We’re having a serious identity crisis in the church today. We’re trying to be just like the world, rather than be the “set apart” people God has called us to be. Jesus declared, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you”. When God chose you and appointed you, you became an ambassador—with the privilege to bear fruit for His glory and arrange your life to please Him! This month at MomStrong International, we’ll be digging deep in the topic of being an ambassador for the Lord Jesus. It’s a privilege to embrace!
Transcribed version of the podcast is below
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- John 15:16-17
Resources Mentioned in Podcast
- MomStrong International
- Scripture Writing Challenge
- My Events Calendar
- The Busy Mom’s Guide to Daylight.
Scripture Mentioned in Podcast
- Corinthians 5:20-21
- 2 Corinthians 7:8-11
- Romans 8:13
- Ephesians 2:8
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
Join us at MomStrong International for our Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
Hey you guys, this is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the podcast. Today is Wednesday, September 4th—this is episode number 814 it is also the very first day of our study (at least at the podcast) at MomStrong International for the month of September. We’re going to be studying what it means to be an ambassador. I cannot wait.
Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
How are you guys doing? It’s September 4th and you kind of ease and back into your schedule or like—yeah, September. Yeah, no? I’m getting some pushback. I’m getting a little bit of pushback from some of you guys. You’re like— yeah, no, nope, I don’t want to do that. I’m kind of with you on that. We don’t start here until after Labor Day, so we’re sort of getting into it around here. I will say though, the one thing that I really do like about September is it kind of brings some order to my life. I think my life could be rather chaotic without September. If I lived most of my life like I do in June, July, and August— I might actually lose my mind. So I’m working on a little schedule. We’re getting up earlier at our house which is kind of an important thing getting up earlier. We’re trying to just get back into routine.
So if that’s you, I just encourage you stay with it. The routine actually pays off. I told you guys a while ago, I wrote a book called The Busy Homeschool Moms Guide to Daylight. There is tons and tons of great information in there about how to create routine and schedule and why your kids need it, why you need it. It’s great whether you homeschool or whether you don’t. You can check that out probably on Amazon you can also buy it directly from me in my store. Just Google: The Busy Homeschool Moms Guide to Daylight. I also wrote a book on marriage, and I hope you guys would find that interesting. Hey, I’ve written a bunch of books: Becoming MomStrong, Bible Promises for Mom’s, Prayers for the Battlefield. I’m starting to look like a genuine author. That’s kinda fun! And, I’m working on a new book!
I am really excited about that and what the Lord’s going to do. All right, coming up I am going to be, believe it or not, on September 14th, so just about a week and a half from now— in Fredericksburg, Virginia. So that’s next weekend and there’s still time to get your tickets. I want you guys to come on out. It’s going to be an incredible time of fellowship. If you’re in the Fredericksburg area, right between Washington DC and Richmond Virginia, that includes Baltimore, Charlottesville— come on out. You guys, I’m telling you what, we’re going to have a wonderful, wonderful day. The theme is Miracle Worker: The Life Changing Power of Following Jesus. I can’t wait to see you. It’s gonna be incredible. So come on out for that!
Next, I’ll be in Vancouver, Washington for my women’s event. Very special event right here in my neck of the woods. You’re not going to want to miss it on October the 12th. You can find tickets at HeidiStJohn.com/events. Without further ado, I want to dig right into this months study.
Every month we have a new study at MomStrong International and for the whole summer we studied the fruit of the Spirit. As we moved into September, we decided as a team that it would be a really good time to study what it means to be an ambassador. Something that’s really lacking in the culture right now is understanding what it means to be an ambassador. This is something I love to teach on. I will actually be teaching on this when I come to Fredericksburg next weekend because we’ve got to know who we are in Christ and what He requires—what is He asking us to do?
In 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 this is the apostle Paul writing to the church in Corinth and he’s got a kind of a sick church. Sound familiar? He’s got a sick church. The Christians in Corinth were really struggling. The world had really infiltrated the church and the church really wasn’t looking much different than the world was. The church looked very much the same. You guys heard me several months ago and I was talking about the blog posts that came from a popular author who has as a popular book. And she wrote: I love Jesus and I cuss a little. It just rubbed me the wrong way. I love Jesus and I cuss a little. I love Jesus and I drink alcohol. I love Jesus and some of my best friends are gay.
What she’s trying to say is—look, we’re just like you, I love Jesus, I do those things too. You can love Jesus and it won’t change you at all, you’ll be exactly the same. What a bunch of baloney this is. What a bunch of sloppy agape. The gospel changes us. It should move us to a place of wanting to be more mature in Jesus, and not to a place of just being absolutely stuck in our immaturity and never moving to meet… and always just drink and milk like a bunch of little babies— and that’s really what we are. I’m not trying to hurt feelings. That’s what we are. So many of us in the church today are not growing in the Lord, not maturing— and we’re wallowing. I love Jesus and I cuss a little. Really? That’s the best you can do?
Now I’m not saying I don’t cuss a little, but my goodness, I’m not going to brag about it. I’m going to be like—Lord, help me. That word escaped my math that I can believe it.
What we’re saying when we say these things like: I love Jesus and I cuss a little, I love Jesus and I drink alcohol— again, we’re going to talk about this in Fredericksburg and I just went over this in Kansas City— alcohol is not the problem. You can’t make a biblical case for not having alcohol. You can make a very strong biblical case for not getting drunk. You can make a pretty strong case for the Lord saying— I’m going to have a personal relationship with you. Some of you guys are having alcohol and you’re not getting drunk, and God’s saying repeatedly to you— no, that’s not for you. How about you stop instagramming your Margaritas since the people who are seeing it can’t tell if you’re getting drunk or if you’re just having a Margarita.
You see, we’ve sort of embraced our freedom. It’s for freedom that we’ve been set free. God wants us to be free, but we’re not free to sin. We are Christ’s ambassadors. To know Him is to love Him, and to love Him is to obey Him. So what are we doing? When we are not being ambassadors for the Lord Jesus, then we are being ambassadors for the world. We’re ambassadors for something. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies put His seal on your soul when you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. He’s called you an ambassador. You are an ambassador for the King of kings and the Lord of lords. This calling should weave through our parenting, our homes, our planners, all of our activities, our choices, how we decide to represent ourselves on social media.
For the whole month here at MomStrong International, we are going to have a little fun and take stock at the same time. So I’m gonna start asking you questions. Are we living daily aware of our calling? How’s the morale in your family? How are the junior ambassadors in your care doing? What’s the security level in your consulate? Where are our defenses weak and vulnerable to attack? Are we misrepresenting our lord by our behavior?
You see, sometimes where our loyalties lie and what we expect of God’s loyalty don’t match. Sound familiar? And then what sets in is confusion, frustration, double standard. You see ambassadors represent their home country. So I’m gonna ask you guys a question as you think about this and I really hope that you’ll join me. It’s just $8 and you can download this study. It’s beautifully illustrated, very well thought out. Total biblical teaching on what it means to live a set apart life. We are called to live a setup part life. This was the message I just brought to Bakersfield a few days ago: set apart, we’re called to be different.
The question then becomes: what does our ambassadorship look like? Are we representing the Lord Jesus? Does the magnitude of God making an appeal for us to be reconciled to Himself spill through every area of your life. Is our life saying saying “Look! My God loves you! Rest here and let me tell you how He does!”
You see in our ambassadorship that means that we are on mission all the time. You’re on mission when you go to a restaurant, mama. Dad, you’re on mission when you’re at work. You’re on mission when you’re training your children. You’re on mission when we put things on social media that may or may not be misconstrued. Can the King trust us to be His ambassadors? The whole point of being an ambassador is that we don’t speak to please the people who are listening to us. We speak, we act, to please the King of kings and the Lord of lords. So I want you to be filled with joy as we study this, this month— because you belong to the One True Great King, the only God. You are chosen and appointed, you’re part of the greatest ambassador team of the strongest kingdom ever known to man, woven throughout history. And the end result is going to be that we will see the face of the Lord Jesus alongside others to whom we’ve spread the message of the Gospel. We’re going to be talking about what it looks like to be an ambassador, how Jesus was an ambassador. Jesus modeled what it was like to represent the Lord. He spoke about God’s commandments and God’s initiative and God’s heart.
It just begs the question— are we doing the same thing? We’re gonna take you deep into Scripture this month. We’re hoping that you’re gonna ink up your Bible and highlight it and circle it. If you haven’t started a MomStrong International group, you can totally do that. You can apply to be a leader and have the women in your group come alongside you and you guys can study God’s Word together. It is a powerful thing to become equipped with the knowledge of God. With the knowledge of God we can go out into the culture and represent Him correctly. The Bible teaches us that we have been reconciled to the Lord. Remember I said a minute ago that to know Him is to love Him— and to love Him is to obey Him.
It requires repentance.
If we’re going to be an ambassador, the first thing we have to do is repent. Repentance in the Greek means: I changed my mind. So if you got your Bible, well even if you don’t I’m going to read it to anyway. But, if you’re listening to me and you’ve got your Bible, open into 2 Corinthians 7:8-11. This is the apostle Paul talking to the church in Corinth and he’s trying to correct them because they keep going sideways. You can kind of tell as he talks to them, that he’s just like— come on you guys, figure it out.
I wonder what the Apostle Paul would say right now if he came and visited me in Vancouver, Washington, or you in Lee’s Summit, Missouri , or New York City, or in Cincinnati, or an Idaho, Orlando— what would he say about the churches that we go to? Would he feel the need to correct the churches? So here’s what he says in his letter. He has rebuked them and now he’s coming back and he’s saying—even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I don’t regret it. I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while. Yet now I am happy not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow lead you to repentance. You see sorrow, that grief, you’ll know if it’s from the Lord.
A godly grief, a godly sorrow over what you’ve done, centers around a concern for God. Have I misrepresented the Lord? Have I brought shame or dishonor to the name of Christ? A worldly sorrow, a worldly grief, will center around a concern for yourself. You’ll notice this in your toddler right away. You might even notice it in your teenager or yourself. Moment of silence.
When we get caught doing something that we know we should have done— Does our sorrow center around our concern for ourself like it does if you, you just caught your toddler into the cookie jar again? Or does it center around a concern for God? The Bible says in verse 10— Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you:— so now he’s going to encourage him—what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm,—you guys, if you’re not looking around at the culture right now and absolutely astonished and alarmed of what’s happening in the church—you’re not paying attention. We should be sorrowing over what’s happening in the church and Paul is saying, you guys are finally getting it— what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. Hallelujah, you’re finally getting it. You’re finally understanding it. This is what it means to be an ambassador.
Romans 8:13 —For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. It was Jim Elliot who said— he is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain for what he cannot lose. Often, we’ve forgotten that we don’t represent the United States of America. We represent the King of kings and the Lord of lords. That doesn’t mean that we don’t represent our country. It means we represent our King first.
So you’d say—well, Heidi, you talk about politics, you get into. Yeah, you’re right. Because I live here. I like to see godly people running for office, which by the way— hardly ever happens. In lieu of me seeing the most godly man I know running for office, I’m gonna vote for the guy who’s not gonna kill babies and rip ’em from their mother’s womb. That’s going to be the top of my list. Why? Because it breaks the heart of God. You guys, if it breaks God’s heart, it should break your heart. If God is grieved by it, you should be grieved by it too, which is why abortion should grieve us, which is why our sin should grieve us. If it’s not grieving us then we don’t get it, we don’t understand what it means to be an ambassador. And we don’t understand what it means to give the Lord a hundred percent Lordship of our lives. It’s regeneration. It’s this renewing that’s happening in our Spirit because of the grace of God.
Ephesians 2:8 it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. So get off the bench and onto the battlefield. Look what God’s done for you. Are you representing Him well?
2 Corinthians 5:17 anyone who belongs to Christ becomes a new person. The old life is gone, a new life has begun. As ambassadors for Jesus Christ we recognize that we are new creatures in Christ and new creature has new affections. Those new affections should result in obedience. Many churches today have abandoned the doctrine of regeneration. That is this doctrine that we are being made new by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. Can I just encourage you, we need to get back to it. We need to get back to teaching our children that there’s a process that we should be engaged in—and that is becoming more like Christ. God says to us as a believer that if we’ve recognized our separation from God, and sought his forgiveness from sin and acknowledged Him as savior, then He saves us. He’s adopted us as His children, and we become His ambassadors. It’s as if Christ is making His appeal through us. So do our lives say—yes, come back to God…… or do they say— I love Jesus and I cuss a little… ?? Are we just ignoring God’s clear command in Scripture not to worship God like the pagans do, which is why I took on the topic of Yoga on my podcast.
We are therefore Christ ambassadors as if you were making His appeal through us. So what do our lives say about Jesus? There’s a lot of great stuff in the study this month at MSI and I am going to get down on my knees and just beg you guys to study God’s Word with me. You’re going to find a lot of really good soul searching questions, a lot of joy and a lot of encouragement— but also some really good soul searching questions. I’m going to be asking you where you find yourself on the continuum, in your spiritual journey? Where you are in understanding who Jesus is. Are you just interested in Him? Do you think He was just setting a good example? Or do you think He was the son of God? We’re going to unpack some of this stuff this month.
If you’ve got people who are brand new to their walk with the Lord, this is a great time to download the study. It’s a great time to just get in there and say—you know what?.. we are going to prioritize the study of God’s word in our life. We’re going to talk about justification and what that means. I’m going to throw some theology at you guys, some doctrine, so that you can come to understand the deeper things of God— but it’s not enough just to study the word. You gotta get out onto the battlefield and apply it . Until you get out there and apply it, it’s just theory. It’s just something that you study, it’s theology. but then when you get out there, you make it your own. You make it your own when you speak to people about Jesus, your life begins to reflect the love that you have for Him, and people can look at you and say— wow, that person is an ambassador, something’s going on with that girl… or… something is going on with that guy … or…Whatever that family has, I want it to.
It’s not because you become a perfect parent (because none of us have), it’s not because you never cuss a little, it’s not because you don’t sin—it’s because you have a desire to be set apart so that you can represent the King of kings and the Lord of Lords in the way that He asks you to. It’s a powerful thing to be called out of the darkness and into the light. That’s what the Apostle Paul said: Therefore, live as people of light. That’s what God asks us to do. I hope you guys will join me for the study. You can download it with me. I teach on it every Wednesday here, but you’ll have the whole week to study it.
So this is from the first week, so we just studying it at MomStrong International.com. If you’re interested in being a leader for MSI, I would just encourage you to do that. In fact, I cannot encourage you enough. I told you earlier, I’m to the point where I just feel so burdened to see you study the Word and to grow. God wants us to grow, to move us beyond where we are right now, to a place of taking our positions on the battlefield, holding up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God—and rightly defending it. We love you guys. So much of what we do here is aimed at training you in righteousness and training you to walk rightly with the Lord. If you have been encouraged by the podcast, a couple of ways that you can support is first: join the study.
So that for your little $8 a month you’re going to get a Bible study. The $8 also helps us keep this podcast on the air and pay the staff—it takes about six people to get this thing to you every time. Every ime we air it. You can send financial support to us at Firmly Planted, this is the nonprofit organization that my husband and I founded many, many years ago. We really want to encourage you to pray for us. I don’t often ask for prayer, but we’re going through some pretty big things here. Some pretty deep water, some trials that the Lord has allowed to come into our ministry. We need prayer covering. So if you think about us, if you could pray for us, if you ever want to set a note of encouragement to the staff at Firmly Planted Family, I know they’d love to hear from you. Let me give you my address again (below). We want to encourage you that you’re lives really are serving as ambassadors for the Lord Jesus. Get off the bench, on to get onto the battlefield and as my friend Bill Jack would say— stay faithful. Thanks for listening to everybody and I’ll see you back here on Friday.
Write to Heidi:
Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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