This is the time of the year when many of us settle back into our normal routines. The Christmas decorations are gone and our break is over. Around New Year’s many people made resolutions about how they would change in the year to come. Most of our resolutions have now been forgotten. This month at Westbrook, we have been exploring how to move from making resolutions to being made new in Christ.
Our first teaching series of 2014 at Westbrook, New Year, New You, has focused on helping us go beyond resolutions and become the New Creation the God intends us to be. Our theme verse is 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new is here!” When we submit our lives to Christ, we are made into a new creation! When God makes us new, he gives us a new mission as well. We no longer live for ourselves, but instead we live for the mission of Christ. Just a few verses later we are told we are now “ambassadors for Christ” in the world.
God the Father sent his son, Jesus, into the world with a mission. Jesus tells us in Luke 19:10 that his mission is “to seek and to save the lost” and in Matthew 20:28 that he, “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” After making us a New Creation he gives us a new calling and a new identity. We are ambassadors for His mission. As ambassadors, we serve as His representatives. We are to act in the place of Jesus as Jesus would act. Our goal is to help bring reconciliation, to restore friendship between God and his creation.
Brothers and sisters, this is amazing. The new creation that God is making us into is the image and likeness of Jesus. Are lives are being transformed so that we look like Him. A person with a healthy soul, a healthy body, a healthy mind, and healthy finances in a healthy church looks like Jesus to the world around them. God is equipping you to be his ambassador to the places where you live, play, work, shop, and go to school. As an representative for Jesus, who is being changed into the likeness of Jesus, how can you represent Jesus to the world around you?
Here are some practical ways to answer that question:
- Write down the people you spend most of your time with who don’t know Jesus.
- With those people in mind answer this question, “How would Jesus treat those people I just wrote down?”
- Pray for them and then do those things.