Ambassadors for Christ
I recently finished reading an excellent book by Gregory Koukl, entitled: Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions. The book was highly recommended to me by a fellow preacher I trust, and the book is great from cover to cover! Although I do not know a lot about Mr. Koukl, this book is a wonderful work and one that every Christian (not just preachers) would benefit from digesting . The book gives sound, practical advice on how to share your convictions with confidence and grace in a world filled with anti-Christian rhetoric.

There is much more I could say about the book, but I'll encourage you to read it for yourself. I do, however, want to share some thoughts today from the last two pages of his final chapter where he writes about being good ambassadors for Christ (don't worry, this won't spoil the book for you!).

The term "ambassador" is only used twice in the New Testament. Here are the passages:

The apostle Paul penned these verses to fellow Christians. It is true that the apostles of Christ were ambassadors in a unique sense, but all Christians today could rightly be described as "unofficial representatives or messengers" of Jesus (cf. Matt. 28:19,20). We certainly do not wield the authority that Paul did, for example, but we do have a duty and responsibility nevertheless as Christians.

So, how well are you representing Christ in your life? If Paul, an evangelist eclipsed by none, felt it necessary to request prayers on his behalf that he would not be timid in his declarations of God's truth, how much more do we need to pray for courage and strength to say what needs to be said in our daily dealings with humanity? There are opportunities everywhere to influence others for good, but we will miss many (or even most) of them if we are not careful. You must "sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" (I Pet. 3:15). And friends, you don't have to wait to be asked either! You can and should share your faith as often as possible--and why wouldn't you, if you really believe Jesus has the words of life that the lost desperately need (cf. John 6:68,69)?

How can I be an effective ambassador for Jesus? Koukl lists ten points in his book (pp. 199,200) which I have included below. His list is good, and I have tried to improve it by adding Scriptures that come to mind that underscore the truthfulness of his points.

An ambassador is...

Dear followers of Christ, may you look into your life and evaluate your effectiveness as an ambassador of Christ, making changes where appropriate. Let us close with I Corinthians 3:5-7 - "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase."

Thank you for listening, and may the Lord bless you as you strive to do His will.