Thirty eight years ago I graduated out of a program that changed my life forever: Royal Ambassadors. Unless you’re in the Southern Baptist Church circles, you probably have never heard of it. Long explanation short, it is a missions organization for boys grades 1st through 12th.
It’s amazing to me as I look back to see how oblivious I was to the ingenious layering of meaning in the program. Before I get to the heart of my blog today, let me share just a few nuggets that were lost on me as a boy. The first three grades were called “Lads.” There was Lad 1, Lad 2 and Lad 3. Then, in the fourth grade, the names changed. They didn’t make a lot of sense to me at the time. I progressed from Page, Squire, and then Knight. I didn’t even really know what a Page or Squire were. Little did I know they were the beginnings of and the servants to a Knight. But then, when a boy reached high school, the names changed again. We became Pioneers. You see the mission organization started boys as observers and learners. Then they became tied into the process of missions, working on projects and raising money. Finally, in the high school years, a boy was expected to “do” missions projects, as we took the love of Jesus outside of the church walls.
Okay, back to the point of my message, “Do My Best.” This came from the Royal Ambassador pledge: “As a Royal Ambassador, I will do my best: to become a well-informed, responsible follower of Christ; to have a Christlike concern for all people; to learn how the message of Christ is carried around the world; to work with others in sharing Christ; and to keep myself clean and healthy in mind and body.” It was and is such a profound series of challenges, that I took it on as my life pledge.
I’ve tried to learn more about Jesus by reading the Bible, reading the lessons gleaned by seasoned Christians, and doing devotionals. I’ve tried to see people through the eyes of God. Honestly, I haven’t done as well as I would have liked. But I try. I study how the Gospel has spread across the world (beginning with the book of Acts). And I have done my best to keep a clean mind and body. Of course, I fall into temptation just like everyone else. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But I do my best…which brings me to the point. I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. Nobody’s perfect…other than Jesus. All we can do…the best we can do is give it our best. I mean really work at it as hard as we can…not to earn our salvation, because you can’t earn it anyway…but to show Jesus is in our lives and has changed us for the better.
So how about it? Will you pledge to do your best? Oh, and why you’re at it, why don’t you work at those other parts of the Royal Ambassador Pledge. After all, the Bible tells us, “We are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20).