Last Fall I began posting some devotions that I used in my preaching classes. As term begins next week I am preparing some more, and offer them more widely! This first one is interesting because I occupy a professorial "chair" named after C.W. Koller - a great preacher of the twentieth century - and this was one of his key verses!
11) Christ’s ambassadors
So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:20).
Of the many descriptions given preachers one of the boldest is ambassador. Ambassadors and embassies have a contemporary ring. They speak of dignity, courtesy, power, status and influence. But always it is delegated power and influence that is utterly dependent on the wish and authority of the sending government. Ambassadors are only powerful because they represent someone else.
Ambassadors for Christ are powerful people. Too often we belittle the task. We forget that it is world wide in scope – that God is about reconciling the world to himself (verse 19). In a mean and petty world where hate and spite threaten to destroy relationships there is a greater power - God’s healing reconciliation. When I take the human point of view (v 16) and feel like giving up because a task is beyond me, I must know the task is never beyond Christ. Authorizing me is a Big God for Big purposes. He makes his appeal through us. People may think that I am about a little organization and petty detail but my life is part of God’s world master plan.
As an ambassadors for Christ I represent the King of Kings, constrained by his love (verse 14) to overcome division by his “meekness and gentleness” (1 Cor. 10:1). This day, as I walk among others, I represent him. My lifestyle, actions and words are for him.
A Prayer Help me to grow in stature as an ambassador of Christ. Help me realize that nothing I face is beyond your scope; that hate and division do not have the last work in your kingdom. Grant me dignity and courtesy to represent your power today as Lord of Lords and King of Kings and that I may do it by the meekness and gentleness of Christ. Amen.