Focus On Missions, God's Global Plan
Join our church family this week as we focus on missions, God's global plan. We will gather Wednesday March 4th at 5:30 PM for an international covered dish meal and teaching for adults and children on missions. On Sunday March 8th in the morning and evening we will focus on missions in Sunday School and Worship.
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
There are always times for re-focusing. I believe we are given 52 Lord's Days a year to come together with God's people to worship and serve God in renewal of God's covenant. Every week is a cycle of re-focusing. But there are also times throughout the year that we need to re-focus on particular matters that matter to God. One of those matters is God's global mission.
When I want to refocus on God's global mission I will do things like pull a missionary biography down from my shelf and read. Something like, John G. Paton: Missionary to the New Hebrides, or J.Hudson Taylor, God's Man in China or The Wolf from Scotland, The Story of Robert Reid Kalley. Or I will read portions from John Piper's book, Let the Nations Be Glad, and I am refocused by words like these,
"Once settled in their hotel room Dr and Mrs. Kalley took stock of the situation - the excessively moist heat, the flies and the stench which even pervaded their room. They later discovered that the hotel was situated close to the place where refuse and sewerage was tipped over the sea wall by slaves. All combined it was too overpowering for words. They sat in silence each knowing what the other was thinking: 'Why are we here? Can we ever become acclimatized to this heat? Really, we have no reason to stay here. We are unknown; no one knows us and we know no one, so why stay? The ship is still in port. Why not slip back on board and do the Lord's work in more pleasant surroundings? There is an abundance of Portuguese colonies awaiting the gospel!' The doctor looked at his wife quizzically. He had made up his mind but not without a clash of conflicting thoughts. To what conclusion had she come? Quietly and decisively she declared, 'Ficaremos - we will stay'. The crises was passed. They were at one in their decision to stay, a decision they were never to regret." (The Wolf from Scotland, William B. Forsyth, Evangelical Press 1988. p.102)
"Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever...The goal of missions is the gladness of peoples in the greatness of God...Missionaries will never call out, "Let the nations be glad!, who cannot say from the heart, "I rejoice in the Lord...I will be glad and exult in thee, I will sing praise to thy name, O Most High." (Psalm 104:34; 9:2). Missions begins and ends in worship. " (Let the Nations Be Glad, John Piper, Baker Books, 1993. p.11)
Refocusing on God's global mission is necessary in the church because God has called us into his kingdom to reach those outside through our neighbor loving gospel responsibility. The nations who would worship God eternally must hear the call of Jesus Christ in the gospel presently from his witnesses.
Jesus in speaking to his disciples said, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things." (Luke 24:46-48) There is a present tense pattern with a future tense assurance in these verses to guide our global mission. First, there is the accomplishment of redemption by Jesus Christ in verse 46. Second, there is the preaching of that redemption globally in verse 47. Finally, there is the responsibility of the witnesses of that redemption to do the preaching in the present in verse 48 with a future assurance in verse 47. God's global mission begins at home in the present that it may reach the nations in the future. Those who are at present witnessing the accomplished redemption of Jesus Christ in the forgiveness of their sins and life in the joy of God, are those who are engaged in reaching the nations by the preaching of that same redemption. Where redemption begins it does not end. It is witnessed beyond where it is presently to the nations, so that God is worshiped eternally. Where God's face shines upon his people through the gospel of Jesus Christ, his ways are known to the ends of the earth, his saving power is made known to all the nations (Ps.67:1-2).
God's global mission is not our program or idea or plan. God's global mission is the means he employs in order that he will be worshiped among the nations. We need to refocus our minds and hearts and lives on God's global mission to be praised among the nations. We need to refocus that we may repent and live by his grace in gratitude through the means of giving, praying, sending, and going, that the nations may hear and rejoice in the Lord.
Please join us Wednesday, March 4th at 5:30 pm for our covered dish international meal and teaching time for adults and children, and Sunday morning and evening March 8th as we focus this week on Missions, God's global plan.