In 2 Corinthians 5:20, we read, “We are ambassadors for Christ, and we are entreating you.” It is a tremendous calling to be an ambassador for Jesus Christ. There is a dignity about a true child of God. Even the ambassador of a very poor country has a dignity about him; and the bigger and the more powerful the country is, the more the dignified its ambassador will be. Think of the ambassador of USA in India. Can you imagine the dignity with which he conducts himself because he knows that he is representing the greatest super-power in the world. He won’t do anything cheap or undignified. He won’t go asking people for money, and he won’t do anything that dishonours the name of his country. Can you imagine the ambassador of USA coming to your house and asking you for some money for helping his country?
Suppose a man dressed in a suit appears at your door (or on television) and says, “I am the ambassador of USA. We are in desperate need of some money in our country. Can you donate one hundred rupees for our work?” What will you say? You will say, “You are a deceiver. You are not the ambassador of USA. The ambassador of USA can never beg for money like that.”
Now suppose another man appears at your door (or on television) and says, “I am the ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in desperate need of some money for our work. Can you donate one hundred rupees for our work?” You will believe him and give him the money. Why? Because you believe that the ambassador of USA is a dignified man whereas the ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ is a beggar.
There is only one super-power in the universe – and that is the kingdom of God Almighty. The USA ambassador may be representing the greatest super power on earth. But with all humility I can say I am an ambassador of the greatest super power in the universe. That’s what a true disciple of Jesus is. Do you conduct yourself then with the dignity of such an ambassador? It grieves my heart when I see the Name of Jesus Christ dishonoured by the undignified, cheap way in which Christian workers beg for money on TV and in their church-meetings and through prayer-letters. In Psalm 50:12, the Lord says, “If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is Mine, and all it contains.” That’s what a true servant of God says too: “If I am hungry or needy, I won’t tell you. I will tell my Master in heaven, Who owns the whole earth.”
An ambassador has always to be in touch with his homeland. He cannot afford to be out of touch with his home country for even a single day. That is how we also are called to live. I long to see the day in India when we can see servants of God conducting themselves with the dignity of an ambassador of the greatest super power in the universe – even if they are poor and are riding only bicycles. But how many Christian workers have you met like that? Most Christian workers are just dignified beggars, always asking people for money and going after the rich. That is a tragedy.
Always remember that you are an ambassador of Jesus Christ, wherever you may go – when travelling in a train or a bus or anywhere.
In 2 Corinthians 6:3-10, Paul speaks about how he conducted himself as an ambassador of Christ: “In nothing giving offence to anyone so that the ministry does not get a bad name. But in everything commending myself by endurance in affliction, hardship, distress, beatings, imprisonments, labour, sleeplessness and hunger; conducting myself at all times in purity, patience and kindness. Sometimes we receive glory from others, sometimes dishonour. Some people appreciate us, others condemn us. Some say good things about us, others speak evil about us. But in everything we commend ourselves as ambassadors of Jesus Christ. Some call us deceivers, while others call us true servants of God. We are unknown in the world but well-known among God’s people. As dying, we live. We go through many sufferings but we know we won’t die until God’s time comes. We are disciplined by God, but we aren’t dead yet. We are often sorrowful, not because people are hurting us, but because we are concerned for so many who are lost in sin, and so many believers who are carnal. But yet we are always rejoicing because our joy is in the Lord. We are poor materially, but we are making many rich spiritually. We have nothing in one sense, yet we possess all things in another sense, because we possess all of heaven and earth. Everything is at our disposal. God provides us with everything that we need. In terms of a bank account we may not have much. We often live from day to day. But God takes care of us.” That was how Paul lived. He never believed in the ‘prosperity gospel’.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon