I am an unofficial ambassador for the state of Texas. Texas doesn’t know it, but if you’ve read much I’ve written, you probably know it.
My ambassadorship began as I learned of my Texas heritage—both sides of my family helped to settle the state. At the University of Texas I studied Texas history. In a senior Public Relations class my client was the Texas Tourist Development Agency.
All this prepared me for the sad reality of leaving Texas—as a place I live—at 22. For decades I have lived away from home, but Texas is always in my heart. And my Texas room. And the Texas BBQ I serve. And my red boots. If you ever want to know something about Texas, ask me.
But I have a much higher ambassadorship that I seek to live out—an ambassador of Jesus Christ: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
What is an ambassador? My online dictionary says: a diplomatic official of the highest rank, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative (ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary).
In essence, an ambassador represents and speaks for the head of state. He/she must know what the leader thinks, what he values, how she would act in a crisis or situation.
And that’s what our assignment is as ambassadors for Christ: to represent, speak for, to think like, to make decisions He would make, to be the voice as He makes His appeals to the hearts and minds of those He loves.
This is a high calling and crucial responsibility.
Just as any ambassador for a nation receives training, so we as Christ’s ambassadors receive training. It’s called becoming a disciple, or a true follower.
As Jesus roamed the countryside speaking and teaching., many crowds followed him. After all, He healed them and fed them. But when his teachings got tough or circumstances were challenging, many turned away. Perhaps they were like Twitter followers who quit following when they disagree with you.
Jesus had a much stronger definition of “follow” when He called each of His disciples to “Follow me.”
Follow can simply mean to come after in sequence, order of time, to move behind in the same direction. But I believe Jesus defines follow more like this: to accept as a guide or leader; accept the authority of or give allegiance to; to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; obey.
In other words, as we follow Jesus, we begin to think like Him, to say what He would say, to do what He would do. He is first in our hearts. We become disciples, true followers. Ambassadors.
What about you? Where are you in your journey to be an ambassador for Christ?
C2018 Judy Douglass
Over the next few months I will write about some of the qualities and characteristics of an ambassador.