When We Have a Glory Problem
Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
There are two things going on here in Psalm 96. First, there is the glory of God, and second, there are all the peoples of the earth. We can see how they are connected by just looking at these three verses.
The praise and worship of God — singing to him — is an exhortation given to all the earth. We see that in verse 1: “Sing to the Lᴏʀᴅ, all the earth!” Then in verse 3, we see that the glory of God — the radiance of his majesty, God shining forth of who he is — that is to be declared among the nations. The exhortation from the psalmist to the reader is that we tell all the peoples of the earth about our covenant-keeping God, which, of course, we see most vividly in the death and resurrection Jesus Christ.
These three verses make one thing clear: The glory of God is for all the peoples of the earth.
And there are two implications that follow.
First, if we are really about the glory of God, then we care about every ethno-linguistic people group on the earth.
This is simple. If we are really about the glory of God — if he is our ambition and his fame is our goal — then we will be compelled to go or send the spread of that glory to everyone. The glory is for everyone, and if we care about the glory, we will care about the everyone.
Secondly, and this is the negative side of the same logic, ethnocentrism — a myopic focus on one type of person at the expense of others — ethnocentrism can only persist in hearts that have no appetite for the glory of God.
Which means, if we are not about reaching the nations it is because we have a glory problem.
And fact is: we do.
It is so comfortable for us to only care about the people who are most like us, and we love comfort. So we need to repent, and we need help.
The mission of Cities Church is to make disciples of all nations — and we mean all nations. And one of the things we want to do is provide you resources to that end. So today, actually, we have several copies of a new book that we want to give you as a gift. This book is a new one called Cross, edited by pastor David Mathis. So we want to give them to you.
But we don’t want to just go through the motions of missions. This is really a heart thing. Do we really grasp the love of God for us? And for all the peoples of the earth?
Let’s spend a moment in the silent confession of our sins, coming to our Father who’s love for us is deep.