A series of commentaries by Mary T. Hoffman about: humans and animals and the cruelty inflicted upon them; prayer and grace, and the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives; and the problems that plague our lives in this corrupted world.
What kind of ambassadors are we? Probably all of us, at one time or another, have heard that Christians are to be ambassadors of Christ. That means that we are to be representatives of Him at all times.
We have also heard that our lives should produce "fruit" that is in keeping with our profession of faith.
A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. (Matthew 7:18 NASV)
What "fruit" or evidence of our ambassadorship are we to produce for others to observe?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5: 22-23, NASV)
From this passage we can conclude that we Christians are held to a higher standard.
If we know that billions of God’s creatures, the animals, are routinely tortured, and we look the other way, how can we have the peace mentioned in the Bible verse quoted above? Are we exhibiting love, kindness, gentleness? Do we have self-control when we give in to our hedonism (self-indulgence) by wearing or eating products we know are produced through horrific cruelty?
True joy and peace result from a life lived with the knowledge that we are using our God-given abilities to further His kingdom. Pretending to not know in order to escape responsibility is dishonest. Turning our backs on injustice and pretending it doesn’t exist corrodes our conscience and undermines our true peace with God.
When God exposes the truth of animal exploitation to us, we should thank Him for revealing it to us and then use whatever resources He has given us to do something positive for His kingdom. We should not attack the messengers, from whatever source, because we don’t want to hear the message.
Being a Born Again Christian does not excuse us from responsibility. It is not a ticket to a life of ease and self-indulgence, as some proponents of the "health and wealth" mentality might have us believe.
Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7:15 NASV)
(We have been seeing plenty of false prophets recently. As an example, a large number surfaced during the Y2K scare.)
Again, we are told,
You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? (Matthew 7:16 NASV)
If anything, being Born Again Believers should give us more power to be the best possible ambassadors of Christ in all areas of life for the whole of creation.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV)
And, if we need further convincing:
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and
thrown into the fire.
So then you will know them by their fruits.
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness [iniquity].’ (Matthew 7:19-23 NASV)
We are to be true ambassadors of Jesus Christ every moment of every day, for only in this way can we truly have the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. (Matthew 6:10)
From my heart,