Monday, November 16, 2015

To Glorify God

If you haven't read my last three posts about Missions, you can read them here:
1. A Personal Response to Perspectives
2. The Abrahamic Promise and How it Applies to us Today
3. God's Mission Purpose

"Missions Exists Because Worship Doesn't." ~John Piper

Missions, the spreading of God's glory to the nations, exists because those nations are not recognizing and worshipping God in His glory. This means that we will need to continue missions until there are some worshipping God from EVERY tribe tongue and nation.

While compassion for people is both a good and valid motivation for mission, it will not give you the strength to continue on when times get tough and things don't go your way. To sustain your motivation you need an eternal, an ancient, goal; your goal for missions must be for the glory of God if you are to succeed. As Christians we often forget that our actions and how we live our lives is for the glory of God and missions is no different.

What do Jonah, the nation of Israel, and the modern church have in common? They often were and are so preoccupied with themselves that they forget and even refuse to serve the nations. Our modern church tends to evade the real mission of bringing those lost peoples to know the name of Christ and speak His message to the world. We get preoccupied with ourselves and the people around us, and forget and refuse to GO OUT to the lost.

"Hallowed be thy name," this phrase found in the Lord's prayer, has much deeper meaning than I have ever grasped. It is a deliberate request for God to make HIs name known; to reveal His glory to all peoples and to cause the people of the earth to know God and to adore Him.

The temple was first sep up as an attractive force for the nations of the earth to come and worship God. Solomon knew this and his temple for God became a source of God's wonder for the nations to behold. At the same time, Christ shows us that we are to go from God and His glory as an expansive force to the nations. we are now the temple which brings God's glory to the nations.

Unique and creative worship from different people groups and nations brings glory to God! Humans have a unique, God given creativity which is displayed in the various cultures worldwide. God wants us (all the nations) to use this creativity to worship Him. When we do this it glorifies God as it fulfills the ancient promise while also fulfilling the great commission.

Based on Psalm 96, the purpose of salvation is for people to serve God in worship, ultimately glorifying Him.

"Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness." Psalm 96

In Exodus 34:6-7 and Numbers 14:15-19 I see four things that God proclaims about himself:

"The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”" Exodus 34:6-7

"Now if you kill this people as one man, then the nations who have heard your fame will say, ‘It is because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to give to them that he has killed them in the wilderness.’ And now, please let the power of the Lord be great as you have promised, saying, ‘The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’ Please pardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now.”" Numbers 14:15-19

1. God proclaims HIs name and His Goodness
2. God says He does not clear the guilty- He is righteous
3. God says He will visit the iniquities of the fathers upon the children
4. God says He is merciful, and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth

Through proclaiming His goodness and the contrasting guiltiness of the people, God shows how His will be known for His glory.

The glory of God MUST be your motivation for missions, in fact it should be your motivation for any action you have. When you ask does it glorify God? If the answer is no, why are you doing it?