It’s Global Week!
I’ve been fortunate to travel a bit in my life.
Growing up it was limited to mainly road trips – a borrowed trailer in Florida at Christmas time, a journey to Green Gables one summer, cross-boarder shopping when the Canadian Dollar was strong.
But as I got older I was itching to see the world. I saved and saved to go to Scotland with a friend for 3 weeks when I was 15.
Without my parents.
But don’t worry – my bff was much older and wiser
(she was 17. 17. What were my parents thinking?!!?)
I made sure to make friends with all the international students at my University so that I’d have people to visit – my Californian friend who’d grown up as a missionary kid in Belize was a particular score.
And then upon graduation I set off with 2 girlfriends on a month-long backpacking trek around Europe (which everyone should do).
Best part of that trip was when we crashed at this guy from University’s home in Vienna…
but that’s another story.
Since then I’ve been able to see lots of places and do lots of things – and it seems the more I see the more I want to see!
I am a professional trip-planner…you should have a look at some of the itineraries I’ve cooked up!
It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I had an opportunity to travel with a purpose – to go and serve people I had never met in countries I had never been to.
And I was excited…but also so intimidated!
I found the lead up to both of the trips I’ve been on to be nerve-wracking, and humbling, and overwhelming. I’ve felt ill-equipped and questioned why I was a part of the team.
Before I left for Guinea, West Africa it dawned on me that I only speak one language,
and that I’m not particularly adept at anything other than speaking that one language…
and the people I was travelling to serve didn’t speak my one and only language.
Not to mention the International Workers I was coming alongside were like superheroes in my mind – selfless, brave, holy.
I’m none of those things.
But then the trips came and I showed up in all my weakness and something miraculous happened.
Nope – I was still terrible at speaking French.
I realized that all of us – the team, the international workers, the people we were serving – are human. Flawed, beautiful, troubled, loved humans desperate for a relationship with the God who made us.
And though we live on opposite sides of the globe our story is strangely similar and our purposes are perfectly parallel.
The passage that we are working through this week explains all that I experienced in my short time serving overseas – and has provided clarity and direction for my calling here in Canada.
As you study along with me this week I want to challenge you with one question to hold in your heart and head as you read and listen and pray:
Who in your life is God calling you to be His ambassador to?
Passage: 2 Cor. 5: 14-21
…Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.
15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.
19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.
20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,[d] so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Each day read through this passage twice – slowly and aloud. Then:
Day 1: Let’s be honest – does Christ’s love control you?
Ask Jesus to gently show you all the things that are controlling your life right now. If it’s helpful write it down. Then ask Him to pour His love onto all of those things and see how His presence in them changes your perspective.
Day 2: Let’s be real – what does it look like to live for Christ?
If you are at all like me I used to think that the only way to live for Christ was to drop everything and move overseas. But – spoiler alert – living for Christ in Central Asia looks eerily the same as living for Christ here. Ask Jesus to show you ways that you can live for Him in the place He’s placed you. And listen for where He is calling you.
Day 3: Let’s be excited – we are a made new!
The old is gone; the new has begun.
Confess to God all the ways you still live in your old identity and ask Him to affirm your “new creation” status as you go about your day. Be aware of all the ways in which you’ve changed and grown and praise God for the work He has done in your life.
Day 4: Let’s be focused – we have one task: reconciling people to God.
How has God called you to be a reconciler – what unique gifts and talents has He given you to bless others with? If you don’t know – ask Him! And ask those around you…maybe it is a close friend, someone you serve with, your homegroup. Ask them how they see you and how they believe God has wired you be a reconciler.
Day 5: Let’s be intentional – we are ambassadors.
Ambassadors are representatives with authority. It says in this passage that we speak for Christ when we plead “Come back to God.”. Let that sink in. I can’t believe that this is God’s plan – to use us as His spokespeople. So to who and where are you an ambassador? Ask God to clearly lay people on your heart – specific names and circumstances where you can be courageous and intentional. You don’t have to create the circumstances – the Holy Spirit does that. But ask Him to prepare your heart and mind to be aware and ready to be His representative.