Many people make New Year’s resolutions in January. I do that too. For example, one of my resolutions for 2013 is to pray daily for the church family I serve. Another is to telephone my grandmothers at least once-a-month. But as significant as resolutions can be, I’m more interested in mission, and January is a good time to review it. So what am I called to be and do as a follower of Christ? Happily, the Holy Spirit, through my daily devotional reading, guided me to meditate on 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 NLT this week, which has reminded me of my identity and mission.
“Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” Thanks be to God! I belong to Jesus. I am a new creation.
“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!’ Because I am a new creation; because God has reconciled me to Himself through Christ, I am now an agent of reconciliation.
So when is the last time you called someone to come back to God? Last night the Lord gave us an opportunity to do this. We were swimming at the local pool. A conversation began with a stranger. When the topic of work came up, as it usually does, and when I announced that I was a pastor, she confessed that she used to worship the Lord, but hasn’t done so for some time. Thus began a signficant conversation in which I, more or less, called her back to God.
Sometimes I wonder why I don’t take more opportunities to do this. I guess I get caught up in my stuff. But is there really any more important mission? Brothers and sisters, let me remind you at the dawn of this New Year that if you belong to Jesus, then you are a new person. And as one of God’s new persons, you are called to be his ambassador in the world. So what does that look like in your life? How will you shape your life, including your daily work, to help you become a more effective ambassador for Christ? I look forward to exploring this theme with my church family this year, especially, I suspect, when we study the book of Acts this spring.