This post is part of a 8-part blog series called, “Outward Focused.” Click here to watch the introduction video.
The World Is Lost
I doubt I need to spend a lot of time convincing you of this. Read your news feed, look at social media, and it will become very clear very fast that the world is lost.
Worldwide disease, corrupt politics, racial injustice, senseless violence, there sin all around us. The world is lost. People are alienated from God. People are getting divorced. They are becoming addicted. People are neglecting their children because of an overambitious commitment to success and greed. People nurse grudges and become resentful. And everyone, no matter how put together they look on the outside, needs God.
It reminds me of one of the most terrifying verses in all the bible. In Romans 1 Paul says that people know who God is but they exchange the truth of God for a lie. They become futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts are darkened. Claiming to be wise, they become fools. Here’s the terrifying part. He says that if people remain in their state of rebellion long enough, that God will ‘give them over’ to their sinful desires. There will come a point where God will say, “OK. If you want to worship yourself, I’ll give you yourself as a god and see how that works out for you. You want to turn to violence as the solution to all your problems, I’ll give you over to the endless cycle of violence so that hopefully you might see the insanity of it.” He gave them over, Paul says, to the lusts of their hearts and to their impurity. Something is messed up about the world. People are alienated from God. But listen to the solution.
In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusted to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. – 2 Cor. 5:19-20
Paul is reinforcing here that Jesus left this message of grace and reconciliation to us. The answer to a lost world is our ability to be outward focused. This word ‘reconciliation’ simply means changing a relationship between two or more people for the better.
We are “ambassadors,” God is making his “appeal through us.” Jesus entrusted this message to a bunch of ordinary everyday people, with ordinary jobs, and ordinary lives. So, your job is to share this message with your ordinary friends. You are an ambassador after all. An ambassador is an authorized representative or spokesman. So, before you are a teacher, or shop worker, or advertising agent, or salesman, or business executive, or stay at home mom, or even pastor, you are an ambassador of the most high God. You are a carrier of the great message of hope to the world. You should probably make some space in your life to allow God to make his appeal to a lost world through you!