Worship: Honoring God
The Why of Global Impact
Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
The opening paragraph of John Piper’s watershed book on missions, “Let the Nations Be Glad,” states clearly the why of Global Impact. “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 honor of God is at stake in the matter of missions. We should desire to see His name unsullied everywhere by everybody. This was the desire of Abram. When his herdsmen and Lot’s began quarreling, Abram knew unbelievers were watching. Incivility in Abram and Lot’s camp was a reproach to the reputation of the honor of the living God. Thus Abram acted to remove this dishonor of God.
Genesis 13:7-8 “There was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.”
The reputation of God, what others thought of YHWH, mattered to Abram. It ought to matter to us, too. In fact, this is the why of Global Impact. The Lord Jesus was meant to be honored at every point of the compass. But in reality, God’s name is blasphemed in every corner of the planet. Shall we His followers be quiet and still? The reputation of Jesus is impugned. His enemies revile His name and resist His rule. Shall we, the soldiers of the cross, sense this, and not find our hands feeling for the handle of our sword, the Bible? The scoffing of skeptics should stir something in us (Spurgeon).
Understand our concern. We rally out of respect for His reputation, not due to worry about His essence. Even in a woefully wicked time, Isaiah saw the Lord “sitting on a throne” (IS 6:1). Unbelievers laugh and rave, but the Lord remains calm above their railings. He sits in calm, majestic glory on His eternal throne, never renouncing His sovereign rule over all creation, including rebellious Earth.
He deserves to be recognized in this world for what He is, Earth’s supreme ruler. This impulse should stir us all to worship, serve, and go in His behalf.
His throne is not puny, of little dignity or strength. Isaiah saw it “high and lifted up,” way above and over all other thrones. It is a throne of power, from which ample strength can flow to give victory to His own cause.
Enemies taunt us, saying the conquest of the world promised by Jesus has not happened. The cause has progressed, but 2000 years later, barely one in five of the race bow to Him. Was our Master’s vision but a dream, merely an ambitious fantasy never to be accomplished? Are certain parts of the globe destined never to bow at the cross, are some religions too hard for the Nazarene to subdue?
In light of such incrimination, shall we believers sit still? No. Our calling is to be busy proving the prediction of Jesus to be true. His honor is at stake. We should never be content to be barely saved, merely spectators. We need to descend from the bleachers and enter the arena of service due to love for Christ.
The message and story of our Savior deserves–yea, cries out–to be told in all the earth. He is the rightful King of this planet, and the words and edicts of a monarch should be circulated through the full length and breadth of His dominion.
The words Jesus spoke were uttered that we might speak them as His echo. If we truly reverence the King of kings, and stand in awe of the Lord of lords, we will run with His proclamations to every corner of His domain. He deserves nothing less.
Every inch of soil on this planet should resound with accolades of His praise. On this earth the blood of God has fallen. Those precious drops were not gathered up again. They remained soaked in the ground as markers, eternal brands designating this terrestrial ball as blood-marked and blood-bought.
This planet is the only orb in the Universe on which God poured out His life. Earth has to be the Lord’s. The sacrifice on Calvary has made this planet sacred. We must not be content to let it remain profaned.
Earth is Jesus’ by right of creation, He made it. Earth is Jesus’ by squatters right, He lived here. Earth is Jesus’ by right of purchase, He bought it with His own blood. Jesus on an old rugged cross, blood coursing from His veins and falling from hands, feet, and side, marks Earth forever as His by right of ransom.
The sister planets and stars of our galaxy must marvel at the rebellious discord on Earth. “Did not Jesus die on that one,” they ask, “Why doesn’t the whole planet erupt in uninterrupted praise and adoration to Him, why doesn’t a planet so favored lift up in unison one delightful chorus of love to Jesus?”
It will happen. A day is coming when every knee will bow and every tongue confess, Jesus is Lord. In the meantime, we seek to have it happen sooner.