July 22 – What Has God Done?

July 22 – What Has God Done?

Genesis 12:1-3

“Now the Lord had said to Abraham; “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

Folk wisdom has it that actions thunder so loudly about one’s character and true intent that feeble words of explanation cannot be heard. What do God’s activities demonstrate of His loving character and purpose of world redemption? It is not too much to affirm that every major act of God since creation has been a missionary act.

Even creation does not focus on the intricacies of the atom nor climax with the infinite galaxies. The crescendo builds to a climax in the creation of a being in the likeness of God Himself. This was the overflow of a love which bound the Three in a unity from all eternity. God’s desire was to create a being who would have the capacity to fully receive His love and, in turn, to love Him freely and fully. This very likeness to God, the freedom from coerced or programmed choices, set the stage for man’s rebellion and alienation.

Man changed but God did not. And thus His purpose shifted from loving companionship with humankind to recreating the broken pattern of God-likeness so that the loving identity of life could be restored. Thus the sacrificial system, the calling of a special people, the redemption from Egypt, and the giving of the Law all centered in redeeming and restoring.

When God chose to communicate with man in written form, His purpose was the same. The Bible is not a revelation of all of God’s activities or purposes from eternity. It is not a record of all antiquity. It is the story of redemption, climaxing in the greatest event in human history, the Incarnation. This invasion of human life by God Himself was deliberately designed from all eternity, we are told, to provide redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These events, more than anything else Scripture tells us, reveal the purpose and character of God: love reaching out to save hopelessly lost people. What has God done? “God so loved … that he gave his one and only Son … “ This act of love goes beyond all human comprehension. What could reveal with greater clarity God’s character and purpose? What could demonstrate more forceably the center and circumference of His attention?

The next major event, Pentecost, was the descent of the Holy Spirit to establish the church, to be sure. But the purpose was clear. The entire record of the early church reveals how the church viewed the primary purpose of the church toward the world. It was to be God’s instrument for world evangelization.

Indeed, it is not too much to say that every major activity of God among men since the Fall has been a saving missionary act. This, then, is the biblical basis for missions: World evangelization is the expressed will of God. Spiritual redemption is the demonstrated activity of God. Evangelism and redemptive activity are expressed as the will of God and the demonstrated activity of God because it is the nature of God so to will and so to act. Love is the revealed nature of God. The salvation of lost men is that human event which brings greatest glory to God. Because God is such a God and has given the church such a command, our mandate for action is to make known the good news of life in Christ to every person and to establish a congregation of believers in every place. Until every person has heard with understanding. Why is it that we are so far from fulfilling God’s design in the world? One reason is that we have not opened ourselves to the full force of the missionary message of Scripture, and His will for us.

How come? Because we don’t see well. God gives us so clear a revelation of His character, His purpose, His activity, but it seems that we deliberately wear dark glasses with blinders, focusing in Scripture on our own small self-oriented world. Meanwhile the world God loves is lost. May God open our eyes to see the world in focus as He sees it.[54]

[54] The Great Omission, Robertson McQuilkin, 1984, Gabriel Publishing, 31-38.

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