This is the first in a series of posts that hope to inspire pastors to be the loudest champion of international missions in their churches. If you’re not up to speed, try starting here.
Reason #1: Because God Deserves To Receive Glory From All Peoples.
In Psalm 63, the psalmist says:
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
God deserves the praise of all peoples, everywhere. I’m sure that’s not new information to you but let’s press into it a little bit.
He deserves the praise of all creation for a couple of different reasons. First of all, because of Who He is. Before we can even begin to discuss what He has done— He is worthy of praise because of His position as the Good Wise Creator/King. He is over all and through all and in all. He is before all things and in Him all things are held together. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He needs no counselor and He has no equal. The heavens are a reflection of His glory and He is in and of Himself holy and sufficient. Praise is not simply owed to Him, it will be given nonetheless. When the pharisees challenged Jesus over the praise He was receiving from men, He pointed out that if men failed, the rocks would cry out. He is deserving of the praise of all the peoples of the earth simply because of Who He is. But He has also done a couple of things worth mentioning.
He is Creator. He is Sustainer. He is the Good Architect. He is also the Lamb of God that was slain. He has made a way where there was no way. He is reconciling all things to Himself (including you and I) and making peace by the blood of His cross. He has defeated Satan, sin, and death and gives us Himself as the great prize of His finished work. He stands victoriously over all of His enemies and will one day put them away forever. And He is building a house for His bride that is nevermore broken or stained by our sin. He is deserving of the praise of all the people of the earth simply because of what He has done.
And that leads to an interesting question: Is He currently receiving the praise He so rightly deserves? The answer is “No” (And if you’re reading this, I doubt I have to answer that question for you.)
So the next begged question is: What is the church going to do about that discrepancy? And this is another question you already know the answer to.
You and I— As individuals and as churches— have been invited into playing a role in a story that’s not ultimately about either of us. We are ambassadors for a better King. A King that actually deserves praise. A king that is building a Kingdom that won’t fall apart one day. If you’re anything like me, it’s possible to fall into the rut of believing that all the effort I pour into building up my church is solely for God, but that’s not always true. There are a lot of times I’m building a church in order to be seen by men. Whether that’s fellow pastors or by outside people in my community.
And being actively involved in what God is doing outside of my immediate context helps keep my heart honest. It helps keep my affections on the One Who actually deserves them. So go on a mission trip. Look deeply into what God is doing among every tribe, and tongue, and nation. And play your role of ambassador well.