The story is told that George Shultz, while Secretary of State during the Reagan presidency, kept a large globe in his office.
When newly appointed ambassadors had an interview with him Shultz would test them by saying, “You have to go over to the globe and prove to me that you can identify your country.”
They would go over, spin the globe, and put their finger on the country to which sent–unerringly. When Shultz’s old friend and former Senate majority leader Mike Mansfield was appointed ambassador to Japan, even he was put to the test.
This time, however, Ambassador Mansfield spun the globe and put his hand on the United States. He said: “That’s my country.”
On June 27, 1993, Shultz related this to Brian Lamb on C-Span’s “Booknotes.” Said the secretary: “I’ve told that story, subsequently, to all the ambassadors going out. ’Never forget you’re over there in that country, but your country is the United States. You’re there to represent us. Take care of our interests and never forget it, and you’re representing the best country in the world.’ ”
Our word of the week is ambassador.
An ambassador is an official diplomat that represents one country to a foreign country in which he dwells. He is the authorized messenger representing the message and mission of his country’s leaders.
In 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “we are ambassadors for Christ.” In Ephesians 6:20 Paul said “I am an ambassador in chains.”
Warren Wiersbe writes that in the Roman Empire “there were two kinds of provinces: senatorial provinces and imperial provinces. The senatorial provinces were made up of people who were peaceful and not at war with Rome. They had surrendered and submitted.”
” But the imperial provinces were not peaceful, they were dangerous because they would rebel against Rome if they could. It was necessary for Rome to send ambassadors to the imperial provinces to make sure that rebellion did not break out.”
As Christians we live in a world that is in rebellion against God. We are citizens of God’s Kingdom. We are here to spread the message of “The Prince of Peace”–”Be reconciled to God.” We represent Jesus Christ.
In his book, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren illustrates what has happened to many Christians living in the world. Suppose you were asked to serve as an ambassador to another country. You would need to move. Learn new customs. Interact with the citizens. And carry out your mission.
However, what if you fell in love with that country and preferred it to your own home. Warren writes, “Your loyalty and commitment would change. Your role as an ambassador would be compromised. Instead of representing your home country, you would start acting like the enemy. You’d be a traitor.”
Unfortunately, too many Christians have forgotten where home is and have forsaken their true citizenship. They’ve betrayed King Jesus. And have become disloyal to their Heavenly country.
We each need to be constantly reminded that “this world is not my home.” We’re here on a mission. We have a message to share. We must accurately and faithfully represent our King to a world in crisis.
The charge is serious. The task is monumental. But the assignment is temporary.
Don’t mess up. Be the best ambassador for Jesus that you can be. And don’t forget where your real home is.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman