Christmas is Coming 12-18-16

I get excited about celebrating Christmas. I almost feel like Paul Revere who many years ago on New England soil in the Boston area gave the mythical rallying cry to all the natives that the “Red Coats are Coming……”.  There’s not a lot of evidence to prove he ever said this BUT with utmost confidence I can say to those reading this article that “Jesus is coming again”.

Christmas IS COMING….. CHRISTMAS IS COMING…. AND is almost here.  We who are followers of Jesus will be celebrating his first coming; his birth in many of our churches next Saturday, while waiting with anticipation for his second coming which could occur at any time.

The scriptures remind us that while Jesus return is imminent….to God, the church has been waiting for 2000 years in anticipation.  Because no one knows the day or hour, we must be diligent to continue to represent him as ambassadors until we either go to him, or he comes to us. How are you functioning as you await his return. 

My question to you who “claim” you’re a Christian is who do YOU represent most on a daily basis?  Christmas is a time when we focus on pleasing others, blessing them, and caring for their needs and desires, BUT are you looking to please God more than anyone else? He should be our primary goal (2 Corinthians 5:9)

What is your primary focus this Christmas? One of the privileges of being in the family of God is that we have been given a new title: Ambassador? An ambassador is someone whom through a sovereign speaks. A sovereign is a powerful being.

In the Old Testament an ambassador was a messenger, or negotiator sent on a special, short term mission of the highest rank chosen, and certified by a government to represent it before another. The bible gives examples of such. Pharaoh had ambassadors (Is 30:4) and the King of Babylon had princes who represented them (2 Chronicles 32:31).

An ambassador had a different function in the ancient world when compared to that of the apostle Paul.

 First, in ancient times ambassadors were considered to be inviolate and were never to be imprisoned. There were cases where ambassadors were mocked, ridiculed, and harmed, but this abuse would be met with retribution, especially if a greater power was offended. God knows how to handle opposition.

In contrast to the powerful sovereign rulers of his day, Paul was an ambassador in chains (Eph 6:20) and often incarcerated for crimes he was falsely accused of. For Paul the chains were a symbol of honor. His glory was being shamed for the name of Jesus.

Second, ambassadors were often sent to renew relations or make alliances with foreign powers. Yet, Gods purpose in sending Jesus was to remove any hostility to him and make friendship with him possible. God as the sovereign power acts autonomously.

Third, in ancient Rome when the Apostle Paul writes, the King would send governors to rule over these vassal states and in return these states would have their have ambassadors come to the King to plead for some type of favor. A friendship was sought through an ambassador. Yet our God does not wait for an appeal to be made BUT sent his Son Jesus to appeal on his behalf.  What a gracious merciful God.

Last, being an ambassador in the first century was far different than what we read about in our country. It was burdensome, time consuming, and one never knew when they might be welcomed to make their appeal, and it was often costly and fearful. There was no guarantee of the favor of the King for the request that was put forth.

 

Do you see yourself as representing someone else or only yourself?? The beauty of being born again is that we no longer live for ourselves but for a sovereign, THE sovereign.

Born again believers declare that eternal life is found NOT in what you do but in what Jesus Christ has done.  By trusting in what he did and repenting of our sins we too can have eternal life (John 6:29)

 The five star general of the Christian church is the Apostle Paul. Paul once represented a religious group, but once he was born again (Acts 9) Paul embraced the new role of “Ambassador to Jesus” .Paul saw himself as Jesus Christ’s spokesman.

 So many people when they lose something in life lose an identity, or status, BUT as a Christian, we don’t ever lose our title as ambassador. We have the privilege to be an ambassador for all our lives on earth and no one can take that title from us.

The apostle Paul in his new life, no longer acted on his own or as his own authority but under the orders of a greater power and authority that had chosen to send him as the apostle to those who had not heard of Jesus. Paul therefore understands himself to be divinely authorized to announce to the world God’s terms for peace and reconciliation. It was not only Paul’s job BUT our job too.

To be an ambassador means that it will cost you It cost God his only Son, and when we becomes followers of Jesus it will cost you. I often use the slogan, “Christmas is NOT about what goes under a tree, but who hung on a tree”.

Our ambassadorship this Christmas should focus should on why Jesus came the first time, while reminding others that he is coming again. If you’re looking to understand what Jesus did the first time he came to earth, I’d like to personally invite you to service at Redemption Fellowship Church this Sunday at 10:30 AM or come and join us on Christmas Eve at 5:30 PM. Have a very Merry Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season.