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Whose Ambassador Are You?

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“Who is her boss? Is it the Secretary of State?” I asked the husband of the American ambassador in the country where I serve as a missionary. We were sitting next to each other over a meal, and I was curious to understand to whom his wife was accountable.

“Technically,” he explained, “my wife’s boss is the president, but she relates more closely with the State Department.”

What would it be like to serve as an ambassador of the president of the United States of America? I wondered. Just think of the privileges I might enjoy. Just think of the financial resources I might have at my disposal. Just think of the military power that might be made available to me in the event of a crisis.

If the president were to choose me to serve as his ambassador, I doubt I would balk at the privileges that accompany the job! But I know I would also feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to represent him well and to protect the interests of the United States of America to the best of my ability in the country where I was asked to serve.

Every ambassador must know something of this awesome sense of responsibility, especially those who serve in countries that are at odds with their home country. A verbal gaffe or cultural miscue could conceivably provoke war between the two countries.

In many respects, an ambassador serves as a mediator between her home country and her host country. She works hard to build a constructive relationship between the two nations, even if it might involve personal sacrifice.

But, as friendly as the relationship might become, she must never forget where her ultimate loyalty lies. She must always represent her chief of state and remain true to the interests of her home country.

According to the Bible, Christians are also ambassadors . . . Christ’s ambassadors. What does it mean to be an ambassador of Jesus Christ?

To be an ambassador of Jesus Christ means that the President of presidents is our Chief of State. After His Resurrection, Jesus told His disciples: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18). Seated now at the right hand of God the Father, Jesus is our boss. He also commands all of heaven’s angels and has all of heaven’s resources at His disposal. And He makes them available to us as we have need!

To be an ambassador of Jesus Christ means that we represent Jesus to the people around us. Just as Jesus represented God the Father to us during His earthly ministry, He has empowered us to represent Himself to our generation. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors,” the apostle Paul explained, “as though God were making his appeal through us” (2 Cor. 5:20).

To be an ambassador of Jesus Christ means that we are mediators who must work hard to build friendly relationships between the King of heaven and the citizens of earth, even if it involves personal sacrifice. Paul writes, “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor . . .” (Col. 1:28-29).

To be an ambassador of Jesus Christ means that we must never forget where our ultimate loyalty lies. Wherever we make our home on this earth, we are really strangers dwelling in a foreign country and our true citizenship is in heaven (Heb. 11:8-16).

No matter where you live, no matter where you go to school, no matter where you work, you are someone’s ambassador. Whose ambassador are you?

Reprinted from Alliance Life, August 2006.

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