God so loved…He gave.

“All the different ways God has chosen to display his glory in creation and redemption seem to reach their culmination in the praises of his redeemed people. God governs the world with glory precisely that he might be admired, marveled at, exalted and praised. The climax of his happiness is the delight he takes in the echoes of his excellence in the praises of the saints.” John Piper

It is the high point of our year. It is our month of mission emphasis. We get to praise God for His love for us. We get to share the blessing he has poured into our lives. We get to meet our missionary family and get to participate in God’s blessing upon their ministries. As we prepare for these awesome days I have one question:
Question: What is the most loving gift God could give us?
Answer: Himself.
Conclusion: If he gave us all things in this world and withheld Himself he would not be love.

The force behind missions is God’s desire to declare his glory. The means he used to declare His glory was to give His Son for the world. The gospel is about a gracious God giving and a desperate man receiving. The value of a gift is seen in the cost to the giver and in the delight of the receiver. God gave His most precious gift: Himself. We receive by faith life’s most satisfying gift: The Son.

So, the value of God’s gift is not seen in the worth of the “world” but in the worth of His gift to the “world.” The Father gave the Son whom He loves. The Son is the Father’s delight and pleasure from all eternity [Luke 3:22]. He is the radiance of His glory and His exact representation [Hebrews 1:3]. He is the “pearl of great price” that causes one to sell all he has to make him his own [Matthew 13:45-46]. The Father could not have given a more glorious or a more satisfying gift.

We have received the gift of the Father’s love and he has become our highest treasure and our greatest pleasure. Our thirst has been met. Our hunger relieved. Our hope fulfilled. But our joy is not complete until we share what we have found with others. God’s purpose for creation and redemption will not be complete until the heavens resound with the praises of his saints. So, our task in missions is about sharing our pleasure with others so that more and more worshippers can declare with us the “praise of him who called us out of darkness into this wonderful light.”

 Let us fulfill God’s purpose to glorify himself in the gift of the Son that He loves. Let our 2003 mission convention be filled with praise to God for His awesome, satisfying gift of love. Let our hearts be moved to pray and give in such a way that God receives the praise and we receive the joy. Because God so loved, let us declare his glory to the ends of the earth.