How would you like to be appointed ambassador to some foreign land? Our nations of choice might differ – some might prefer Italy, France or Germany, Japan or China, Mexico or Brazil, Kenya, Egypt or somewhere else. Wherever you might choose, imagine representing the United States and its interests in that country. Wouldn’t it be an honor to be the official spokesperson?
Did you know that all of us – all followers of Jesus Christ – are in fact Hisambassadors? It declares that in 2 Corinthians 5:20, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” Nowhere in this brief passage do we find the option, “if you choose to do so.” It’s our job; our assignment. Wherever we go, whether in our homes, neighborhoods, at school or where we work, we’re called to represent Him.
So I was grateful for the opportunity to write a book about Christian Business Men’s Connection (CBMC), which for nearly nine decades has been comprised of business and professional men devoted to serving the Lord and their communities in His name, seeking to tell others about Him. Marketplace Ambassadors has just been published and tells how God has been using CBMC to touch countless lives for Jesus since its founding in 1930.
Over the years the CBMC ministry has intersected with many notables – people like Jimmy Carter (then governor of Georgia), Charles Colson, Dr. Billy Graham, Joni Eareckson Tada, members of Congress, and others. But most of all, God has worked through everyday people with a heart for sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with others.
Churches and parachurch ministries have developed effective strategies and resources for reaching various segments of society – young and old, women, young people, couples and families – but relatively few have concentrated their attention on the marketplace. Particularly business and professional men with their unique needs and challenges. This is where CBMC has excelled, and I’ve had the privilege to help in communicating this mission in one way or another since 1981.
Marketplace Ambassadors includes dozens of stories of men and women whose lives have been transformed by being introduced to Jesus and discipled, so they could grow and mature in their faith. Some of these folks I’ve come to know well, and they have served as role models and mentors for me along my own spiritual journey. What has impressed me most is their love for the Lord, their passion for serving Him and zeal for telling others about Him.
In His Great Commission, Jesus instructed us to, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). In many segments of Christianity, this has been either underemphasized or ignored entirely. But it was the last thing He said prior to ascending to heaven – kind of like telling us, “This is what I most want you to remember.” It’s been my great privilege to experience and observe firsthand that CBMC has not forgotten the Lord’s final instructions.
A theme verse CBMC has embraced over the years, especially since the 1970s, is 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things you have heard me [Paul] say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” When the apostle wrote this to his protégé, Timothy, he described four generations of believers: “spiritual multiplication.” However, this is not directly only to the business and professional world. It’s a charge given to each of us, no matter where God has placed us.
This is why we’re called Christ’s ambassadors. A faithful, effective ambassador does not do whatever he or she wishes; they understand that they serve on behalf of their “sponsor.” And for those of us who profess the name of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, we’ve been placed in our workplaces, schools, neighborhoods and churches on His behalf, to be “salt and light” to many who need to learn about Him.
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