One of my responsibilities in my town is being the chaplain for our Police Department. It is a job that requires different aspects of ministry but a job that I enjoy as Judy and I get to interact with the families represented in our department.
The other night we had a swearing in service of 2 new police officers and as he usually does, the Chief asked me to pray for our new officers after they were sworn into office. Between my bites of pizza (they always feed us, as food seems to always attract people, or at least me!) I was thinking about their oath that goes something like this….
“I __________________ do swear, that I _______________________ will well and truly serve our sovereign country and state, as a Police Officer without favor or affection, malice or ill-will, until I am legally discharged, that I will see and cause our community’s peace to be kept and preserved.
And that I will prevent to the best of my power, all offenses against that peace, and that while I continue to be a police officer I will to the best of my skill and knowledge discharge all the duties thereof, faithfully according to the law. So help me God!”
For me I am impressed that there are still men and women that are willing to step up and take an oath to protect us, to run toward situations that most of us would run from, to treat people respectively and kindly even when they do not deserve it. Men & Women who are willing to make personal sacrifices even if most people refuse to acknowledge them. People that are willing to endure hours and hours of training so that they can become better at what they do so that they can better serve us.
As I was thinking about this, my thoughts went to our responsibilities as a Christian, our loyalty to God, and the expectations God has placed on us. God has given us many titles and one of those titles God calls us is His ambassador: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20
As it is with being a police officer, being an ambassador for the God of the universe is very important and brings with it highly regarded responsibilities. As a police officer represents our town, and is a spokesperson for the judicial system, we as ambassadors for God are both a spokesperson for God and a representative of the court of heaven.
As it is with police officers who appeal to people to obey our state and federal laws, as Christians we are to appeal to people to obey God’s eternal and heavenly law. When people refuse to obey our police officers the officer has no choice but to turn them over to the judicial system to be judged. When people refuse to listen and obey God’s eternal and heavenly law they too will be turned over to God’s judicial system.
As Christians, as God’s Ambassadors, God has commanded us to warn people of His judicial system before it is too late. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20
The word “implore” carries with it the idea of, “to beg urgently or piteously, beseech; entreat.” As God’s ambassadors we are to be passionate and active, begging unbelievers on behalf of Christ, to be reconciled to God. We need to tell them that “the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23
Let them know that “Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:10-12
Let them know how much God loves them: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17
And that God is just waiting for them to call on Him: “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'” Romans 10:12-13
It doesn’t happen often but there are times when some police officers forget their oath, and their motivation changes. Instead of fulfilling the oath that they took, they drift away and instead of serving, they want to be served. Instead of putting in the hours to train to become better at what they do, they just glide through the day. Instead of fulfilling their duties they expect others to do it for them.
I am afraid that way too often Christians drift away from their responsibility as God’s ambassador. They leave their heavenly calling to invest in the temporary. Instead of imploring others on Christ’s behalf to be reconciled to God; we find ourselves speechless. Instead of sharing the way to find that “peace that passes all understanding” we fill our lives trying to find peace through the things the world has to offer.
I have taken the liberty to reword the police officers oath. Take a look at it and put your name in the blanks, to see if as God’s ambassador you have not drifted but still qualify for His service.
“I __________________ do swear, that I _______________________ will well and truly serve our sovereign God and God’s Church, as an ambassador without favor or affection, malice or ill-will, until I am legally discharged to heaven, that I will see and cause God’s message to be spread, kept and preserved.
And that I will prevent all offenses against that peace, and that as a Christian I will continue using my Spiritual gifts and the Holy Spirit’s empowerment to discharge all the duties thereof, faithfully according to the Bible. So help me God!”
If you find that you have abdicated your responsibilities as ambassador then the Holy Spirit tells you what you need to do: “Therefore, I urge (implore) you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1
If you have drifted from your responsibility as God’s ambassador, you are only one prayer away from becoming qualified again: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9
If you are not fulfilling your responsibility as God’s ambassador, just give it up and surrender…