“I stand with heaven and proclaim God’s way of love on earth.”

As I reflected on these words from my morning devotional, my mind was drawn to the state of the world and particularly the attitude of many Christians to the respective attempts by governments and authorities to contain the COVID strains and minimalize its catastrophic impact globally. Instead of focusing on the continuing uncertainties and opposing perspectives, my thoughts were instead directed to how an Ambassador of Reconciliation from the Crucified Kingdom ought to think and respond to these matters. While Scripture doesn’t address these specific issues by name, it does guide our actions. The following familiar verses frame my thoughts:

“God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” – 1 John 4: 16

An Ambassador of Reconciliation from the Crucified Kingdom loves God and his fellow man.

 “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever —  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you … Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.” – John 14: 15-17, 21

An Ambassador of Reconciliation from the Crucified Kingdom obeys God through the help of the Advocate and does not act out of self.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 8a

An Ambassador of Reconciliation from the Crucified Kingdom understands that love is others-focused and always positive.

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6: 8

An Ambassador of Reconciliation from the Crucified Kingdom represents the righteousness of the Kingdom by acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God.

 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,  I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.  “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?  “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ – Matthew 25: 40-45

An Ambassador of Reconciliation from the Crucified Kingdom always considers the needs of the vulnerable above their own needs and desires.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. … Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. – Colossians 3: 2, 3, 12.

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An Ambassador of Reconciliation from the Crucified Kingdom is servant-hearted and known for their compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be your slave just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. – Matthew 20: 26b-28

An Ambassador of Reconciliation from the Crucified Kingdom lives the crucified life by being willing to lay down their life and position for others.

God set His standard and has informed us of what we should do. He expects that we will obey His commandments because of our oneness of spirit with Him (love), but he never forces us. “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself…” (Luke 9:23). In other words, “To be My disciple, let him give up his right to himself to Me.” The Lord is not talking about our eternal position, but about our being of value to Him in this life here and now.”

Once we have embraced “the crucified life”, those words mean the death of my independence, and the surrendering of my life to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus. It is something I must do myself. It means no longer following my own ideas, but choosing absolute loyalty to Jesus. Oswald Chambers reflects on this as follows: When I reach that point, immediately the reality of the supernatural identification with Jesus Christ takes place. And the witness of the Spirit of God is unmistakable— “I have been crucified with Christ….”

Personally, the old man in me often still resists and dislikes the inconvenience and discomfort of the mask. That same old man asks important questions about vaccine choices, side effects, and the loss of choice. But that old man is dead. I have crucified him and I am now An Ambassador of Reconciliation from the Crucified Kingdom and I have chosen to lay down my own rights and positions for the least of these that I might not contribute to the ongoing pain and suffering of those around me. As An Ambassador of Reconciliation from the Crucified Kingdom I desire the outcome of the prayer of Jesus as recorded in John 17;   “… I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,  that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—  I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

Daily I choose to die to myself and put on my mask. I died to my self-focus and received the vaccines after careful research and input from reputable sources. No one took away my right to choose. I gave them up for the greater good of others. My right to self has died so that others might see Him alive in me and also live. This is the way of God’s love on earth and the action of an Ambassador of Reconciliation from the Crucified Kingdom of God.

Your servant in Christ,

Mark