“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
The old me worried about such things as reputation, and was concerned with how he was looked upon. Nearing the end of this journey, that is to say, having more years behind than before, I am at the point where I no longer care. The person I was is long gone, having faded in the light of the ever increasing glory of Jesus Christ.
I have been made a new creation.
Over the last few months, I have witnessed a radical transformation of my mind, as things I once found great pleasure in, have become rancid. It is as if the Lord has been preparing me for something great to come. I have seen this change in others as well, changes in the people with which I fellowship.
I think of my pastor who has become alit with the desire to evangelize. I marvel as the Lord is bearing much fruit in the pastor’s ministry, as he has had the opportunity to eagerly take part in the Harvest.
I am seeing a revival in the hearts of Christians, both great and small. I receive messages from people who are trying to reach neighbors with the Gospel, asking me to pray along side them. The Lord has brought great workers to my local church, people dedicated to sharing the Good News.
The Lord is raising up ambassadors.
Sadly, I have also seen the other side of the coin, as many have begun to fall away, just like the Bible said they would. Many have been moved to make a choice based on personal situations, or societal movements. I am reminded as Paul warned Timothy, that there would come a day when people would chase after their own desires.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
II Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV
It is in this time that we must be reconciled to God. As I have sought to serve the Lord, there has been a constant reckoning with the Lord over my sin. The more I have sought to serve, the higher the standard the Lord has set for me. Sins I viewed as slight, became more conspicuous when set against the backdrop of God’s holiness. If I am to be His ambassador, these things have to be surrendered.
We are living in a time when the lines between good and evil have become blurred, and indeed in some cases, what has been called evil is now called good. In the midst of that, we must seek holiness, setting ourselves apart from the values of this dying world.
Brothers and sisters, as we seek to be more like Christ, you can be assured that we will hated all the more. The dividing lines are being drawn, and it is upon us to be accurate representatives of Jesus. Let us deal with those areas that make us less able to bring the Gospel. Let us focus on those secrets sins, the ones know one knows about, acknowledging that the Lord is fully aware.
In the coming days weeks, months, or perhaps years, we will be watched. The enemies of God will be looking for anything in which to charge us, looking for reason to persecute. We must walk righteously in the face of such pressure, for the souls of those who do not know the Lord are on the line.
We must walk as if we are redeemed, slow to speak, slow to react, slow to anger, and advancing the cause of Christ with love. None of these things can be done in the flesh, but all can be done by the power of God. We will need to walk in the Spirit, with fruit in abundance, that we be able to be effective ambassadors for the Lord.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV
We must show love in the face of opposition, resisting the desire to be oppositional, demonstrating agape love sin a world where the very concept has been lost in the sea of sinful desires.
We know what love is.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
I Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV
The evil one will be sending missiles of flesh and blood at us in the hope that we destroy and be like him, but we must be like Jesus, who as He was tortured and abused, called out to the Father for those who afflicted Him.
“There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.”
Luke 23:32-34 NKJV
Pray that the Lord give us the heart of Stephen, who when being stoned, cried out, bringing the work of Christ on the cross into the ministry of mere men:
“And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”
Acts 7:59-60 NKJV
Remember, the Lord is with us and nothing can separate us us from Him.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:35-39 NKJV
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