03 The Lord Reigns (10/5/2014)

03 The Lord Reigns (10/5/2014)

Missions: God’s Heart for the World
Week 03

The Lord Reigns!
Psalm 96

October 5, 2014

Group Resources

For the Week of October 5, 2014

What is the definition of missions? Some see images of pith-helmeted, white-skinned people penetrating dark jungles. Others fear that it means a religious version of cultural imperialism. In Psalm 96 the psalmist introduces us to a different definition; he calls us to declare God’s glory to all nations. The goal is neither conquest nor human-manipulated conversion. The goal of missions is to see God worshiped.

Sermon in a Sentence: “The finished work of Christ causes us to cry out in worship of Him and sing a new song among the nations declaring His glory, His majesty, His splendor—the Lord Reigns!”

This Week’s Resources:


Introduction

What is the definition of missions? Some see images of pith-helmeted, white-skinned people penetrating dark jungles. Others fear that it means a religious version of cultural imperialism. In Psalm 96 the psalmist introduces us to a different definition; he calls us to declare God’s glory to all nations. The goal is neither conquest nor human-manipulated conversion. The goal of missions is to see God worshiped.

  • Looking back at your notes from this week’s sermon, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
  • Imagine that in response to the question “What do you believe?” you said, “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob— who sent Jesus Christ as our Savior—alone is to be worshiped.” How do you think people would respond?
  • What do you believe about absolute truth? Ask God to shape your convictions through these studies.

Read the Text (Psalm 96)

The psalmist writes from a context in which diverse deities are worshiped, creating an environment that we call pluralism, in which no one should claim to have the “Truth.” Rather than contesting the other religions of that day, the psalmist is engulfed by thoughts about the greatness of God, the central motive for declaring God to the world. Read Psalm 96.

Digging Deeper

  • How does the psalmist portray God’s character and works in this text?
  • What imperatives call the people of God to action (vv. 1-3)?
  • What would the actions described here look like in daily living?
  • How does God call us to respond to his holiness and majesty (vv. 4-10)?
  • What does it mean to “proclaim his salvation day after day” (v. 2)?
  • What sets the God of the Bible apart from all other gods (vv. 4-6)?
  • What do you think these verses told the people of the psalmist’s time about their response to the pluralistic spirit of their age?
  • What do these verses tell us regarding our response to the pluralistic spirit of our age that says “Everyone’s all right—there’s no one right way to God”?
  • God is worshiped by more than just humanity. How does creation declare God’s glory?
  • What do verses 7-9 tell us about God’s primary goal in missions?
  • What does the text tell us about God’s judgment (vv. 9-10, 13)?
  • How does this affect our motivation or incentive to “declare his glory” to the world?
  • The text refers many times to “all the earth,” “the nations,” “families of nations” and “the peoples.” In what ways does God call you to cross cultural or ethnic boundaries so that you can “declare God’s glory among the nations” right where you live?Pray for two or three people that you have daily contact with who need to hear about God’s salvation through you—especially those who worship false gods.

Concluding Thoughts

  • Are there any “false gods” or idols in your own life? Read Psalm 96:5 again and ask God to give you an undivided devotion to him as the one and only true God.
  • Read Isaiah 49:1-7 with special attention to verse 6. Remember that God is not just concerned about your ethnic group, people or nation. His goal is that his salvation be communicated “to the ends of the earth.”

By |2014-10-12T09:03:13-05:00September 25th, 2014|Group Homework, Weekly Resources|0 Comments

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