By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross

When a cowboy or bull rider reaches a level where he gets a corporate sponsorship, he works for that sponsor. When we own our own business, we want employees that represent us to the public well and we think twice about how we speak to someone. We take our commitment to our sponsor seriously and we care that he or she or the business is well-represented.

Really, it’s a terrible comparison to how we should represent Jesus and why we should take his instructions to us from the Bible seriously. The sponsorship or business ownership example doesn’t come close to the importance of following Jesus but it at least gets us looking in the right direction.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 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. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

To be the righteousness of God means that when we are truly saved through our faith in Jesus and our request for forgiveness through our repentance of sin, that despite our faults, mistakes, failures and sin, God now sees us as perfect, right before Him.

Once we’re saved, we become ambassadors of Jesus, something far more important than representing a brand paying your fees at the PBR and NFR. Jesus paid the penalty for your sin and gave you eternal life. Now we have a chance to both show others how Jesus has changed our lives by making us right with God and to tell them how to receive the same.

We also need to hold tightly to grace because as we try to live like Jesus, God knows we’re going to fail. One of the main points of receiving His grace is not so we can intentionally make mistakes and go on living the way we want to, but because He knows we’re going to blow it. Sometimes it’s privately or seen only by our closest family and friends and sometimes it’s in traffic with our “God is my copilot” bumper sticker there for everyone to see. Sometimes it’s in how we’re speaking to an employee in the lumber store because they ordered the wrong product for you and your job is going to be delayed as your Philippians 4:13 tattoo is showing on your t-shirted arm.

We’re going to blow it.

But are we living like we believe God’s word is true? Are we living like we believe what Jesus did on the cross for each and every one of us is the real deal and that our salvation is real? Do we take him seriously when he commands us to go into the world and tell others about him and teach them now to walk in his ways?

We can’t walk in His ways if he don’t open God’s word in the Bible, pursue the teaching that’s out there or even take time to talk to Him in prayer.

1 John 2:4-6 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

A lot of us would tell someone we’re a Christian if asked what our ‘religion’ is, but without a life-changing, saving faith in Jesus Christ, it’s the same as what John is saying here, we aren’t really Christians. We may not even understand or realize it. We don’t know we’re lying because we’re lying to ourselves and think we’re going to Heaven. We can’t judge whether someone is saved or not but we can certainly wonder based on how someone chooses to live. If we say we believe in Jesus we should live like we do and want to follow his commandments.

The fact many of us identify as Christians but don’t should rock a lot of us to our core. We take it with so little seriousness that when the day comes that we stand before God and are denied the kingdom of Heaven, there is no excuse. Right here, right now, if you’re reading this and don’t know if you’re saved or not, one sign is whether or not how you live your life lines up with what John is saying. John walked with Jesus. I think we should take his words seriously even if it was 2,000 years ago.

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