This is Part 2 of “I’m Third.” Last week’s devotion showed how God’s transformative power can equip you to bear with the failings of others instead of living a self-centered life. This week’s devotion will show how this lifestyle points others to Christ through Christ in you.
One of my favorite Biblical examples of selflessness is John the Baptist. When John’s disciples frantically approached him on the crisis that was brewing concerning his crowds being siphoned off to Jesus, he replied in John 3:30, “He must become greater; I must become less.” (NIV) John was a “rock star” who was drawing large crowds, yet his prominence did not detract from God’s mission in his life. John knew it was not about him, but about Jesus. As John was sent to point others to Jesus, so you are commanded in 2 Corinthians 5:20a to point others to Jesus, “We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.” (NIV)
Embracing your call to be an ambassador to Christ is a significant step to living your life for others rather than yourself. In 2 Corinthians 2:16 you see how being an ambassador of Christ carries great responsibility, “To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.” (NIV) Your position as ambassador can point another toward or away from Christ; to heaven or to hell. Here are some principles for guiding your life in the service of Christ: 1) 1 Corinthians 8:9 challenges you to not let anything in your life compromise another’s quest to know Christ or walk with Christ, “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” (NIV) 2) In 1 Corinthians 9:22 you are challenged to adapt to where others are at in order to bring them to Christ, “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” (NIV) 3) In 1 Corinthians 8:11 you are challenged to put love and truth above pontificating on knowledge, “So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge.” (NIV) 4) In Ephesians 4:2-3 you are called to live out the character of Christ for salvation and growth of others, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”(NIV) 5) In 1 Corinthians 10:24 you are called to live a life that puts others ahead of you, “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” (NIV) Living out these five principles will help make you a vessel for pointing others to Christ, as God’s ambassador in the gospel. Let God use you for life … not death!
Matthew 18:6 “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (NIV)
Do you know someone who needs this message on dealing with problem relationships? If so, forward this devotion to them as a blessing for their growth in Christ.