The Ambassador's Family, Work, Residence
Community Group Discussion Guide

Summary of Sermon: God’s Word tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:20 that we are ambassadors for Christ! An ambassador does not live at home, but in a foreign land, so he is motivated more by his mission than setting down permanent roots. After a discussion of the ambassador’s alien status, this sermon discusses two very important aspects of an ambassador’s life: family and work. The ambassador for Christ carries a very important message and it is critical that his or her life support that message both at home and at work. How an ambassador for Christ treats their family and how they do their job both have an impact on the way others view their message.

1. Have you ever traveled to a foreign land where you were the minority, the stranger, the visitor? While you may have had a great time, you knew it wasn’t your home. How did it feel to know others were curious about you and watching you? How did you feel on the day you were headed home?

2. The Bible is clear that ambassadors for Christ are not of this world. We are just passing through, and are here on a mission. We have a job to do. We can enjoy our life here, but our priorities should reflect our mission. Discuss some examples of how these statements effect our priorities. The following passages should give some hints...
1 Peter 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.(NIV)
1 Peter 2:12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.(NIV)
Mat 6:19  "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
Mat 6:20  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Mat 6:21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. NIV

3. Family life is such an important part anyones life, but is especially important for an ambassador. First of all, being in a foreign land, an ambassador needs his or her family more than ever. Also, people are watching how the ambassador’s message plays out within the family. What are some ways the message of Christ should be lived out within the family?
1 Cor 13:4  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
1 Cor 13:5  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
1 Cor 13:6  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
1 Cor 13:7  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

4. What are some things you could do as an ambassador to share the good news of Jesus at your work place or school? Paul gives us some hints in his advice to those who found themselves in the unfortunate position of being slaves. Even though their circumstances were difficult they were encouraged to be ambassadors for Christ.
Col 3:22  Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.
Col 3:23  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,
Col 3:24  since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.








The Ambassador's Family, Work, and Residence

Colossians 3:18-24 & 1 Peter 2:11-16



 In this series we've learned that we are ambassadors for Christ. Let me read to you the focal verse for this series...

20We 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.
2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV)

 So far in this series we've talked about the Ambassador's Message and the Ambassador's Life. Today we will discuss  the ambassador's family, work, and place of residence, but not in that order!

Some of you may have thought I was meddling a little bit with our topic last week. This week I'm going to meddle a little deeper.

So with that in mind, let's pray and ask God to speak to our hearts and help us to hear from Him!

PRAY!!

 The Ambassador's Place of Residence

We're going to begin with the Ambassador's place of residence!
Take your Bibles and turn with me to 1 Peter 2:11-16.

11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
1 Peter 2:11 (NIV)

12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
1 Peter 2:12 (NIV)

13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority,
1 Peter 2:13 (NIV)

14or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.
1 Peter 2:14 (NIV)

15For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.
1 Peter 2:15 (NIV)

16Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.
1 Peter 2:16 (NIV)

 Let's look at that first verse again...

11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
1 Peter 2:11 (NIV)

The word in the greek here is…

(par'-oy-kos);

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)


sojourner, a stranger in a foreign land.

The Bible is clear that we are foreigners. This is not our home. We are just passing through. We are here on a mission. We are to live here as if we are on a mission.

 Let me give you some other Scriptures that reflect this amazing concept.

1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,
1 Peter 1:1 (NIV)

17Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.
1 Peter 1:17 (NIV)

It makes such a difference in the way we live our lives if we understand this world is not our home! We don't put down eternal roots here! We're just passing through. Our priorities are different when we understand this truth!

It's like this…
If you are renting an apartment while you're house is being built, you probably won't spend a lot of time hanging pictures on the wall. You'll wait till you get into your new house.

Now I'm not saying we just all go sit on a mountain somewhere and wait for Jesus to come get us! No! That's not what Paul was talking about and it's not what I'm talking about, it's just that we live here with an eye for there!

 God allows us to live amazing lives of purpose here, but we understand this is not our permanent home. We have a divine calling on our lives here on this earth! Jesus said it best when He prayed for His disciples and for us. Listen...

15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
John 17:15 (NIV)

16They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.
John 17:16 (NIV)

17Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
John 17:17 (NIV)

18As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.
John 17:18 (NIV)

 Did you hear that? We've been sent on a mission just like Jesus! The Father sent Him to reach out to the people of the world and Jesus has sent us to the world.
We are to be in the world, but not of the world!!

 We are to use our time and our resources to help Jesus complete the mission to "Seek and to save that which is lost!"



 And don't think that God is saying Christians are to be miserable, unhappy and destitute! No, it's just that we don't find our happiness and purpose in the things of this world!!
Paul put it this way in his 1st letter to Timothy...

17Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
1 Timothy 6:17 (NIV)

18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
1 Timothy 6:18 (NIV)

19, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
1 Timothy 6:19 (NIV)

I want to live the life that is truly life! I don't want to live a life of selfishness, greed, discontentment and never being satisfied with anything. I would rather live my life here to the fullest, but with my sights set on my eternal home!!!

 After all, we are ambassadors sent here to represent the Kingdom of Heaven and the King Himself!! How awesome is that!

Now here's where I start meddling!!!

 Because an ambassador is in a foreign land, people are watching him or her. We established that fact in last weeks message. Here's where it hits close to home!

 The Ambassador's Family

 People in this world are looking at the ambassadors for Christ and how they treat their family! This is a biggie!!

For this we will pick up the verses I had to leave off last weeks message. I simply didn't have the time to get all this in.
Let's go back and read the verses...

18Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Colossians 3:18 (NIV)

19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Colossians 3:19 (NIV)

20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Colossians 3:20 (NIV)

21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
Colossians 3:21 (NIV)

Did you notice Paul mentioned wives, husbands and children? Why? Because if you are a follower of Christ, you are an ambassador. This is one area of Scripture that applies to everyone, regardless of gender or age!


Let's break it down because it is important we get this. The world is watching!!

18Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Colossians 3:18 (NIV)

Ladies, please don't get up and leave. At least not just yet! I know a lot of guys have misused this Scripture in an ungodly way to try have control over their wife.
That is not what Paul is trying to say here. In fact, he adds a few words that should clear up any misconceptions.


18Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Colossians 3:18 (NIV)

"As is fitting in the Lord" implies that submission of the wife is contingent upon the husband's integrity, motive, and attitude!! Wives are to submit to the protection, provision, and Godly leadership of a husband who truly has the best interest of his wife and family at heart.

This fact is found in other places as well...

21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Ephesians 5:21 (NIV)

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:22 (NIV)

Too many men try to ignore verse 21 because it says "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ!"

A Godly marriage is a partnership! It involves give and take.
But there are roles in a Godly marriage. Some people don't like this, but it is found all over God's Word. Ladies, men are supposed to be the spiritual leaders of the home!

Notice, I said, "Spiritual Leaders", not "Spiritual Dictators!" Men I'm going to talk to you about this in just a moment.
But first, Ladies, there are no perfect husbands. None! But let me tell you this…

If your husband is humbly submitting himself to God and seeking to be a truly Godly man, you need to support him, pray for him and respect him.

I've seen times when a man has tried to be the spiritual leader for his family but the wife wouldn't let him. Ladies, you might say, but my husband is not as close to the Lord as he needs to be. I'm closer to the Lord, so I'll just be the spiritual leader.

Ladies, if your husband is willing to be the leader, let him. Encourage him, help him, and above all pray for him! He'll make some mistakes, but he'll learn from them.
If, on the other hand, he is unwilling to be the spiritual leader, pray that God will convict his heart and draw him to be the man of God you need him to be!!

"But what if my husband is not a believer?"
If he is fulfilling his role as protector and provider and is not asking you to submit to ungodly activities, then here's what God's Word has to say...

1Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,
1 Peter 3:1 (NIV)

2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
1 Peter 3:2 (NIV)

Ladies, you are ambassador's for Christ and if you are married to a non-believer, your life may be the most powerful sermon that old boy will ever hear!!

Now men, get ready, because the 
Word is fixing to talk to you!!

19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Colossians 3:19 (NIV)

Remember, you are an ambassador for Christ. How you treat your wife matters! It matters for your witness to the world, but it also matters to your children. Dads do you realize you are teaching your daughters what they should expect from a guy.

If your daughter sees you disrespecting your wife, belittling her, yelling at her, using your masculinity to subdue the weaker vessel, your daughter may end up dating someone or married to someone who will mistreat them, because your daughter just assumed that's the way men treat women.

Guys, God's Word tells us exactly how we ought to treat our wives. Listen...

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
Ephesians 5:25 (NIV)

26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,
Ephesians 5:26 (NIV)

27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Ephesians 5:27 (NIV)

28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Ephesians 5:28 (NIV)

Men, you must love your wife as much as Jesus loved the church. How much did He love His church? He died for His Church! In fact the Bible says that the Church is the Bride of Christ!! He sacrificed His life for the Church!!

Men, If you love your wife enough to die for her then surely you can find it in you to respect her. To help her. To protect her. To lovingly lead her to become all Christ created her to be!

Ok, you teenagers are probably thinking, "Wow, brother Larry's really putting it on our parents today!"

Your turn!!

20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Colossians 3:20 (NIV)

Notice, it didn't say obey your parents when it's what you want to do, or when it doesn't interfere with your plans! It says obey them in everything! The only time you're exempt is if they ask you do something ungodly or illegal.


1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Ephesians 6:1 (NIV)

2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—
Ephesians 6:2 (NIV)

3“that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Ephesians 6:3 (NIV)

Young people, listen to me, you are an ambassador for Christ. The way you honor or dishonor your parents effects your witness to your friends.

If they see you totally dishonor your parents by arguing and fussing with them all the time, it will ruin your ability to share Christ with them. Especially if they know you disobey your parents behind their backs!

If your parents are followers of Christ, they deserve your respect. If you disagree with them on something, respectfully ask them to talk with you about it.
Pray for your parents. They really do want what's best for you.

If your parents aren't followers of Christ, they still deserve your respect. Even if their behavior is ungodly, at least respect the fact God used them to give you life. Pray for them and honor their wishes as best you can.

 Again, the Scripture says "Obey your parents in the Lord!" If they ask you to do something ungodly or illegal, respectfully decline. And remember, "clean your room, take out the garbage and do your homework first, are not ungodly or illegal activities. Respect and honor.

 I've known young people who've come to Christ and then led their parents to the faith in Jesus Christ, because of the respectful way they began to treat them!
That's just pretty awesome!!

 Dads, there's one more little piece of advice for you. It was like Paul said, "Oh yeh, or BTW...

21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
Colossians 3:21 (NIV)

King James says "exasperate!"

In other words, Dad's make sure the way you deal with your children is Godly.



 One of the biggest hindrances to faith for some young people is they've been embittered towards the message of Jesus because of the hypocrisy and/or lack of sincerity in their parents faith.
Parents demanding one thing from their children, while doing the exact opposite in their own life.

 And what about the ambassador's witness at work?

The Ambassador's Work

 Our Bible verses on this subject spoke to a situation that existed back in Biblical days. Let me make this clear, Paul wrote to the Slaves because they were equally ambassadors for Christ as any free man.

 Paul, speaking to their circumstances, was in no way condoning or supporting the idea of slavery. He was trying to minister to his culture as it was, and yet find ways to change things!!

 Paul knew the best way to change things for the slaves was for them to be Ambassador's for Christ in the way they acted toward their owners. Paul hoped through their witness, the owner's hearts would be changed!!

 You might ask, "will something written to slaves have any application to my life today?" You might be surprised.

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22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.
Colossians 3:22 (NIV)

23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,
Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3:24 (NIV)

Remember, you're an ambassador for Christ! You represent Him! How well does the quality of your work represent Him? How well does your attitude represent Him?

Your work ethic and your attitude on the job could be the very thing that opens the door to share Christ love with a boss or a co-worker. Or your work ethic and attitude  could slam the door shut for the gospel in your work place.

Remember, as an ambassador for Christ you are on assignment far away from your real home! You are God's representative in your family and at work! Good or bad, if you claim to be a follower of Christ, the world is watching heaven's ambassadors!

Let's pray!!