Christmas is coming! It is the time of year that we remember God’s best gift given to us. Jesus left heaven and all its glory to live here with us on the earth. He came and dwelt among sinners in a fallen world so we could get a glimpse of God’s ineffable love. He sent him as a precious baby, loved and nurtured by earthly parents. But he was raised up to die and to be a sacrifice for his enemies.
I have been thinking about this great love that I have received and how well I exhibit it to the world. After all, I am an ambassador of Christ. It is my job to represent him to those outside of his kingdom. It is my responsibility to let them know that God’s kingdom is ruled by indescribable love that permeates every act of justice, compassion, law, forgiveness, and mercy.
How am I doing as an ambassador of God’s love? I have been talking about the Christmas story to those outside the kingdom. I have been telling them about God’s love. But, do I act like a citizen of a kingdom where the overarching theme is love? Or am I acting like the citizens of the worldly kingdom and only loving when it is convenient?
I thought about this passage in Matthew, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” (Matthew 5:44–47, NIV)
How I treat my enemies is what makes a difference. Everyone treats those that love them well, but God’s people should stand out from the crowd by treating their enemies well. So I had to question whether I love my enemies. The closest things I have to enemies are two men at work that I don’t like and they don’t like me, right back. How do I treat them?
If I look at the world and its citizens as my standard, I do ok. I am polite and avoid too much interaction with them. It saves all of us grief.
But if I look to God as my standard, which I should, I see that I fall woefully short of being a good ambassador. Would I give my son to suffer a horrific death and die for these men to live? Would I leave the comforts of my home to go to theirs to share my love with them? Would I step out of my cultural norms and be politically incorrect, facing a barrage of hatred from the establishment if it would help these two guys? Would I agree to walk with these guys throughout their entire existence providing comfort, truth and help to them even when they turn against me in selfish disregard for all the good gifts I have given them?
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, The Triune God, has loved me with an everlasting love that is incomprehensible, and as their ambassador, I have a responsibility to invite others to be a part of their Kingdom. The best way to do this is to show them the love that permeates the Kingdom of God. I need to let the Spirit love people through me. I must seek to make God’s love the center, the overarching theme in all decisions I make. I need to love like Jesus if I am going to be a good ambassador for Christ.
This Christmas Jesus, make me more like you. Let me love like you.