We will hear and sing about missions this morning during the course of the worship service. If you have not done so already, please take a moment to read the passage found on the back of the bulletin. Those words come from the opening chapter of a book by John Piper entitled Let the Nations Be Glad! The next paragraph from the opening chapter continues:
But worship is also the fuel of missions. Passion for God in worship precedes the offer of God in preaching. You can’t commend what you don’t cherish. Missionaries will never call out, “Let the nations be glad!”, who cannot say from the heart, “I rejoiceI will be glad and exult in thee, I will sing praise to thy name, O Most High (Psalm 104:34; 9:2). in the Lord…. Missions begins and ends in worship. (p. 11)
Our goal in missions work and in spreading the gospel is not simply to have more people who will experience the joy of a relationship with Christ, although that is part of our desire. Our goal is to bring others to Christ mainly because it grieves us to know that others have not bowed the knee to Jesus Christ as Lord. Our goal is for the Lord to be glorified by others coming to know Him and bringing glory to Him through a new life wrought by the Holy Spirit. This is also why we sing songs of praise and worship. We sing not for our own benefit; we sing because we cannot be silent. The Lord is worthy of our praise, and we want Him to be glorified.
Songs for Today
“Send the Light” is based on Acts 16:9 where Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia “standing and appealing to him, and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us’” (NASB). As believers, we are instruments in God’s hand to reflect the Light, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Light that “shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:5, NASB). Our mindset should be like that of John the Baptist: “He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light” (John 1:7-8, NASB). In that way, we proclaim the message that we sing about in “We Have Heard the Joyful Sound”: “Jesus saves! Jesus saves!”
“I Saw One Hanging on a Tree” was written by John Newton, a man who truly understood the fact that—although we are guilty and deserving of God’s wrath—the heavenly Father’s wrath was appeased by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, in our place. This stirs our hearts, “To think He died for me!”
1. I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agony and blood;
He fixed His loving eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.
2. Sure, never till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke.
3. My conscience felt and owned the guilt,
And plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins His blood had spilt
And helped to nail Him there.
4. A second look He gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive:
This blood is for your ransom paid,
I die that you may live.”
5. O, can it be, upon a tree
The Savior bled for me?
My soul is thrilled, my heart is filled,
To think He died for me!
We end with the reminder that in the end “Jesus Shall Reign” over the whole earth! Let us ponder the Lord’s majestic reign throughout this week. Stop to thank Him for reigning over every facet of your life.