During this time, he has also authored over seventy books, including the Gold Medallion Award winner, The Upside Down Church, as well as Losers and Winners, Saints and Sinners and The Best Is Yet to Come. He has also written study notes in the New Believer’s Bible, The Seeker’s Bible, and the Start! Bible.
Needless to say, Greg is a gifted communicator. In one of his blog posts, he tells the following story...
There was a man who had been out of work for a long time and decided to inquire at the local zoo. He told the zookeeper, “I would like a job. I will clean cages. I will do whatever you need.”
The zookeeper said, “I’m sorry. We would love to hire you, but there just aren’t any openings right now.” Noticing how big and burly the man was, the zookeeper suddenly had an idea.
He said, “This is crazy, and you don’t have to agree to it, but would you be willing to put on a costume and pretend to be a gorilla? Our gorilla died last week. He was our most popular exhibit. If you will be the gorilla, we will have a suit custom-made for you. We’ll pay you really well.”
Desperate for work, the man took the job. Feeling a little apprehensive on his first day, he put on the gorilla suit and climbed into the cage. He made a few gorilla moves and beat his chest a little. The people loved it.
The next day, he tried shaking the bars, screaming, and running around. The crowds started growing. By the third day, he was really enjoying his job and began swinging on the vines. But he swung too far, went over the wall, and landed in the middle of the lion’s cage.
The lion turned and walked toward him rather quickly. The man knew that if he called for help, people would discover he wasn’t really a gorilla. But if he kept quiet, he would be the lion’s lunch. So he screamed, “Help!”
“Shut up, stupid!” the lion whispered back. “You’ll get us both fired!”
Laurie then adds these insightful words:
There are a lot of people like this in the church today. They are putting on a show. They are pretending to be something they are really not. You may be a good representative of Jesus Christ, or you may be a bad one. Either way, you are His representative!*
I was convicted by these words. I was also reminded of the Apostle Paul’s own words in his second New Testament letter to the Corinthians (II Cor. 5:20): “We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” I am somewhat intrigued here by the word “ambassador”.
In the original language of the New Testament, (Koine Greek) this word is “presbeuomen”, and means one who is authorized to speak as an emissary, representing another king and his kingdom. As such, this person was expected to be someone who was well respected, and known for being trustworthy, loyal, and knowledgeable, especially in the opinion of those they represented. (Cf.: http://biblehub.com/greek/4243.htm.)
As Christians, we have been called to fill this very sort of role on behalf of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We literally represent Him to a lost and dying world. We must ever be mindful, therefore, that the opinion the world forms of Jesus, as well as the conclusions they reach about Him, will very often be drawn from their interactions with those of us who claim to be His followers.
In light of this, may we represent Him well! And may we do this, above all, through authenticity, integrity, and sincerity.
2009-01-31.html. Harvest Christian Fellowship’s web site is: http://www.harvest.org/; and Pastor Greg’s personal blog site is located at: http://blog.greglaurie.com/.