Last Sunday in church, Pastor Paul was preaching from Philippians 3:17-21 calling for us to be imitators of Jesus for those in our lives that we are discipling. We are to live into our faith in Jesus, each and every day of our lives, as an example for people to follow.
But why should we do that?
Because that's our assignment, straight from Jesus himself. In John 13, Jesus was with his disciples in the upper room. He pulled out a water basin and a towel, got down on his knees, and washed the feet of his disciples. Jesus set an example for the disciples to follow.
"For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you." - John 13:15 (ESV)
Jesus got low, taking on the role of a servant, and then told his disciples to do the same. Jesus didn't say, what I often said to my students in the classroom, "Do what I say, not what I do." Instead, Jesus showed us, "Do what I do!"
Today, the words of John 13:15 are telling me to do the same. Serving others is one of the defining characteristics of how Jesus loved people during his time on earth, and therefore should be a defining characteristic of mine for my time on earth. If I am in this world, following Jesus to be his representative to those that I meet, I want them to know the real Jesus.
There is a great responsibility that comes with claiming Jesus as Lord and Savior. In my past, I have claimed Jesus as Lord only to not live like it outside of Sunday morning. But now, as an imitator of Christ, my mission is to represent Jesus well each and every day.
Philippians 3:20 says, "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it, we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." Even though I am a citizen of the United States, my real citizenship is of the kingdom of heaven. The apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5, called believers, "ambassadors for Christ." - 2 Corinthians 5:20 (ESV). So I am an ambassador for Christ representing the kingdom of heaven to the world.
In Washington DC and other capital cities around the world, ambassadors live in embassies representing their home countries. The rules of the home country apply in the embassy and under the flag of their nation. One of the responsibilities of the ambassador is to sell other people on the benefits of their homeland.
My pastor also challenged us to think about our home as an embassy for the kingdom of heaven. We are called to live in this world but not be of the world. Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world.” Instead, if my home is a representation of the kingdom of heaven to those I meet, my prayer is that my thoughts and actions represent King Jesus, who came down from heaven, lived a perfect life without sin, and willingly died on a cross as the sacrificial lamb for the sins of humanity.
I know it's taken me a while to get here, and I am glad for those of you that are still with me.
Every four years January 20th is a big day in American history. For many people, today is a big day, for either good or bad reasons. The inauguration of a new president always piques my interest. This year is no different.
But we also live in a country that is hurting; people are dying of COVID, racial tensions are real and obvious, the economy is reeling, and people need jobs. Every four years, around half of the voters from the election are disappointed, angry, or scared that 'their' candidate isn't taking the Oath of Office. Today, the other half of the voters look to the president they voted for to lead the change of the economy, health, and racial issues.
Ambassadors of Jesus, although we might be citizens of the United States, our primary citizenship is of heaven. As such, we are called to be the representative of heaven to the world. What the world doesn't need is Christians that live like the world, showing hate or praying for President Biden to fail.
Instead, let's do what we are commanded and pray for our leaders, even if we don't agree with their views. “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for all people-for kings and all those in authority” 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV)
Let's pray that every leader of this nation sees the power and majesty of God, falls on their knees, repents of their sins, and aligns their beliefs with the truth of scripture.
Let's show the world the love of Jesus, flowing from the heart of a servant, and let it start with me.