Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ambassadors, the Word, and Toenail Moons

Last night, I was talking to one of my volunteer youth leaders, going over her lesson that she's going to be teaching to the students tonight.

Madi has been with Ridge Uth since the very beginning, carrying the name Red Leader because of her red hair and  because she's-- um... well she's a leader, ergo, Red Leader.

I thought the nickname was wonderful! She liked it too-- until she found out that it was a Star Wars reference. Apparently women don't like to be nicknamed after courageous fictional pilots who give up their lives heroically during the assault on the Death Star.


As she's going over her lesson, I am listening and nodding as I follow along in my bible.

She stops and waves her hand dismissively and steps away from her lesson plan.

"When I was young, I loved looking at the moon and think that it looked like a toenail. I was young, but when I learned that it wasn't a toenail but actually huge and millions of miles away with light from the son shining on it, it made me love the moon even more."

That's Madi for you.

"I found that the more I learned about it, the more I loved it. I know that's totally unrelated, but whatever."

No, that's not unrelated! I was so excited that she said that! She hit it right on the head.

Sure, the metaphor is a little... obscure, but the concept is exactly right.

Okay the metaphor is weird.

The more we study the Word, the more we learn about God.
     The more we learn about God, the more we understand God's heart.
          The more we understand God's heart, the more we love God.
               The more we love God, the more we want to become like Christ.

The bible contains all that there is to know about our creator. All other Christian text is based from what can be learned from the bible.

The better we know the bible, the more we can adopt the character traits of our savior.

A few years back, I was challenged by a very wise man. He asked me,
"If you were talking to someone who had no knowledge of Jesus Christ, what truths would he learn just by spending time with you?"

The challenge was harder than I thought. Am I Christ-like in my everyday interactions? Is the gospel a part of every aspect of my life? or just my church life?

What aspects of Christ-like character can be observed in me?

What does Christ-like character even look like?

The only place to find out is the source: the infallible Word of God.

Theopneustos at it's best.

The bible contains everything we can possibly learn about our eternal savior, Jesus Christ. in 2 Corinthians

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 
2 Corinthians 5:14-21

To summarize, because of Christ's work on the cross, we no longer live for ourselves. Everything we do is a reflection of what Christ is doing in us.

A crucial piece of the above verse is in verse twenty that reads "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.

An ambassador is an individual from a foreign land who has the responsibility of representing the interests and desires of the leader of that land. Everything an ambassador does is a reflection of that foreign land.

If Jesus Christ is our leader, that makes the kingdom of God our land. We are ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ, representing Him everyday in all things that we do.

So let's revisit the previous question: Am I living a life that properly represents our land and leader, Jesus Christ?

Nate T B