Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
A Song to the Lord

Ambassadors for Christ - "Lord, Speak to Me That I May Speak"

"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 Corinthians 5:20 NRSV)

There is a short passage at the end of 2 Corinthians 5 that packs into just six verses the purpose of our lives as followers of Jesus. We learn what our motivation for living and the primary focus of our lives should be. Through these verses, we come to see that the goal and purpose of the Christian’s life is to be an ambassador of the King of kings and Lord of lords, joining Him in his work of building his Kingdom on earth. Frances Ridley Havergal wrote a prayer hymn titled Lord, Speak to Me That I May Speak, asking the Lord to prepare her and use her for His Kingdom’s work through her life. If we take together the apostle Paul’s challenge in Scripture and Havergal’s prayer in song, we will be better equipped to serve the Lord through our lives.

Lord, speak to me that I may speak in living echoes of your tone.
As you have sought, so let me seek your erring children, lost and lone.

In 2 Corinthians 5:16 the apostle Paul says that “. . . we regard no one from a human point of view” (NRSV). Being an ambassador of Christ’s Kingdom – caring for people like Jesus does – begins with our attitude toward people. God’s word to Samuel about choosing David as king of Israel applies here. “The LORD does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 NRSV). It should be the same with us. We need to see people as God sees them, not according to criteria or judgments that other people use, but criteria and judgments based on who a person is or can be in Christ.

 Oh, lead me, Lord, that I may lead the wandering and the wavering feet.
Oh, feed me, Lord, that I may feed your hungry ones with manna sweet.

As our attitude changes, we begin to understand the reality that a person who has come to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is a completely new person. “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NRSV). What a person was before coming to Christ no longer defines them. Adam Clarke put it this way:

The person that is in Christ, that is, a genuine Christian, having Christ dwelling in his/her heart by faith, is a new creature; his old state is changed: once a child of Satan, now a child of God; once a slave of sin, now made free from sin, living a holy life, looking forward to everlasting life; once full of pride and wrath; now meek and humble; once living for this world alone; now living for God, and looking not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are eternal. This person is not only mended, but is new made; is a new creature, a new creation, a little world in himself; formerly, all was in chaotic disorder; now there is a new creation, which God himself owns as his workmanship, and which he can look on and pronounce very good.

Making people new – giving them a new reality in which to live – is why Jesus became man and died on the cross.

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us (2 Corinthians 5:18-19 NRSV). 

Oh, teach me, Lord, that I may teach the precious truths which you impart.
And wing my words that they may reach the hidden depths of many a heart.

Jesus came to earth with a mission and work to accomplish – to reconcile rebellious humanity to God by his sinless life and substitutionary death on the cross. God sought us – we did not seek him – and, as Paul wrote, he has passed this mission and work of reconciliation on to those who follow Jesus.

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 Corinthians 5:20 NRSV).

Our attitude changes as we begin to see people as God sees them. We see the new reality of life for the person who is “in Christ.” Making this new reality possible is why Christ came and is now what he calls us to do as “ambassadors” of his kingdom. Christ’s mission and work has now become the Christian’s mission and work. An ambassador is a representative and a messenger. An ambassador represents the governmental leaders of his or her nation and delivers messages on behalf of those leaders. This is what we are to be for Christ – representatives of the Kingdom of God, delegates of the King of kings, delivering his message of hope and salvation to the kingdoms of this world. 

Oh, fill me with your fullness, Lord, until my very heart o’erflows
In kindling thought and glowing word, your love to tell, your praise to show.

Every day we “rub shoulders” with people in our world – family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, store clerks, waiters, and so on. Christ our King sends you and me as ambassadors to the people that we encounter each day, entrusting us to share the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – the message that “for our sake [God] made [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NRSV). God loves the world and, in Jesus, came seeking for those who do not know him. Now, it is our assignment to join God in his work of seeking and find those who are “lost” for Christ’s sake. 

Oh, use me, Lord, use even me, just as you will, and when, and where;
Until your blessed face I see; your rest, your joy, your glory share.

Enjoy this presentation of Frances Ridley Havergal’s hymn by a “virtual” choir.

 

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Music from SmallChurchMusic.com.

Rusty Rabon

Rusty Rabon has served in vocational Christian ministry in local churches since 1981. He also served as a Christian radio announcer for 15 years. He married his wife Terri in 1978 and they have 3 grown children and 6 grandchildren. You can find books by Rusty Rabon here.

Rusty also hosts a book reading program called READING GREAT BOOKS on his Facebook page. You can follow Rusty at www.rustyrabon.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.

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