Be an Ambassador for Christ
“On our mission trip to Tanzania over the winter break, I witnessed young men helping to lead their household. They saw a need and stepped in to fill the void… and oh yeah, they were about 10 years old.”
I have been on this incredible journey of faith for 6 years now and am continually surprised by the difficult situations and pain that I bring to myself and others, but even more so how abundant the Lord’s mercy and grace is for me, a sinner so undeserving. God rescued me from a life of emptiness, pain and suffering that the world told me was the norm and He performed heart surgery on me, literally. Maybe that’s why He’s called the Great Physician..? Through everything that I have endured one thing remains true, the only constant in this life is Christ. He’s true to His word, He’s never let go of me. When we understand the love Jesus has for us and the life that He saves us from it is then that we can trust in Him wholeheartedly and desire to live for Him. How can we not?
Am I Living as an Example for Christ?
Since the start of the semester we have been going through 1 Timothy in a sermon series called The Young Leader. I have been encouraged by the messages and the discussions surrounding leadership and what it looks like to be a godly leader; a steward for our King; a man/woman of God. Holland, Phil, and Eddie have provided some amazing messages for us to meditate on and search the depths of our hearts to answer the question, “Am I living as an example for Christ?” I’ve asked myself this many times and the answer has not always been yes; It’s times when I say no that I realize the need for accountability and men around me to help lift me up and point me in the right direction. “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another,” right? That’s a fact. (Proverbs 27:17)
When Paul tells us that, “We are ambassadors for Christ,” (2 Cor. 5:20) what does that make you think about the way you are living your life? It should make us want to shape up real quick. We are His ambassadors, our character should emulate Christ’s more and more as we continue on this journey. We should be spending much more time reading God’s word, praying, pouring into others, and praising Jesus than we do on reality tv, video games, social media, and the relationships filled with high school drama.
It should come as no surprise that obedient and godly leaders are desperately needed in today’s world. With so many people perverting the gospel of Jesus, men and women who are grounded in their faith and committed to leading according to God’s word need to step up to the plate. There’s no easy way to put it, be a man/woman and take responsibility for your faith. On our mission trip to Tanzania over the winter break, I witnessed young men helping to lead their household. They saw a need and stepped in to fill the void… and oh yeah, they were about 10 years old. As young adults why do we delay in taking responsibility? We should be excited to serve our Lord no matter what it is we are doing. I know I wasn’t always excited about it and didn’t always want to do it for the right reasons, but as I’ve grown in my faith I now see serving God as a privilege and a blessing. There is great joy found in serving Jesus for the right reasons. Embrace it and love it!
Being a Godly Leader
Christ is the ultimate example that we should follow but Paul gives us a good look at Christian leadership too, as demonstrated by Eddie Franz during his message at The Well over 1 Timothy 3:1-16. Being godly was the focal point of Eddie’s message, and oh how important it is.
As Christians, we are constantly being looked at and judged by others. Whether you like it or not, if you call yourself a Christian your life is on display and it should represent Christlikeness. Of course, we aren’t perfect and we are going to fall, but part of becoming godly and maturing in your faith is that you own up to your sin, repent, and grow from it. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1). Memorize it. This verse is stuck on replay in my head. If you dwell on your sins and past shortcomings it is hard to be confident in your faith and be a godly leader. One thing I’ve learned is God isn’t asking us to become perfect before He can use us for His ministry, He can use us right where we are in the midst of any trial we are going through. This journey is a continual growing process and if we wait to serve Him until we feel capable, we will miss out on opportunities to bring Him glory.
Building character and solidifying your identity in Jesus are highly important. Here are the leadership characteristics Eddie outlined for us:
External – above reproach, husband of 1 wife, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not drunk, gentle, not violent, or quarrelsome, able to manage household, submissive children, dignified, tested, not double tongued, well thought of by outsiders.
Internal – sober minded, self controlled, not a lover of money, not greedy for dishonest gain, not a recent convert (strive for maturity), faithful in all things, hold the mystery of faith with a clear conscience.
When you look at this list, where do you feel like you need to ask Jesus to do some work in your life?
If we are honest with ourselves, there are probably several areas that we need help. I know I’m in that crowded boat right alongside Eddie. I encourage you to pray about it and ask others to pray for you and with you. Seek to be connected and stay connected. Be that person that others can call at 2am seeking help because they know they can trust you, (not that anyone wants 2am calls but who knows, one day it might be you making the call). Stop conforming to the world and being a lazy glutton and step up to the plate to serve and lead, not for your own joy or satisfaction but do it for Jesus. That might sound a bit harsh, and it is, but it’s also the truth.
After all, Christ freely died for you to have this life, how can you not freely give yours for Him?