In the first keynote address of the Peacemaker Conference, Paul Tripp challenged us to live as ambassadors for Christ. He asked us this tough question: “What set of values determine the way you make life decisions? Ownership values or ambassadorial values?”
Paul Tripp explained that there are only two ways to live:
“I’m either treating my life as if it belongs to me—my right to plan my life; what I want it to be like; plan my life and investments; to think I own my domain … OR I realize I’ve been bought; I’ve been called and positioned to represent the character of one who sent me.”
If I live as though I owned my life, I would follow the money and think only of a bigger house and building my own kingdom. But if I lived as an ambassador, I would not pass up the ministry opportunities that God has called me to. Tripp challenged us to let go of the ownership of our lives. “Let go of those hopes and dreams that you tell yourself will satisfy you.” Ahhhh, I think of the satisfaction of being a Peacemaker and seeing the gospel transform relationships through the power of grace and forgiveness. What deep satisfaction there is in seeing Christ magnified, compared to the enslaving and unending race to find comfort and wealth.
Tripp explained that as we seek to represent Christ, He will make the beauty of his grace and mercy, visible. He challenged us to find our hope and strength in Him and not seek from people what we can only get in God. “So much of ministry burnt out is because people have been seeking in ministry what they have been given in Christ.” As Peacemakers, we must recognize that we already have peace because of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.
As Peacemakers, we can easily be burnt out if we think that we are supposed to fix people. “I’m not called to be a people mechanic. I have no ability to change anyone! None, zip. I’m called to represent a powerful redeemer whose faithful and willing and can transform lives…. And so, what we bring to people is not a system of redemption. What we bring to people is a redeemer.” What great freedom there is in knowing that we can not fix others.
And so, if we are to be faithful ambassadors, we will trumpet the power and hope of the gospel. We will speak the truth with grace.
“People don’t need your opinion. What they need is the mirror of the word of God… You hold the mirror of the person and work of Jesus Christ. That tells you how deep your inner problem is. That tells you how great his grace is. That tells you how full his provision is.”
Tripp exhorted us to trust in God’s provisions. He reminded us that God will enable us to do whatever he calls us to do. “The savior of grace, sends his people of grace, to make that grace visible to people who desperately need that grace.” Will you be an ambassador of grace?
<Missed the 2013 Peacemaker Conference? Get summaries of the 2013 Peacemaker Conference Speakers here!>