Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Psalm 67: True Worship is Missional

KEY TEXT: Psalms 67:1-3 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!

KEY THOT: It's impossible to be a true worshiper of God and yet be content with keeping God for ourselves alone. The psalmist's prayer was a missional prayer. He began with a prayer for God to be gracious, to bless and make his face to shine upon His people. But he did not stop there. His heart's cry is not just to be blessed, but to be a blessing, that "your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations." The true worshiper is never content with experiencing God's blessings in worship for insiders alone but that His grace and saving power may be known and experienced by outsiders who have yet to know Him.

True worship by definition is missional. It is a declaration of God's grace and saving power and this must be done among those who are unsaved. God's glory and grace should not be kept hidden in the church like a lamp placed under a basket but declared among unbelievers: "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16).

True worship is therefore not just for insiders, but also for outsiders. NT worship is missional because it assumes unbelievers will be present, not just believers: "But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you." (1 Corinthians 14:24-25). If we know that there will be outsiders in our midst, then our worship and our presentation must necessarily be seeker-friendly and outsider-focused rather than merely insider-focused. And God will not be displeased because we include unbelievers in our midst. For how can we tell of His saving grace and power if there are no unbelievers to listen, for it is for this reason that Jesus came: "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost"(Luke 19:10).

The Gospel is for the lost, and so God's grace and saving power must be declared in our worship among unbelievers,  not believers only. By definition missional worship that tells of God's grace and saving power is only meaningful if unbelievers are present. Ultimately, true worship ministry must not only focus on bringing unbelievers to church but also bring church to the unbelievers--in the marketplace of board rooms, conference rooms, and in the community of social halls and private homes where unbelievers are present. Alpha can be such a tool to bring the church and worship to the marketplace and community.

May the missional song of worship, "Our Heart", expresses our desire to see the nations worship God.

Abba-Father, turn our hearts from seeking only to be blessed towards seeking to be a blessing, that the nations may experience Your saving power and Your grace. Amen.

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