Significant differences distinguish Christian ambassadors from motivational speakers.
The first is authority. A motivational speaker relates experiences from his own life; a Christian ambassador relates God’s word, whether or not he has personally experienced it. (We are commanded to be Christ-like. We aren’t told to be silent if we aren’t. Indeed, if all disciples could teach about Jesus only what we have practiced, we would mostly be silent).
The second is purpose. A secularist can urge others to overcome a problem, a disease, a failure because he has. A Christian has only one message to the lost: God through Christ wants to forgive your sins so you can be restored to fellowship with him. The Bible, as seen in Berea, Acts 17:11-12, is our textbook, not our personal experience.
The third is potential. The secularist offers possibility, the Christian inevitability. A call to hope exists in any success story: if it happens to another, it CAN happen to me. The Gospel message isn’t, “it could happen to you”, but “you absolutely will be forgiven and restored to God’s presence if you accept Christ and are baptized.”
The fourth is permanence. Overcoming a near-death experience now prolongs our life only temporarily, for we still die. In Christ, blessed promise, believers “cross over from death to life” John 5:24, meaning eternal life with him begins at our baptism and continues past physical death. Since Satan had no power to prevent Christ’s resurrection, Acts 2:24, death has none to keep God’s people from rising from the dead at the Last Day, no tubes poked into our nose into our vitals, no extensive, stressful therapy needed, no consultations with medical practitioners to make us whole. No...but instantly renewed in body and brain—alive as never before, alive forever and ever by the Presence of God’s Spirit!
In short, what Peter preached on Pentecost remains the uncrossable divide between motivation and proclamation: “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact” Acts 2:32. Proclaim Christ’s resurrection every way possible: by word, by example, by song. HIS guarantees OURS! Fini
While still duking it out with a nasty sinus infection, this writer returns to blogging.
A story in Judy’s Woman’s World Magazine , 1/21/19, told the story of a young lady afflicted by a rare but life-threatening brain-stem stroke. Given little hope for survival, she nonetheless survived. Then, given no hope to ever move again, within a month she could use her right arm. That began a grueling therapy that eventually returned her to physical health.
Once restored to health, she became an author and a motivational speaker: a poster-child of hope when physical disability hits. She survived in order to encourage others suffering life-threatening diseases and accidents to persevere in hope and effort.
As Christ’s ambassadors Christians don’t motivate; that’s the Holy Spirit’s role in teaching, preaching and conversion. Nor do we relate our personal experiences as proof of God’s integrity; though an excess of such “sharing” gluts books and pulpits today.
No, ambassadors devoted themselves to their country’s resources, potential, interests and destiny. They served so zealously that a historical saying quipped that ambassadors were good men sent abroad to lie for their country. Christians have an entirely different role as they serve as Christ’s ambassadors. End Part I