes were quite memorable. When I got a little older, a pizza place opened up 10-15 miles from my home town. Pizza Corral was the first place where I ever tasted pizza. Many times on Sunday evenings after church, a large group of teens, young adults, and young married couples from my home church would go out to eat after the service. My sisters and I thought that pizza was so delicious. I would like to try it now to see if it really was as good as what we thought; but Pizza Corral has long been out of business. They had a large screen set up and would play the old Little Rascal shows. Back then, eating out was a treat and something special, and not commonplace as it is today.
If you want to help someone heal,
love them without an agenda. - TobyMac #SpeakLife
We love you!
Loretta & Jon