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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Craig Groeschel » Craig Groeschel - Your Most Important Assignment

Craig Groeschel - Your Most Important Assignment

Craig Groeschel - Your Most Important Assignment
Craig Groeschel - Your Most Important Assignment
TOPICS: Who Do You Think You Are

So if you are a follower of Jesus, I wanna ask you, what kind of a Christian are you? If you are a Christian, what kind are you? I'll give you a couple of choices, and these'll kind of be extremes. Are you one of those bold ones? I mean, you know you've been chosen and called by God. When you wake up every day, you know you're on assignment by God to do his will on Earth as it is in heaven. You spend time in his Word, and you're sensitive to the Spirit, and you're prompted multiple times a day to reach out to someone to show God's love. You know you're called to go into all the world, to preach the gospel, showing the name of Jesus, baptizing people in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Are you a bold spirit-empowered, faith-filled follower of Jesus? Are you that type? Or would you say, "Ah, I'm more the normal type. You know, I love God and all, but I don't wanna go overboard. I mean, you know, I'm gonna do my spiritual thing. I'll go to church every now and then, and I'll read the Word occasionally, and you know, I wanna please God, but I'm just a stay-at-home mom, trying to change diapers, you know. I don't have time for all of that". Or, "I'm a Christian, but I'm just a student trying to graduate, and not drown in student loan debt". Or, "I'm, you know, a grandparent. I'm a Christian and my kids are grown, and I've worked really hard for a long time. I'm just trying to enjoy life. I'm more of the normal type of Christian".

If you're a Christian, what kind of a Christian are you? Are you the bold, passionate, spirit-filled witness type? Or are you the more normal type? Now, if we were about 20 minutes into the message, meaning I've kinda broken you down with some stories and humor, and I could go for it, about that time, if we're 20 minutes in, I would remind you that Jesus said, "I'd rather you be hot or cold, but if you're lukewarm, I'll spit you out, I'll vomit you out". I would tell you that if we were later in the sermon. But since we're just getting going, I'll keep it kinda friendly, and I'll save my punches 'til later. But what I wanna tell you, on a serious note, is if you're a Christian, and you think you're just a normal Christian, you couldn't be more wrong. You could not be more wrong, because if you are in Christ, there is nothing normal about you, nothing at all.

In fact, Scripture describes you as an ambassador of the Most High God. If you are in Christ, you're a representative of God, sent by him from heaven to Earth, to show his love. In fact, Paul told us this when he was writing to the Corinthian believers. It was about 55 or 56 AD, in 2 Corinthians 5, this is what the apostle Paul said. He said, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come, the old has gone, the new is here". If you are in Christ, your past sins are forgiven. Your old life is gone. You've been changed and redeemed by the power of the risen Savior. You are not the same, the new has come. And he says, "All this is from God".

Now watch how many times we see reconciliation mentioned in God's Word. "All this is from God who reconciled us to himself". He makes us right with him. "And through Christ," not on our own, but "through Christ, he gave us the ministry of reconciliation, that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them". Scripture says, "And he has committed to us", that's you, that's the Christians, "the message of reconciliation," so who are you? Let's say it loud, type it in the comment section, who are we? "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors," we are Christ's ambassadors, watch this, "as though God were making his appeal through us". What kind of an appeal are you, representing the love of God? Paul said this, "We implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. God made him," Jesus, "who had no sin, to be sin for us," why? "So that we might become the righteousness of God".

Who are you? Scripture says, "If you are in Christ, you're a new creation, the old is gone". And now, you are an ambassador of the Most High God. What does that mean for you? If you're an ambassador, let's talk about the Greek language, so we can kinda understand the word. The word translated as ambassador comes from the Greek word presbueo. We get our word Taco Bueno from, we don't really at all, I just made that up. But this Greek word appears two times in the Bible. It appears here and it appears whenever Paul says that I'm an ambassador in chains. In other words, even when I'm in chains, and locked up in prison, I'm still an ambassador for God.

And this word means an ambassador. It means a chosen representative of a ruling authority. It's a representative. We could say it this way, if you're an ambassador, what is an ambassador? An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat sent from one country to another, to promote and protect the interest of their home country. What are you? You are the highest ranking diplomat, sent by God from heaven to Earth, to promote and protect the interest of the kingdom of heaven. Who do you think you are? If you're in Christ, you are not just a normal Christian. There is nothing normal about you. If you are in Christ, you are an ambassador, sent by God from heaven to Earth. So what I want you to do is I want you to start internalizing it, and I'm gonna just ask you to repeat after me. Online, you can type this in the comment section. Everybody say, "I am an ambassador of Christ sent by God to show his love on Earth as it is in heaven".

Again, "I am an ambassador of Christ sent by God to show his love on Earth as it is in heaven". There's nothing normal about you. You're an ambassador of the King of all Kings. You're an ambassador of the kingdom of God. If you're an ambassador, what do ambassadors do? What are the benefits, what are the responsibilities? What do we need to know to fulfill our calling by God to represent him? I'll give you three big thoughts from God's Word. The first one is this, number one, as Christ's ambassador, number one, you are not elected by people, but chosen by God. You weren't voted in by anyone else's opinion, but you were chosen by the King of Kings to represent him.

In fact, Jesus said this in John 15:16, Jesus said, "You didn't choose me, but I chose you". How does it feel to be chosen by Jesus? Not only did he choose you, but he, "Appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. If you belonged to this world," but you don't belong to this world, you are not from here, you're a citizen of heaven, you don't belong to this world. If you did, "You would love it as its own. As it is," Jesus said, "you do not belong to the world," why? Because Jesus has, "Chosen you out of the world". Jesus is reminding you, and we need to work to remember this, that this world is not our home. We are not from here, therefore, we don't live for here. This is not where our home is. This is not where our values lie. This is not where our heart drifts toward. We are from the kingdom of heaven.

In fact, it was Paul who said this, he said, "For we," Philippians 3:20, "are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives". As citizens of heaven, God chose you to represent him on Earth. God chose you to be his ambassador. And you may say, "Dang, that feels a little more important than I was ready for, like I don't feel worthy to be an ambassador. I mean, I woke up late, I yelled at my kids. I can't even get to church on time, and I'm supposed to be an ambassador"? We often don't feel good enough. We don't feel smart enough, we don't feel ready enough. We don't feel important enough, and yet God calls us. I illustrate it this way, I've told you many times that years ago before starting Life.Church, I went before the ordaining board to become ordained as a young pastor.

And I was midway through seminary, and the board actually rejected me for ordination. I've told you that part many times. The part that I rarely ever talk about is a year later, I was ordained, and finally, you know, like I would glow in the dark, because that's what happened when you're ordained. I'm just joking, you don't really glow in the dark, you're still in the dark, you know? And, but anyway, I was ordained, and then I graduated from seminary, and I went to the leaders and I said, "I feel really burdened to start a church". And they said, "You can't start a church". I said, "I really would like, I feel, like, called by God to start a church". They said, "You can't start a church". And so I kinda said, "Can I please, please start a church"? And they're like, "We barely ordained you, no, you'll never start a church".

And so I was rejected for ordination. I was rejected by that kind of governing authority to start the church. But God opened the door to start the church. And what I wanna tell you is this, when God selects you, it doesn't matter who rejects you. When God calls you, man's opinion will never, ever stop you. It doesn't matter what anybody else says about you. It doesn't matter what they think about you. It doesn't even matter what you think about you. You are chosen by God, and you are placed by God at this moment in history, given your specific and very unique design, that you've got spiritual gifts within you, and you've got a calling upon you that when you walk into a room, you are ordained by God to represent him in that moment. You are an ambassador of the Most High God.

So as an ambassador, how do you know what to do? Who do you talk to? What do you say? Well, a good ambassador is gonna stay in close communication with headquarters. As an ambassador of the Most High God, you're gonna stay in close communication with your heavenly King. That means every single day you open up the Book, and you say, "God, what are your assignments for me in your Word"? You let his Word, his instructions, renew your mind and build your faith. And you listen for promptings from God. You listen for the voice of the Spirit to say, "Reach out to this person, and show 'em my love, and be a witness here, and be a light there, and be generous to this person, and be on call, be available".

When you are an ambassador, you're not on your own agenda. You're always on call for the one who sent you to represent his will in the country in which you're in. "God, prompt me and lead me". And when you recognize you're an ambassador, you're ready for an assignment from your commanding officer to fulfill his will where you are. When you recognize you're called and chosen, you're ready. Your day is never just your day, your day belongs to him. "God, where do you want me? What do you want me to say"? And when you have that posture, that mindset, "I'm a representative of the King of Kings," you'll sense that he prompts you over and over and over again to show his love, as though he were making his appeal through you. I was in the gym one day when my workout partner, Paco, didn't show up, and so I worked out by myself, and went to the sauna afterwards and thought, "Gimme a nice quiet sauna".

And this guy walked in, and didn't know who I was. We never talked, and he sat down, and he was having a really, really bad day. You could just tell, it was like all over him. And I said, "Looks like you're having a bad day". And he said cuss word, cuss word, cuss word, "I'm having a bad day". Well, he doesn't know who I am, this is kind of funny. Now I can be a regular guy, not pastor guy. And so we sat there for a while and I thought, "Well, I'll just pray for him". But then I felt like there was an assignment, this prompting that I should ask another question. And I just said, "Hey, if you wanna talk about it, I'm willing to listen". And he said, "I don't wanna talk about it," and then he started talking about it. And he told me all about basically how he had screwed up his marriage, and his daughter was begging him not to leave.

And his wife had kicked him out, and he was really hurting. And I sat there in that moment, and I felt like God had ordained for us to be there. And so I was praying, "Do I tell him that or not"? And I said, "Hey man, I don't wanna sound weird, or religious, or anything like that, but I really believe that God sent me to this place at this time for this conversation with you. And I really, really, really think you're supposed to go back and tell her what you just told me about what you did wrong, and apologize". And he looked at me and said cuss word, cuss word, cuss word, and he said, "I'm not religious, but I do think God sent you here to tell me that, and that's what I need to do". And I said, "Well, let's go do it, man, go do it". And he said, "I'm gonna go do it," and then he went out.

And what I realized at that moment is I was where God wanted me, not for a workout or not for a sauna, but to represent him to someone who needed a message from heaven. And in the very same way, every single day, in the smallest, just a conversation with a guy, "If you wanna talk, we can talk," and all of a sudden you find yourself representing heaven. You may be driving along, and you see someone's got a flat tire. And you're like going, "I can change a flat tire". And suddenly you recognize you are God's ambassador of the flat tire-changing ministry. And you just pull up and say, "Hey, can I help you out"? Or you walk into work and someone's hurting, and you think, "I can listen". And you are the ambassador of the ministry of listening on that day. Or someone has a baby, and you know they're going through a lot. You think, "I can make a meal".

And so you have the ministry of meal making. Or, like me, you have the ministry of gift card buying, let's just be honest, right? "I'll buy you a dinner, 'cause I'm not making you anything". It doesn't have to be big, but you understand, "Wow, it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks. It doesn't matter how much I know or don't know, I was not elected by people, but I was chosen by God. Therefore, I step in with the authority of God to do his will". Who are you? Who are you? You're an ambassador of the Most High God. You are not elected by people, but you were chosen by God.

Number two, you never represent yourself, you always represent God. You never represent your own will, or your own desires. You're always representing the King who sent you. In fact, Philippians 1:27 tells us this, Scripture says, "Above all else, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the good news about Christ". How cool would it be if everyone who called themselves a follower of Jesus conducted themselves in a way worthy of the manner of Christ, showing his love, his truth and grace? Because no matter where you are, and no matter what you're doing, you may be at the soccer field with your kid, you're at the grocery store buying groceries, you're going to the bank, you're talking to somebody at the store, no matter where you are, no matter what you do, you're representing Christ in that moment. That's who you are.

I'll give you an example, how many of you have been here for a long time? We're talking like 20 plus years at the church, anybody been here a long time? A few of you. Would you say if you've been here for a long time, I have matured a little bit, just a little bit? Raise your hand, just please, just makes me feel better. Thank you, just a little bit. So many of you say, "You've got more room to go". Yes, thank God for the redeeming power of Jesus who continues to conform us to his will. If you were here a long time ago, if you think I'm rough now, I've come a long way. And just as an example, like years and years ago, I'm 56 now, when Amy turned 40, I've got a picture of her, this was when she turned 40, she had a little hat on. You gotta understand, I am so in love with this woman, when I tell you this, it's like there's no way to describe how much I love her. She is the best thing. She's my favorite thing about everything.

So I did this post that was both funny and true, but it was not appropriate. On the post I said, "Happy 40th birthday, I love you with all my heart, happy 40th. You are way better than two 20 year olds". That's what I said. Now I said, I told you it was funny, and it's true, but it was unwise. That's one of the reasons why I have help with my social media accounts today, so it's that. And, I mean like, people lost their minds. Like, "Pastor shouldn't ever, Pastor shouldn't, Pastor shouldn't ever, and you're a man of God, Pastor, held to a higher standard, and that's not a pastor. Shouldn't there, Pastor shouldn't, Pastor shouldn't, And Pastor shouldn't".

But okay, okay, okay, okay, I shouldn't a done it, I know, whatever, but it is funny, and it is true, but I shouldn't a done it. And I'm not ever gonna say a pastor shouldn't be held to a higher standard, especially when it comes to teaching God's Word. But what I'm gonna say is if you're a follower of Jesus, we all should be held to a higher standard. And everything we do, and the way that we conduct ourselves, we should always represent Christ. It was Paul who said in Colossians 3:17, he said, "And whatever you do or whatever you say," anywhere you go, you act it, you say it, "do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ".

Though we live in this world, we are not of this world. The world has its values that are not the same values of the kingdom that sent us. This world says, "Put yourself first," but our King says, "Put others first, and consider them better than yourselves". We're representatives. This world says, "Get as much as you can". But our King says, "Give as much as you can, because it is far more blessed to give to others than it is to receive". This world says, "Hate those who hate you". But our King says, "Love and bless those who persecute you". We're not living according to this values of this world. We represent Jesus in everything that we do, who are you? You're representative of the Most High God. There's nothing normal about you. If you're in Christ, you're not a normal Christian. You are chosen and appointed by God to represent him on this Earth. What does it mean to be an ambassador?

Number one, you're not elected by people, you're chosen by God. Number two, you never represent yourself, but you always represent God. Number three, you have the authority of the one who sent you. You have the authority of the Most High God. Paul said this, 2 Corinthians 10:8, he said, "I may seem to have been boasting too much about the," what? Let's all say it aloud, "about the"? "Authority" "Given to us," who was it given by? "Given to us by the Lord". Hey, I may have been telling too much. I mean like, God gave me authority, and because of that authority, I'm happy to walk in that authority, and live in that authority. He said, "I may be boasting too much about that authority given to us by the Lord, but our authority builds you up. It doesn't tear you down". We encourage one another, we build people up as followers of Jesus. "So I will not be ashamed," he says, "of using my authority". God gave me his authority.

Notice Paul said, "I am operating in his authority," but he didn't use the word power, and there is a difference. He said, "I have his authority. I don't have the same power, but I have his authority". Kind of like if a police officer stands in the middle of the road and says, "Stop," do they have the power to make you stop, or the authority? They don't really have the power, because they can't really stop a moving vehicle with their physical body. But they have a badge that says there is a greater power standing behind them. And that power behind them gives them the authority to say, "You better stop". You have the authority given by God. Or if that doesn't make sense to you, if you grew up with a sibling, and your sibling acts up, and you walk into your mom and tell on your sibling, and your mom says, "You go back and tell her I said. You go back and tell him I said if he does that again, I'll knock him into tomorrow".

Or they don't say that. "If he does that again, I'll give him time out". Whatever it is, you tell me, right? And so you walk into that room like this, "Mom said if you," whatever, because now what power do you, you don't have any power, but you have authority, you have the authority of the mom. There's the authority of God, and the authority of the mom. It is below God, but not by much, okay? And so you come in, and you say, "I have a different authority". And Jesus said this, he said, "Look, I've given you authority over all the power of the enemy". In other words, we do have a spiritual enemy who came to steal, kill, and destroy. But anytime the enemy attacks you, you take authority over the enemy, and you tell the enemy, "Not today, Devil. Jesus gave me authority over you. You get behind me. Devil, you can't have my kids. Devil, you can't have my marriage. Devil, you can't touch my health, you can't touch my finances. My God gave me authority over you. Get behind me".

I don't have the power, but I've got the authority to call on the one who is sitting at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, making intercession for me, that you can come boldly before the throne of grace. And when you do, you find help in your time of need. You're not a normal Christian, there's nothing normal about you. You have the authority of the Most High God. Who do you think you are? Who do you think you are? Say it, "I am an ambassador of Christ sent by God to show his love on Earth as it is in heaven". I am an ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ, on mission, I'm on call, I'm available. I wasn't chosen by people, they didn't vote me in. I was chosen by God. I never represent myself, I represent the country, the kingdom from which I was sent.

And I may not have a whole lot of power on my own, but I come with the authority of the one that sent me. And that's why we're not just asking on behalf of Jesus, and we're not just sharing our faith on behalf of Jesus, and we're not just inviting people to the good news, but we're pleading with them. We're pleading, that's what the text says. Here's what Scripture says. Scripture says, "So we are Christ's ambassador. God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when," what do we do? Say it with me, "When we plead". And what do we say? We plead, "Come back to God". Type that in the comments section, come back to God. What do we say? We say come back to God. What am I gonna do today? Listen, I'm pleading with you. If you are away from him, come back to him. He loves you with every part of his being. "For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son, Jesus, that whosoever," it doesn't matter what you've done, "whosoever believes in him, would not perish but would have eternal life".

Come back to God, come back to God. You got hurt by someone in the church? That's gonna happen. Unfortunately, people hurt you. God didn't do it, come back to God, come back to God, come back to God. You've been away, you've put him on the shelf. Come back to God. He's still there, he's waiting for you, he's calling you. Let me tell you where I come from, where I come from, there's love, and there's joy, and there's peace, and there's kindness. There's grace where I come from, where I come from, the truth of God, it sets people free. Come back to God, come back to God. Come back to God, there's forgiveness when you come back to him. There's grace for you when you come, come back to him. We plead, come back to him. How's it going in your sinfulness? How do you like the values of this world? Do you find more joy? Is there more peace? Do you find yourself fulfilled when you follow the sinful ways of this world?

Come back to him, come back to God. We plead, we do that with our lives. We don't just go to church, we're ambassadors of the Most High God. With everything in us we plead, come back to the one who created you and loves you. Come back to him, why? Because Scripture says this, "For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin". Jesus Christ, who never sinned, gave his life for us, why? "So we could be made right with God through Christ". If you are in Christ, there is nothing normal about you. You're an ambassador, you're chosen. You're not just a mom, you're imparting spiritual life to everyone that you interact with. You're not just a new employee at the bank. You're God's undercover agent, showing his love where you are. You don't just go to school, you are God's representative in your sorority, in your chemistry class.

When you show up, hope shows up. When you walk in, love walks in. Who you are, and how you live, and how you love represents the kingdom of heaven, that's who you are. So what kind of Christian are you? If you're in Christ, there's nothing normal about you. You were chosen by God as his ambassador. I want you to say it again, and I want you to feel it in your, I want you to feel it in your spirit. Don't believe it in your head, believe it in your heart. Who are you? "I am an ambassador of Christ, sent by God to show God's love on Earth as it's in heaven".

God help us to represent you, to make your appeal through us in a way that shows a hurting world that coming back to you is where there's truth, and forgiveness, and healing, and grace, and joy, and peace.

Today as you're praying, at all of our churches, I wanna speak to those of you who would say, "Yes, I am a Christian," but you might be more the normal type, just kinda going through life, and you recognize there's way, way more. Maybe you're underperforming your potential, because doesn't matter what anybody else thinks about you, God chose you, and called you to be his ambassador. If you say today, "Hey, I want his help to represent him well," we're gonna pray. And when you pray that you gotta be ready, because every day, you're on call, and he's gonna prompt you. All of our churches today, if you'd say, "I am a follower of Jesus, and I wanna be even more available to fulfill his calling," would you lift up your hands? I hope it's everybody, lift up your hands and say, "That's me". Online you can say, "I wanna be available to God," just type that in the comments section.

Father, I pray, God, that every day, because we represent you, that we'd be in close communication with you, that we'd start the day in your Word, or find whatever works best for our schedule to be in your Word. And then God, in our prayer time every day, we just talk to you and listen to you, and say, "We're available, our day belongs to you". Prompt us, God, I pray that there are those that could not walk out of the church room that they're in without being prompted to love somebody, pray for somebody, give something, reach out, invite somebody somewhere, that we'd see we're here for somebody else. God, I pray that even those online would be prompted to pray for somebody, and reach out, to use what you've put in us to be a blessing to others. We're on call. God help us to internalize this, that we never represent ourselves, we always represent you. Empower us, God, by your Spirit. We thank you that we've been chosen. No one can talk us out of this, we represent you. God, help us to live in such a way that you make your appeal through us.

As you keep praying today, there are those of you that will say, "Actually, I'm not, like not walking with God". Maybe you'd say, "I don't know God". Maybe you were like with God for a while, and now you're kind of away. But what I'm gonna just do is say what Paul did, is, "I am pleading with you, would you come back to him"? Come back to him, come to him. He is the Supreme Creator of the Universe, and yet he loves you. He created you as his masterpiece. He loves you. There is no meaningful life outside of a fully surrendered life to the one who created you. You may say, "But, you know, I've done some things wrong". Yeah, welcome to the club, we all have, every single one of us, every single one of us.

The Bible calls it sin, we have sinned against a holy God, and our sin separates us from God. But here's how good he is, that God sent Jesus, who was without sin, to die in our place, the Bible says, so we could be made right with God. Listen, it doesn't matter who you are, doesn't matter what you've done, doesn't matter where you are in life right now. When you come to him, he will forgive your sins, and he will fill you with the very same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. And you will no longer be apart from God, but you'll be in his family. And then get ready, 'cause immediately you're drafted, you're chosen, you're in his army, you're an ambassador. And so today, wherever you're watching from, those who'd say, "You know what, I don't know where I stand with God". Hey, we're just gonna go all in today. We're gonna step away from our sin, and we're gonna step into the grace of Jesus. The Bible says when you're in Christ, "You're a new creation. The old is gone, and everything becomes new".

Today at all of our churches, those who say, "All right, that's me. It's now, I need it, I need his grace, I need his forgiveness. I'm stepping away from my old life. I'm stepping, I'm coming to him, I'm coming back to him. I'm coming to him, I'm giving my life to him". When you do, he hears your prayers, forgives your sins, and makes you brand new. At all of our churches today and online, those who say, "I'm coming to God, I'm giving to my life. Today, I'm coming to him. Jesus, take my life," if that's your prayer, lift your hands high right now, all over the place.

Lift them up high. Oh, great, praise God, all of you right here. Others today saying that's my prayer, praise God for you, right back up here. Oh, here, lift up your hands high, right back over here. God bless you in there, oh, come on church, let's give God some praise. We thank you, God, for salvation in Christ. Others today who say, "Yes, Jesus," online, just type it, "I'm coming back to God, I'm coming back to God, or I'm coming to God," and let's all pray together, just pray aloud. Pray:

Heavenly Father. I'm coming to you. I'm coming back. Jesus, save me. Make me new. Forgive my filth. All my sin. Wash me. Completely clean. Now fill me with your Spirit. So I can be your ambassador. Representing you. In all that I do. My life is not my own. I give it to you. Thank you for new life. You have all of mine. In Jesus' name I pray.

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