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This year, thousands of lives were transformed, millions of resources were distributed, and hundreds were given new hope—all because of the prayer and financial support of our partners. In this special blog series, we’ll share some of the core truths behind our mission to teach, reach, and rescue. To learn more about what we accomplished in 2013, click here.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love
–“Joy to the World” (Isaac Watts)

I’ve sung “Joy to the World” countless times. In fact, when I was six, I had a burning desire to perform a rendition of this masterpiece before my fellow students. Thankfully, for the sake of my classmates, this desire was never indulged.

Just a few days ago I was singing this song with my son (who has yet to realize that his father isn’t the best singer in the world) when the above verse caught my attention. As I became aware of what I was singing, I wondered, What would it take for the nations to prove the glories of God’s righteousness and the wonders of His love? This idea is central to my life and to Messenger International’s mandate to reach the world. But how could it be accomplished? I was immediately reminded of Paul’s words to the Corinthians:

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. (2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV)

An ambassador is simply a person who represents someone else. God reminded me that we, as His Church, have been empowered by His Spirit to be His ambassadors on the earth, those who showcase His glory. In Christ, we received the gift of salvation and were declared righteous. This gift of righteousness (which cannot be earned) has power to transform our natures into the likeness of Christ, thus enabling us to be an expression of His truth and love on earth.

What does this mean practically? It means that quite possibly the only way that cashier is going to experience God’s love this season is if you take the time to show it to her. Slow down enough to remind her of her intrinsic value and the fact that God is crazy about her.

The problem that many of us face is we don’t believe we’re capable of becoming more than our failures and weaknesses. We therefore refuse to believe God’s Word and fully embrace a transformed life. But remember that God will transform you to the degree your faith allows. If you don’t yield to His life-changing power, you can never become an ambassador of His glory, one who displays the very expression of who He is.

I encourage you to embrace this truth: You are positioned to reveal the glory of God’s righteousness and the wonder of His love. By God’s grace and the guidance of His Spirit, you can become the light that this world so desperately needs.

To learn more about Reach, the work accomplished in 2013, and how you can get involved, click here.