Friday, September 7, 2012

The Proper Posture before a Great King

Scripture: Malachi 1:14c-d
For I am a great king," says the LORD Almighty, "and my name is to be feared among the nations.

Insights: The inclusio passage ends where it began with God’s declaration that He is a great King and is to be feared.  And remember from last week the word we translate as respect, literally means fear.  So, God is pointing back to what Israel does not have for God and saying to them the Gentile nations will have the proper respect/fear of me.  In many respects the United States is a lot like Israel.  Israel was to be a kingdom of priests who told the Gentile world about God, but they refused.  Therefore, God sent His only Son to be the Light of the world and to save the world from their sin.  He then commissioned the Gentiles to be ambassadors for Him.  And when the United States finally was established we were the greatest mission sending nation in the world for the proclamation of the gospel.  And after the Southern Baptist were formed, we led the charge.  But we are now going on forty years with just 10,000 missionaries being sent out (5,000 North American and 5,000 International).  The world has gone from 3.7 billion people to now over 7 billion.  In other words, the world has doubled its population, but we Southern Baptist have not increased the number of missionaries we have serving in the world.  Because of our failure to send out missionaries, countries like Korea are now the largest mission sending nation in the world.  What is even sadder is they are sending missionaries here to the United States because we are becoming one of the most pagan nations on the planet.  God concluded this inclusio passage talking about His greatness among the nations.  This statement forces us to evaluate our declaration of such reality.  How many people have you personally shared the gospel with this past year?  My fear is we, like Israel, have stopped loving, honoring and fearing the Lord.  Because we do not do these three things we also do not give authentic worship to God.  Because we refuse to worship with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, we are not compelled to proclaim Jesus.  This progressive downward spiral is the reason ninety percent of our churches are plateaued or declining.  We need a radical heart renewal of worship in order for our love affair with the Lord to be vibrant and life changing.  Beloved, go and proclaim the Lord!

  1. What are you willing to do for the advancement of the gospel to the nations?
  2. No matter what you are willing to do, what is the Lord telling you to do?
Prayer: Father, let my response to You be, “YES, LORD!”  I want to bring glory to Your name and make in known in the nations.  Grant me the courage to walk in obedience with You.  Amen. 

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