Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
16 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. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[b] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 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. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
As we have just wrapped up our Life on Mission Sunday, what a wonderful day it was to be able to encourage our mission partners, learn more about what all they do, and pray about how we could partner with them whether it be financially, or going on a mission trip. When I think of mission trips, I think of the many I have had the privilege of going on while involved in youth group, along with those in college and seminary. I think of all the lives the Lord changed and how through those trips the Lord grew a heart in me for missions.
Though I loved mission trips, I remember while I was in youth having a false perspective about missions in large. I fell victim to believing that the Lord only moved on those mission trips in those certain areas. I fell victim to believing that the only time I participated in missions was when I went on those trips. I may have not expressed that verbally but by my actions I made it loud and clear.
The reality that the apostle Paul highlights here in 2 Corinthians 5 is this: ALL who are in Christ Jesus are called to missions. Now you may be thinking: Wait Pastor Irv, I have a job and I do not believe the Lord is calling me to move to India or Uganda to serve. Sure, you may not be called to full time vocational missions, but in Christ Jesus you and I are called to be missionaries and ministers within our vocation. Paul says that when we turn from our sins and trust in Jesus, we are a new creation. Then in verse 18 he highlights how now Christ has given us the ministry of reconciliation, and in vs. 20 we are now ambassadors, imploring those around us to be reconciled to God. All of us are called to be missionaries for the Lord.
It’s been said that missions consist of going across the world, but also going across the street. It is a both/and. There are many all around us who we see each and every day who do not have a relationship with Christ and need to hear the message, and God wants to use you and I to share that truth with them and draw folks to Him. Perhaps when it comes to sharing your faith, you do not know where to start or how to go about actually engaging someone in conversation about the Lord. If that is you, here are a couple of points of encouragement for you to consider:
- Know the Good News: Paul tells us that Christ has entrusted believers with this message of reconciliation.Do you know it? Do you know and understand the good news. We were created in the image of God and to walk with Him, but because of sin we have been separated from God, but He sent His Son Jesus to live the life we could not and die the death we should have, paying the punishment for your sins and mine. He then rose on the Third day and whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life. Hallelujah!
- Know that Power in Your Testimony- Perhaps you are looking to start somewhere. There is great power in sharing your testimony of how you came to know the Lord through placing faith in Jesus. Share that with your friend or co-worker as you engage in conversation. Share personally how the Lord has changed your life with them. There is great power in sharing your testimony with others.
- Know that Relationships Matter- It has been said that people do not really care about how much you know, until they know that you care. Boy, isn’t that true? Especially today. Many people around are hurting, lonely, and are just looking for someone to care enough about them to begin a friendship with them. The mom who is just hanging on, the soldier who seems as though they are always angry. We must look to engage and foster relationships with those who are far from the Lord, love them well and lead them to the truth.
- Know the in Jesus You Can be Bold- Proverbs 28:1 tells us that the wicked flee when trouble pursues but the righteous are as bold as lions. In Christ we can walk in boldness when He calls us to step out of our comfort zones and share with that friend.
The Lord wants to use us to be missionaries for Him in our areas of influence. What a privilege and honor. What a calling. May we choose to understand that we are all called to be ministers of reconciliation and in turn choose to step out and share the hope of Jesus with those around us. Aren’t you glad that someone once told you about the greatest news ever? Let us choose to be that “someone” for the lost around us.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for saving me. Thank you for calling me to be an ambassador for You. Help me to always remember that I am called to be a missionary for You where you have me. Open up doors for me to share with my friends, neighbors, coworkers and those around me who do not know You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE FOR THE WEEK:
And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!