This is the second in an ongoing series on becoming an ambassador of Christ, based on this challenging verse: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” (2 Corinthians 5:20). You can read the first post here.
The high calling of an ambassador is to represent the person—president, monarch, prime minister—who sent him or her. A newly appointed ambassador goes through training to be able to speak for, think like, know the desires of, make decisions in place of the leader he/she represents.
As ambassadors of Jesus Christ, we also go through training to grow more and more like our Savior. He laid the foundational reality for our ambassadorial responsibilities;
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)
So our first assignment is to love God with our whole being. What does that look like? Loving God can include wanting to spend time with Him, seeking Him first, talking with and listening to Him.
Jesus gave us a clear picture of what it means to love God: “Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching….’” (John 14:23)
That’s a challenging requirement. Jesus taught us many truths and indicated what our life should look like. When we increasingly make those choices, we prove our love for God.
Of course, we know Jesus added a second definition: We are to love others as we love ourselves. Most of us love ourselves, even when we don’t like who we are. We take care of, feed, clothes ourselves. We work and we rest. Jesus said showing equal love and care for others is the second great commandment.
Then, on the night before he was killed, he gave us a more difficult challenge: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Two chapters later, in John 15, He makes sure we understand what it means to love others as He loves them: My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:12-13)
So Jesus begins our ambassador training with some stringent requirements. Understanding what it means to love God and love others will be the foundational reality for living out being like Christ, representing Him, becoming prepared for Him to make His plea through us.
What about you? How have you grown in love for God and for others?
C2018 Judy Douglass