Friday, January 1, 2016

Ambassadors of the Christ Contagion

“OUR task is to live our personal communion with Christ with such intensity as to make it contagious.”
— Paul Tournier (1898–1986)
NEW YEAR is a funny time of year.
It’s pregnant with the end of things, hope for fresh new things, and innocent for what may or may not come to pass through the acceding 365 days.  Even those who have nothing to do with New Year’s resolutions possibly find themselves reflective.  New Year causes us to wonder about the end of things and the beginning of things in general.  Maybe as Christians New Years are like dry runs for the end of life itself — and the commencement of that new life in heaven’s reality of things.
I liked what my father-in-law said recently when I asked him, tongue-in-cheek, “So what’s your New Year’s resolution?”  He gave me an unusual response I was expecting — “I don’t make them, but I do make resolutions regularly.”
As Christians we’re prone to that practice, and that’s because the Holy Spirit convicts us to make resolutions for our growth.  Resolutions of this kind are proof that the Holy Spirit is operational within us.  This is an essential sign that our faith is alive; (a dead faith serves us, others and God no good at all).
This past Christmas I received the gift of Angus Buchan’s Now is the Time: A Daily Devotional from my wife.
Inside it she wrote an encouraging challenge for me; a message from someone who knows me better than just about everyone, bar one: God.
As I read her honest loving truthful words awareness of my pride rose up and the Spirit showed me how tenderly sensitive my flesh still is.  Yet Buchan’s first devotion, titled An ambassador of the highest rank, commended me back to the Paul Tournier quote.  As an ambassador, that pride that rose up upon reading those challenging words is out of accord with the Spirit’s work done in me for others.  I found this is humbling, if not momentarily humiliating.
But humiliation is not the point.  The point is Christ.  The point is the extension of Christ’s Kingdom on this earth — in my day.
As I overcame my pride — as I so often need to — as a man given to much inordinate pride — I found the Spirit gifted me with the capacity, again, to rise in my ambassadorship.  This rise gave way to a fresh authority — to exemplify the what I call the Christ contagion.
God is glorified and Christ is preached when we’re aware of and act upon the Spirit’s revelation.
When we make the Spirit’s revelation known to others we’ve risen to ambassadorship.
Let us be ambassadors of this Christ contagion that renders lives healed and whole.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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