Living as Unto Him
By Peter Amsterdam
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“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”—2 Corinthians 5:201
As Christians, we are called to put our faith into action and reach out to weary and troubled hearts, the disadvantaged, downtrodden, and needy, as unto Jesus. Jesus came to serve, and we are called to do likewise. Serving those in need is a beautiful way to express our faith. The underprivileged, the needy, the hungry, need to know they are loved and cared about, that they are valued. God values them, and as Christians, we do as well.
Serving in orphanages, visiting the sick, ministering to prisoners, digging wells, teaching the underprivileged, participating in medical camps, advocating for the oppressed, and so much more, are valuable ways to make the world a better place and to bring the Spirit of Jesus into the lives of those in need. In such activities we may not always be able to speak about our faith, but we are living our faith through showing God’s love by putting our care and concern into action. Saint Augustine said: “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”
Living our faith and following in Jesus’ footsteps means putting faith into action and caring for others in every possible way, and doing so as unto the Lord. We reach out to those who may be impoverished, afflicted, and in need of God’s healing balm and hope for the future. We search out those who may be healthy, wealthy, and wise, but who are weary, troubled, and lost. We are moved by the plights of those who are persecuted, ostracized from society, or forced into inhumane situations against their will.
No matter what the circumstances, we try to discern how to best be an example of God’s love. It is part of being the light of the world and the salt of the earth as we shine God’s light of love and truth upon those in need and demonstrate God’s love in action.
When living our Christianity, putting faith into action, pursuing God’s Spirit, we attempt to become like Jesus, to take on His attributes, which gives birth to mercy, compassion, having a heart for people, understanding their physical and spiritual needs, and being moved to do what we can to improve their lives, both spiritually and practically. We walk as Jesus walked. We follow the Master.
A beautiful aspect of living “as unto the Lord” is found in unseen or hidden actions, things that most people will never know about: When you finance a missionary team in a faraway country. When you give something that you need to someone who needs it more. When you sacrifice your precious free time to intercede for someone’s needs—someone who may not even know that you’re praying for them. We do these things as unto the Lord. If you’re not in a position to be involved in frontline mission work, you can be on the front lines in prayer. You can pray for people’s souls, for their lives. You can pray for their ministries, their needs.
What we do for others—our service, our prayers, our giving—we do for Jesus. We don’t do it for recognition, for monetary gain, or to advance in society. We do all that we do, in any ministry, to glorify the Lord. That is part of living “as unto Jesus.”
2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “We are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.” That is an awesome statement.
We are official envoys and representatives for Christ. We are citizens of heaven, and we represent the kingdom of God. We’re on temporary assignment on earth to represent our country, our ruler. It’s a great honor to be an ambassador, and we must conduct ourselves accordingly.
One of the purposes of an ambassador is to work for peace, to promote peace. We represent the Prince of Peace and we are tasked with giving His message to the world. And what is that message? The second half of the verse clearly presents the message that we are to give: “We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
There are millions, even billions, of people who do not know God personally, who have never heard of Jesus and who have no knowledge of the gift of salvation, and the treasure of eternal life that awaits them at their mere acceptance of Jesus as their Savior. Our privilege is to share that good news, to introduce people to Jesus, and ultimately, to bring as many people as possible to heaven with us.
May we each be an active and worthy ambassador of Christ. We represent not just a beautiful, wonderful country on earth. We represent the most lovely, spectacular realm in the whole universe—the kingdom of God. It is truly a privilege to serve as one of God’s ambassadors, and we can and should convey Jesus’ love, care, and compassion in everything we do, whether small or great. By “taking the form of a servant,” Jesus set the greatest example of service this world will ever see.2
Mother Teresa said: “I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself, This is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene; I must wash him and tend to him. I serve because I love Jesus.”
Our love for Jesus moves us to serve others on His behalf. It motivates us to be His ambassadors in whatever situation we find ourselves. It compels us to assist those in need, and to provide hope and healing to those with broken hearts.
We can be His hands to help and touch, His mouth to speak the truth and give encouragement and hope, His eyes to convey compassion, His feet to walk alongside a weary soul, and His arms to help carry their heavy burden. We do this for Him, as unto Him, because we are trying to do what He would do if He were here. We have the recorded example of Jesus’ life on earth that shows us how much He loved us—His creations. We know from the Bible how compassionately He interacted with those alive in His day. We can see how engaged He was when He discussed matters with His disciples and with those He spoke to.
Jesus has entrusted us with the responsibility of passing on His personal, unconditional, all-encompassing love to our fellow man and fellow woman, to those who share the planet with us today. So let’s give it our best effort, shall we? Let’s be like Jesus. Let’s love like Jesus. Let’s open our hearts to others on Jesus’ behalf. Let’s be clear conduits for God to heal and save this needy and broken world.
All that we do, in word and in deed, let’s do it as unto Jesus, for His glory.
Originally published November 2013. Excerpted and republished February 2018. Read by Jerry Paladino.