As you can imagine, my mind has been focused on this subject of us being ambassadors of Christ. Last week, the message sought to focus on the attitude of hope we should have and the opportunities such an attitude can bring forth in our lives for Christ’s cause. Today, I want to take the next step and consider what sort of hope we can and should be ready to share. After giving it some thought, I wonder if it is reasonable to break it down into two areas of life. What do I mean by that? Hope seems to speak to two specific areas, redemption and transformation in the Christian’s life. We can talk to others about how God has redeemed me and that He wants to save all mankind. We can also talk about the hope of transformation: that is, I don’t have to remain as I am, but God can change me to be more like Him in this life. So, let’s start by talking about God’s hope of redemption.
For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
So, if someone were to inquire about this hope you seem to have, you can start by simply saying, “I have hope because God loves me, and He loves you just as much.” What makes this love so marvelous is that it is not performance-based. Instead, it is despite my performance. Verses begin to flood my mind that speaks of His love for humanity, for me: Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 1st John 4:9, “In this, the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved…” As one person writes, “This is where the faith journey starts: understanding that God loves you.” If we do not grasp this fact, our hope is most likely misplaced. To get this concept of love, we need to look at the cross of Christ.
Do you know what is meant by platitude? It is a remark or statement, especially one with a moral content used too often to be interesting or thoughtful. As you enter a room, someone says, “how are you doing?” What’s the chance they want to know how you are doing? In much of our daily lives, words have become mere platitudes to so many, including the statements, “I love you.” Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying that it is inaccurate or even useless to say it, but rather, so often simple words fall short of revealing to another the geniuses of that love. Action is needed, not to prove love, but rather, to show its reality. So, God gave sinful man His Son. Remember 2nd Corinthians 5:21, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 1st Peter 2:24, “‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.'” Paul would say, “…it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). That is where we find the hope of redemption in Christ.
Now, you may be saying, “You are speaking to the choir Dennis. I already know all this.” That is the point we already know all this. Our task as ambassadors is to share this hope to the best of our ability to a world that desperately needs it. Thank You, Lord, for giving the hope of Christ. Help us find the courage, the boldness, and the strength to speak of Him to those around us.