"For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 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." 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 & 17-20 (NIV)
What drives you? No really…what gets you fired up?
Some are driven by passion, some by money; others are driven by achievement or recognition. The apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians that it is “Christ’s love” which drives him and his ministry team. According to his letter, they were “convinced” that one person died for everyone else, “that those who live should no longer live for themselves.” Paul was driven by the fact that God’s love was so radical and life-changing that he was willing to give up any other pursuit in this world in order to pursue someone bigger than himself. He no longer lived for Paul, but for the cause of Christ. He wants the Corinthians to live for the One Who makes new life possible because of His ability to be “raised again” and make “new creations” of those who trust and obey Him. Paul tells them that to live for Jesus means being driven to live for the ministry that God commits to any followers of Jesus Christ. The apostle refers to it as the “message of reconciliation.”
In a world where new messages hit our eyes and ears virtually every instant it is critical for us to know what our purpose is and what God requires of us. Otherwise, we can run the risk of becoming paralyzed by too much information; or distracted by the many temptations to live for ourselves; or worst of all, to become so inwardly focused that we ignore the great spiritual and physical needs surrounding us.
Paul states that we are ambassadors for Christ. An ambassador is appointed by a country’s leader and asked to take up residence in a foreign land for the purpose of representing the interests of their home country while providing an example to the host country of how life is lived in the ambassador’s homeland. As Christians, our primary responsibility is to make an appeal to those around us to come to Christ and seek out His way of life. The best way we can do this is to reflect a lifestyle that is consistent with the expectations of God. We are to represent the “righteousness of God” to those who have yet to repent and give their lives to Christ in an effort to persuade them to believe.
So how are things at your embassy? Are serving the purposes of your King well? Are others around you being drawn into the life that God wants, or being turned away as a result of your testimony?
As Easter approaches, I would encourage you to be driven to look around for those who may be influenced by you and your life. Continue to pray for those around you. Look for opportunities to share acts of kindness. Buy some candy bars to distribute. Keep a steady supply of invite cards and put a sign in your yard. But most of all, represent the ways of God well in your life and in the lives of those in your household.
Remember, there are only 6 days left until the first Easter service at Sunrise on Wednesday March 27th! May God bring an abundant harvest of souls as we stay driven to proclaim the new life available in Jesus Christ!
Posted on Thu, March 21, 2013
by John Hill