231: Global Partner Special – Confidence in the Gospel

“S.D.G” is how artists JS Bach and GF Handel initialled the manuscripts of awesome compositions such as the Messiah or St John’s Passion. S.D.G stands for “Soli Deo Gloria” meaning “Glory to God alone”. Those three words beautifully sum up the whole purpose of a Christian life – we are to live for the glory of God alone. We are to be Christ’s ambassadors in our world – living for his purposes.

“S.D.G” is how artists JS Bach and GF Handel initialled the manuscripts of awesome compositions such as the Messiah or St John’s Passion. S.D.G stands for “Soli Deo Gloria” meaning “Glory to God alone”. Those three words beautifully sum up the whole purpose of a Christian life – we are to live for the glory of God alone. We are to be Christ’s ambassadors in our world – living for his purposes.

SDG-flames

Words for the Week

2 Corinthians 5: 11, 14-15, 18, 20:
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 12:9
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Romans 1:16
I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes

Psalm 115:1
Not to us, O Lord, but to your name be the glory because of your love and faithfulness.

Proverbs 3:17
A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful ambassador brings health.

Writer’s Thoughts

An ambassador is an official envoy (says Wikipedia). They are chosen to represent another and act as an emissary (i.e. they have a mission). A good ambassador does this in a positive manner, fostering constructive relationships with others. They care about bringing people, countries, organisations together whilst remaining loyal to their mission. It is therefore important that whoever is chosen for the job has integrity and a clear understanding of the wishes and purposes of the country or individual whom they represent. Every Christian serves as an ambassador for Christ. So, the things we say and do should align with the wishes and purposes of Christ. More than that we are even called to be like Chirst himself, or ‘Little Christs’ as CS Lewis puts it.

A good ambassador will be confident in their role and in the authority conferred upon them. Because we have been chosen by Christ to be his ambassadors here on earth we can have real confidence. We can act and speak for him. In 2 Corinthians Paul gives us three reasons to be a confident ambassador of Christ.

  1. The Fear of the Lord: We have ‘the knowledge the glory of Christ’ in our hearts and are anointed with his Holy Spirit. Thus, we can proclaim Christ as Lord from our own personal experience.
  2. The Love of Christ: We know that Christ died for all, that those who live might then live for Him and not for themselves. This means we can not only trust him but also trust to him the people we represent him to.
  3. The Commission of God: We know that our calling comes from God; his authority is conferred upon us and there is no other authority that can override this.

The church at Corinth knew about the Christ’s death on their behalf but this did not always shape their lives. Sadly we are often prone to same troubles. Yet, if we can daily remind ourselves of the high calling that God has placed on our lives, and the resources he makes available to us, then daily we can learn to represent him more faithfully. Just as Paul found the fear of the Lord, the love of Christ and the authority of God together gave him confidence to embrace his role as an ambassador of Christ, so it can be for us. Let us pray that the Lord will give us the grace to respond in a like manner. May we faithfully represent Christ in what we say, the things we do and the choices we make each day. S.D.G.

“Now the whole offer which Christianity makes is this: that we can, if we let God have His way, come to share in the life of Christ. If we do, we shall then be sharing a life which was begotten, not made, which always existed and always will exist. Christ is the Son of God. If we share in this kind of life we also shall be sons of God. We shall love the Father as He does and the Holy Ghost will arise in us. He came to this world and became a man in order to spread to other men the kind of life He has — by what I call “good infection.” Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.”
C.S Lewis Mere Christianity

Own it personally…

  1. How and when do you proclaim Christ with words to people who are not Christians?
  2. What is it that might make you hesitate to proclaim Christ to others?
  3. How are your actions reflective of those of Christ? At home, at work, at leisure and on holiday?
  4. Think of times when you or your friends/family have represented Christ. How did God use what you did?
  5. Write down the feelings you have when you remember that God has all authority in our lives, the world and over events in the world – how does this influence your commission?

Speak it Out – Pray and Prophesy

A Prayer for Confidence

Dear God, you know my heart and you know that I love you. I’m trying to do my best to follow after you, but sometimes I get tripped up. Sometimes I lose focus. Sometimes I forget who I am in you and start looking to the world to tell me who I am. On the days when my confidence is fading fast, build me up again. Remind me of the truth that confidence can only be found in chasing after you. I can walk around confident knowing I am loved. I can walk around confident knowing I am enough. I can live knowing I have been rescued, free and called to do great things. Help me remember these things, wonderful Father.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Lauren Gaskill

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