Ambassador of Love

Ambassador of Love

Read: John 3:9-21 | Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 15–16; John 3:1-18

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17

In my work as a chaplain, some people occasionally ask if I am willing to give them some additional spiritual help. While I’m happy to spend time with anyone who asks for help, I often find myself doing more learning than teaching. This was especially true when one painfully honest new Christian said to me with resignation, “I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to read the Bible. The more I read what God expects from me, the more I judge others who aren’t doing what it says.”

As he said this, I realized that I was at least partly responsible for instilling this judgmental spirit in him. At that time, one of the first things I did with those new to faith in Jesus was to introduce them to things they should no longer be doing. In other words, instead of showing them God’s love and letting the Holy Spirit reshape them, I urged them to “behave like a believer.”

We are to be ambassadors of God’s love and mercy.
Now I was gaining a new appreciation for John 3:16-17. Jesus’ invitation to believe in Him in verse 16 is followed by these words. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Jesus didn’t come to condemn us. But by giving these new Christians a checklist of behaviors, I was teaching them to condemn themselves, which then led them to judge others. Instead of being agents of condemnation, we are to be ambassadors of God’s love and mercy.

Father, help me not to judge others today. Let me learn this until it changes me into someone more like You.

If Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, that’s probably not our mission either!

INSIGHT:

In John 3:1–21 Jesus is having a conversation with a religious leader named Nicodemus and tells him these important things about the kingdom of God: God’s Spirit gives new life and entrance into His kingdom, and this is not obtained by our own efforts (vv. 5–8). God sent Jesus to show us His love, not His condemnation (vv. 16–18). People hide in the darkness because of their sin, but Jesus is the Light and whoever follows Him is in the light (vv. 19–21).

By Randy Kilgore

odb.org

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