When I was a student at Olivet Nazarene University I had the privilege of serving in the the Universities Student Ambassador Program. This program allowed students to work in the Admission office performing a myriad of responsibilities. One of my favorite things was giving campus tours. I loved being able to share the rich history of the university and tell the universities story. When I think back to all the things I did, I realize that the university put a lot of trust in me. They believed that I could represent the university well and trusted me with potential students.
Our reading from 2 Corinthians 5 leans towards the same principles for Paul. Although Paul wasn’t calling us student ambassadors tasked with recruiting people to the University of Corinth, instead, Paul calls us Christ’s Ambassadors, tasked with recruiting people to Christ!
2 Corinthians 5:18-21 (NLT) 18 …And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Making His Appeal Through Us
Because Dr. Bowling, the President of Olivet, or Brian Parker, the Director of Admissions, at the time, couldn’t meet with every single visiting student, they had to entrust each student to the care of the people around them. From the moment I met a family on the steps of the Admissions Building, to the moment they got in their car to travel home, I represented Olivet. I not only represented Olivet, I represented Dr. Bowling and the rest of the Administration. I can remember the wise words of Brian Allen, VP of Institutional Advancement, “When they’ve had a good time with you, they’ve had a good time with Olivet.” It’s true, and I used to tell my youth group something similar. “If your friends had a good time with you, then they’ve had a good time with God.” Sometimes the greatest barrier to people having a relationship with Christ is having a relationship with you. We can be our best asset or our worst enemy.
Think about what it means for God to make his appeal through us. Think about not only the responsibility of that moment, but think about the trust God places in you! They can’t see God, but they can see you. They can’t hear God, but they can hear you. What does Paul say in verse 20, “We speak for Christ…” no pressure!
The idea and the challenge today is quite simple. If you are Christ’s Ambassadors, then what do people think about Christ when they’re around you? If you speak on behalf of Christ, then what are you saying to the people around you.
From the moment a person shows up on the steps of your life, to the moment they head home, you represent Christ. You get share God’s rich history! You get to tell people God’s story! He has entrusted the wonderful message of reconciliation to you and me…lets try not to blow it.