Who Will Be God's Ambassadors?

This is me with a little Liberian boy
and his cousin in the background.
Today I was a reminded of a commitment I made to myself in Liberia but have since forgotten. I need to be a deliberate missionary here in Antwerp like I was in Liberia.

But life creeps in. Family creeps in. Work - even pastoral work - creeps in. And instead of mobilizing my life and my family to be missionaries with me, I lose focus and continue to just be a pastor, getting the job done, and miss the great things that God wants to do through me, my family, and this great community.

One thing I taught to my brothers and sisters in Liberia during my lesson on the mission of the church was that they need to be the missionaries where they live. They are better placed to be the one to reach those in their neighborhoods and workplaces than me or any other missionary that comes over there to help. This concept might be difficult for a Liberian to grasp because they have missionaries coming over to help them all of the time. But the missionary’s job is not to enable complacent following of Jesus but to empower them to radically follow Jesus in their life. They need to be the ambassadors of Jesus where they live. We empower; they make the difference.

I love the ambassador analogy used by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: “To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:18-20 ESV).

The children from Riverside Christian Church
gave me some of their toys to give to Liberian
children who have absolutely no toys besides
sticks and trash. Here they are enjoying some
of their matchbox cars.
The United States has an ambassador over in Liberia. This ambassador, like any good ambassador, attempts to influence Liberia to do the things that America wants it to do. Right now, the big debate raging in Liberia caused by the United States is over our government pressuring the Liberian government to legalize homosexuality. The attempts of the embassy and Hilary Clinton during her visit earlier this year have backfired. The Liberian government will now be voting on two cruel laws against homosexuality: One that would imprison homosexuals for five years and another that would execute them. I want to be clear. I don’t think either proposed bill of legislation is a good thing. But I wonder about a nation like ours who is more concerned about the legalization of homosexuality rather than all of the children I saw dying of disease from dirty water and lack of shoes, the need for adequate medicine, and the lack of a satisfactory education system. One in four children die before the age of five and we are worried about the rights of homosexuals rather than the necessities of children.

The point is that an ambassador of a nation tries to get the will of that nation done in the foreign land they are temporarily residing in. Thankfully, I am not an ambassador for the United States. I, like the apostle Paul, am an ambassador for the “mystery of the gospel." You, if you are a follower of Jesus, are also an ambassador of the mystery of the gospel. When you go somewhere, you shouldn’t be trying to get the will of America implemented. Instead, you should be trying to free people by the mystery of the gospel. You are an ambassador for Jesus.

People from Riverside Christian
Church also gave me Bibles to give
to those who have no Bibles. This
is Mary with her Bible. Very happy!
If we aren’t the ambassadors for the gospel where we live, then who will be? I have never seen a missionary come to where I live trying to get people to follow Jesus. Not that we don’t need one.

But we do have one. And that one is you and me. We are called to be ambassadors for Jesus. We are to be a city on a hill. We are to be the light of the world. We are to be the salt of the earth. (Matthew 5:13-16). Are we? Or do we expect someone else to do the jobs that Jesus has called us to do?

First, I am an ambassador of Jesus to my family. Then to the church placed in my care. Then to the community I live in. I can never let the busyness of the world creep in and strangle that calling to death. If I am not the ambassador, who will be? If you aren’t His ambassador in your family, in your workplace, and in your community, who will be?

This is part of a series that I wrote showing the mission trip I took to Liberia.
I divided the subjects into individual pages, for ease of use.

Here are a few articles that I wrote upon my return:
One Drop