There is so much to the idea of being ambassadors! An ambassador does not speak to please his audience, but the king who sent him. An ambassador does not speak on his own authority; his own opinions or demands mean little. He simply says what he has been commissioned to say. But an ambassador is more than a messenger; he is also a representative, and the honor and reputation of his country are in his hands. Join me as I dig into week four our of study “Ambassador” from MomStrong International!
Transcribed version of the podcast is below.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Daniel 1:1-5,17
Resources Mentioned in Podcast
- MomStrong International
- Scripture Writing Challenge
- My Events Calendar
- Submit your questions to MailBox Monday
- #OffTheBench T-Shirt
Scripture Mentioned in Podcast
- 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
All things Heidi
- MomStrong International
- Scripture Writing Challenge
- My Events Calendar
- Submit your questions to MailBox Monday
Join us at MomStrong International for our Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
Hey friends, this is Heidi St. John. Thanks for joining me today at the podcast. I love it when you hang out with me and my little corner of the internet. Today is Wednesday, September 25th and this is episode number 823. This is MomStrong International Wednesday and today we’re going to be wrapping up our September study called ambassador.
Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
I hope you guys have been enjoying the study. If you haven’t joined us yet at MomStrong International, can I just encourage you to do that? I have a passion to see you grow in your relationship with the Lord, not just to be stagnant or to sit and soak and just take everything in, but to actually learn how God wants you to interact with the culture and then do it with boldness. This is God’s heart for you and this is certainly the the heart behind the study Ambassador that we’ve been doing all month. If you haven’t been joining me, let me talk to you a little bit about the heart and the mission of MomStrong International. First of all, you can become a leader with MSI and one of the things we’re trying to do is train leaders. We are making a study guide for you so that you can lead an MSI group in your home or at your church. These are not just little women’s Bible studies where we talk about our feelings and sing kumbaya. We’re actually gonna have you open God’s Word and dig deep into the truth of His Word so that you can have answers for the questions that the world is asking right now. This goes along with my heart for you, for my Faith That Speaks Women’s Conference. If you haven’t noticed that the culture is struggling today, then you might not be living here on planet earth. Because look around you. The questions are coming. The rapid fire questions are coming in. As God’s people, the Word of God says that we need to be ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within you.
Here and around the world, the need for healing is great, but in the midst of one of the most challenging spiritual times in human history, God’s people are struggling to remember who they are. The Bible says that you are an ambassador of the living God. But rather than be ambassadors, we have become timid and afraid to speak. The Bible teaches us in 2 Timothy that God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but rather of power and love and a sound mind. I want to encourage you not to be afraid to speak about the hope of Jesus and not to be silenced because we’ve allowed ourselves and our message to be silenced. As the church has lost its voice, the world has lost its way. Jesus knew this would happen right after Paul exhorted us to put on the full armor of God.
He said to this sense: stay alert with all perseverance, making supplication—in other words, asking for God’s help— for all of the saints and also for me, that words might be given to me so that I might open my mouth to boldly proclaim the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains that I may declare a boldly as I ought to. The Psalmist said, let the redeemed of the Lord say so and so. This is what we do at my women’s conference, Faith That Speaks. I want to invite you to come and join me anywhere that you see that I will be. I’m going to teach you how you can boldly proclaim the mystery of the gospel as the Bible says we ought to. While the world was perishing all around us, we want to get together for a day of just encouragement and hope to equip ourselves with the hope of the gospel and proclaim it to other people— this hope that we have in Jesus. I hope you guys will come out.
I also want to let you know that I am expecting Christmas cards in the mail from you guys this year. I have a whole wall that’s dedicated for your pictures and your letters and I would love for the families at the Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center and the staff of Firmly Planted Family to see what God is doing in your life. We’d love to hear from you. You can send us pictures of your family and letters and we’d just love to connect with you that way. We would love to hear from you.
I also want to let you know if you’ve got a question for Mailbox Monday, we have a web page set up for you now. You can go to HeidiStJohn.com/mailboxmonday and drop your question in there. Today is week four of our study on being an ambassador for Jesus. Friday, my friend Todd Wilson is going to be on the show with me. I love Todd and Debbie. They have had a tremendous influence in the homeschool community. The thing I love the most about Todd is that he is real. He’s not going to sugar coat a life. He’s not going to sugarcoat homeschooling. He’s going to say that even though it’s hard, it’s worth it. One of the things I love to tell parents is that there’s nothing that’s worth doing in this life. It’s easy. So if it’s worth it, you can expect opposition. If it’s worth it, you can expect it’s going to be hard.
The same thing is true of being an ambassador. Our verse this week at the mom strong international Bible study is 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 .
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
There is so much to the idea of being ambassadors! An ambassador does not speak to please his audience, but the king who sent him. An ambassador does not speak on his own authority; his own opinions or demands mean little. He simply says what he has been commissioned to say. But an ambassador is more than a messenger; he is also a representative, and the honor and reputation of his country are in his hands. In layman’s terms, an ambassador is a representative. “A minister of the highest rank employed by one prince or state, at the court of another, to manage the public concerns of his own prince or state, and representing the power and dignity of his sovereign.”
It’s interesting that Noah Webster identifies ambassadors as “ordinary, when they reside permanently at a foreign court; or extraordinary, when they are sent on a special occasion.” We would be ordinary ambassadors, and it makes such perfect sense that Jesus Christ is the most extraordinary ambassador ever to walk this earth! He was sent here for a special occasion. He actually came to die. He came on mission, and sometimes this foreign world that we live in now crowds in and it’s easy to get caught up in the swirl. Disease ravages, culture mocks, leaders we have learned much from walk away from their first love, evil takes the form of a bullet spray, compromise is demanded at work. Compromises demanded at work. The Israelites felt the weight of living somewhere not their home.
“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. Upon the willows in the midst of it we hung our harps. For there our captors demanded of us songs, and our tormentors mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion.’ How can we sing the LORD’S song in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137:1-4)
If you resonate with a cry of the Israelites…how can I have joy in the culture? The world is stealing my children’s hearts! We feel the weight of wanting to just give up the fight; we feel the drain of staying in the battle—and yet—that weight is the enemy’s unending goal, to which we cannot yield! Mom, if you stay on the sidelines and wring your hands, your family will be lost. It is worth taking unsteady steps into the battlefield, for the Lord will strengthen you with every pace. The Israelites cried out with resolve to God and one another, “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget her skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy” (Psalm 137:5-6).
You see, we are on assignment here, men and women. Every breath that we take is for God’s preordained purpose to be worked out in us. DON’T FORGET THIS. I had my friend Laura Gallier on the show a couple of days ago and we were talking about the very real spiritual battle that we are engaged in right now. You guys, this is a battle for life and death. It is literally life and death. It hangs in the balance. Don’t forget it. In the darkest hours of slavery in a country not their [Israelites] own, they fought to remember God’s purpose in the now and His victory in the end. We can grab the baton of hope that believers have passed down through centuries of being on mission for Almighty God!
As we move among other ambassadors that we are also in relationship with it—that’s the people I work with every day at Firmly Planted Family, that’s my staff here at the podcast, it’s my family, it’s my husband. These are the ambassadors who God has called me to be in relationship with. Then, we are also called to love God and one another in the way that God would want us to by calling sin for what it is. If we don’t have a relationship with another believer, then we haven’t earned the right to speak into their lives, and we surely haven’t earned the right to jump on them publicly—our role is to pray. In our homes, among our friends and our kids’ friends, at events in town, in conversations both digitally and in person, we need to keep a fresh awareness that in this life, the spotlight is on God, not us. Let’s purpose to point our light directly to Him for His glory. The hope of our future is what we are representing in the present, Mom. Let’s bring that hope to the forefront of all we are.
That’s what we’re doing this week when we study being an ambassador for the last time in September. It’s our story, for God’s glory. We’ve read this verse 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
God wants you to be set apart. When people look at the film reel of your life, it’s as if you are projecting a light behind your life that projects what you believe onto the screen in front of you. Did people see Jesus? Do they see Him in the way that you interact with your spouse? Did they see you, men and women, laying your lives down for each other? Not because of how good you are, but because of God’s working in your life? …because you recognize that your life is speaking for the one who sent you. You are an ambassador. The Bible says you’ve been chosen—so what does it mean to be chosen? Well, if there’s a God, and you guys have heard me talk about this before as I believe that there is… and if He rules the world in His sovereignty as the Bible says that He does, and if He’s going to bring human history to a close according to His plan and appoint every person and eternal destiny as Jesus taught that He will — then every person listening to this today needs to be asking a question that’s central to our humanity.
How can I bring my life into alignment with God’s purpose for my life?
How does God want me to live? If we don’t know the answer to this question and if our lives are not in alignment with God’s purpose, then what happens is we find ourselves at cross-purposes with God and therefore excluded from His kingdom in the age to come. This is a fearful thing! It’s a fearful thing to be at cross purposes with our Creator. On the flip side of that, nothing inspires courage and endurance and hope for our daily lives, like knowing the purpose of God and feeling ourselves wholeheartedly in harmony with it. The gospel doesn’t leave us where it binds us. The miracle is that it changes us and it brings us freedom because we realize we’ve been chosen, we are Christ’s ambassadors and we also have the opportunity to choose.
We can either make Jesus the Lord of our lives or not. When we make Him Lord, than it looks a lot like Lordship. You see, if we claim the message of the gospel, our lives should look different. Mom who’s listening to this today, your life should look different. Heidi St. John, your life should look different. It’s easy for me to fall into old patterns of sin or to lose the perspective that God wants me to have for the blessing that I have been given to walk in relationship with my husband and my children. All of it is part of our ambassadorship. Every single part of your life should be marked by Lordship saying— Lord, I’m going to give you 100% of the reigns of my life. Father, I’m going to let you speak through me. This is why I’m so passionate about my women’s conference Faith That Speaks. It’s teaching us how to speak, that our mouths would declare that we believe that Jesus is the Lord and we want Him to be the Lord of our life. That starts with repentance.It starts with saying— Lord, open my eyes to whatever it is that’s in my life right now that doesn’t please you.
Some of you are listening to this right now and the Holy Spirit is pricking at your heart and you can feel it. You know that what you’ve been watching on Netflix, or what you’ve been saying to your children, or how you’ve been treating your spouse doesn’t please the Lord. I’ve noticed something recently. I told you guys we’ve gone through a pretty rough season here at Firmly Planted, and I don’t have 45 minutes to go over that with you to today, but I can tell you it’s brought me to my knees.
I’ve sat on the floor in my office and cried with some of our staffers as we’ve tried to understand what the Lord is doing. In the midst of all of that, we lift our hands up to the Lord and we say— Father, we’re giving this to you. It belongs to you. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Through it all, whether we are in times of want or in times of plenty, we want our lives to say that Jesus is the Lord of our life and that God is good and that His heart toward us is good. We want our lives to reflect no matter what circumstance we’re walking through. Joy isn’t a product of our circumstances. Joy is the unmistakable sign of the presence of God. It says no matter what’s happening in my life right now, I trust the Lord Jesus and I know that God is at work. That means we cling to the knowledge that we are who God says we are and we believe it with our hearts and we live it out with our lives whether things are going the way we want them to or whether they’re not.
There was a young mom that came recently to see me at an event that I was speaking at and she was talking about her relationship with her husband and she was disappointed in her marriage and disappointed in the direction that her life was going. Disappointed in where she was in her life at that point. Her response to that disappointment, rather than let it drive her closer in with the Lord, she had become bitter. In her bitterness, she began to say things to her husband that would wound him. Eventually that wounding that she was doing to her husband was spilling over into her children and her children were resentful toward their dad. So the atmosphere in their home became toxic.
Do you think that she can be an ambassador for the Lord in a toxic environment like that? No way. But it’s bigger than that. Beyond the ambassadorship that God has given her He said— Hey, you’re speaking for me. The enemy has come in and closed her eyes to the fact that her home should have been a place where a family of ambassadors resides. Not only are they unable to be ambassadors, but the poison they have allowed to come into their home is leaching into their children and leaching out into the community.
You’re a target if you know the Lord Jesus as your Lord and savior. Can I tell you right now? The enemy’s not going to let that sit. He knows right where to wound you. He knows right where to get you. He doesn’t want you to be an ambassador. He doesn’t want you to live a life of repentance. He doesn’t want you to be honest about the sin struggles that you’re dealing with or ask for help or seek forgiveness.
He’d rather see you get bitter and angry and have that be the thing that marks your life. Can I just encourage you as we draw this study of being an ambassador to a close—that God has so much more for you than that. You serve a God of healing. He wants you to be whole in your marriages and whole in relationship with your children, but it starts in coming under the authority of Jesus and walking in right relationship and having your relationship with God be whole. That starts with repentance. It encourages me when I watch moms and dads get on their knees before the Lord and say—Father, I’m struggling with sin in my life. I want your healing. We’re going to be talking about this through the study at MomStrong International. We’re going to be talking about forgiveness and though the process of forgiveness isn’t easy, it’s going to require that you keep your eyes so focused on the Lord that you can’t hear the enemy as he tells you it’s not worth it. We’re going to study some passages in 2 Corinthians 2, we’re going to study what it means to press into the truth of being an ambassador for the Lord by putting on the full armor of God and not allowing a root of bitterness to take place. I hope you guys will join us. You can download the study today, print it off, go over it with your families. It’s a great time to just print this study off and over the dinner table.
Dad, you can print it off and just go through a page with your wife and with your kids or mom. You can do this by yourself or you can do it with your children, but study God’s Word. It is life giving and it will teach you what it means to be an ambassador. There’s freedom in it and there’s joy and there’s healing and there’s hope. Oh my goodness, I love God’s Word. Read God’s Word and see if you don’t discover the life changing power of following Jesus. I want to thank you guys for studying with me for the month of September this idea of being an ambassador and what it means. If you’ve been encouraged, we would love it. If you leave reviews for the podcast over at iTunes. Let people know that you listen and the impact it’s making.
I want to encourage you to, again, send me your pictures. I love to hear from you. We love getting snail mail here at Firmly Planted Family. We love to hear what God’s doing in your life. Send us a picture of your family.
Thank you so much for listening and I will see you back here on Friday with my friend, author and speaker, Todd Wilson.
Write to Heidi:
Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
Support this ministry by donating through E-giving. You can also send donations to: 1100 NE34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682