On my way home from work I got a call on my cell phone, it was the girl at the bank where I put in an application earlier in the day. We set up an interview for in the morning. I was thinking to myself, how was I going to concentrate on the service tonight? The Lord worked it out when the word of God became my focus. My text comes out of John chapter 20 verses 22-23 where Jesus has risen from the dead, appears to the disciples and then breathes on them saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit” and tells them they have the power to forgive sins.
Therefore, we are a new creature once we are born from above. We have now been given the ministry of reconciliation. In Christ, “God reconciled the world to Himself, not counting men’s sins against them. We are God’s ambassadors, as though God were making an appeal through us. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
The forgiveness of sin part is when we have been forgiven; we take that and give it to other people. Jesus was our example when He said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. He has given us that power through the Holy Spirit.
Later I heard from a girl that this was exactly what she needed to hear, because God was telling her to stop playing the victim. She was forgiving the people in her life because she wanted them to not feel the guilt of her pain, but at the same time she was holding on to the offense. It was her way of giving herself permission to not give up the forgiveness. I call that the “cloak of sin.” It means I get to wear protection of having not to confess sin. It’s my excuse to sin. If nobody is perfect and I sin everyday then I must sin, I just can’t help it.
Unfortunately with that attitude we wouldn’t be very good ambassadors for Christ. We are representing one way or the other. I know one girl who I talked with tonight that was anxious to share her leadership with her fellow inmates in the work release program, but they wouldn’t have anything to do with it. She wanted to participate in the prayer circle every Friday at the fountain downtown, but conflict came up and now the majority doesn’t want to go. She is furious, but God spoke to her heart and she knows this could be a test of what is to come. I am so excited to see her growing like this. Anyone who knew her from before Christ will obviously see the change God has done in her life. This represents what being an ambassador for Christ is all about.
Meanwhile, the opportunity presents itself in my own life with the potential of new employment and new ways of representing the one who lives in me. Pray for me.
Written by Tracey