“Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
II Corinthians 5:16-21 NKJV
I remember having chores when I was a kid. I washed dishes, took out the trash, raked the leaves, and did whatever else my dad and mom told me to do. I did these things out of obedience, on the surface, but done out of love and respect deep down inside. I loved my parents and I desired to do well to please them. Pleasing them was my motivation.
Later in life, my motivation shifted to working for the paycheck, to put in the obligatory amount of effort and time to get paid. It mattered little to me if I pleased my boss, as my mind was on my money and my money was on my mind. It mattered not if my employer enjoyed the blessing of my efforts.
My service to the Lord, I would have to say, has brought the greatest blessing to me. Having the opportunity to honor God, whether it be by writing name tags, or pounding beats on my djembe, I give glory to my King with resounding joy.
In reading II Corinthians chapter 5, this morning, I was reminded that there is a difference between how we relate to people and how we relate to God. When we regard the flesh, we are merely fulfilling a natural give and take, that is the nature of human relationships. We are able to successfully accomplish what we do through human will. In fulfilling our ministry in and out of the body of Christ, we must not regard each other as mere creatures, but with the spiritual being in mind. This requires that we walk in the Spirit.
In dealing with those who have not been forgiven, we must be extra careful, as they are eternal souls hanging between heaven and hell.
In the flesh, our appetites govern our responses, and it is easy to be drawn into conflict, thus defeating fellowship. By walking in the Spirit, we are able to represent Jesus, and perform our calling of being ambassadors to a sick and dying world. As ambassadors, we demonstrate the law of Christ, as we show the love that we ourselves desire.
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
Galatians 5:14-18 NKJV
Everything we do is part of our ministry of reconciliation, as we tell people about Jesus and His ministry to bring humanity to God, thus doing away with the chasm created by our sin.
Everything we do is part of that ministry. When we work, we do so not to please our employers, but as representatives of God. All that we do should bring glory to Jesus and not only to ourselves. Even in situations when we have been challenged with a difficult boss, we are to work as if we are working for God.
“Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.”
Ephesians 6:5-8 NKJV
As ambassadors, we do not represent ourselves, but Jesus.
In some cases, it means approach those in opposition the same way that Jesus faced those who ultimately, and brutally killed Him. He went to the cross, not condemning, but instead, asking the Father to forgive. I do believe that those of us who call upon the name of the Lord in North America, are going to face the same kind of persecution as those in the rest of the world.
It will be easy, and natural to desire retribution, in those times, but our ministry is to lead people to Jesus. The Father’s business is far more important than any loss we may face.
Brothers and sisters, we have been made new in Christ Jesus, and we have been given a mission. We are ambassadors to the God of the Universe. We are the sent ones, walking amongst the lost, but not in step with them. We are called to walk in the Spirit, and not the flesh. Let us lift each other up in prayer, so that we may be able to fulfill our mission and be unspotted from the world.
Lost souls are hanging in the balance, as the current age is fading away. Even in the church, the god of this world has crept in, sending his messengers to deceive and infect the elect. These are enemies of the cross. We must walk in the spirit, and not give in to fleshly reactions.
“Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”
Philippians 3:17-21 NKJV
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