We have been, as a church, coming before the Lord from the book of Acts. And we have been asking the question: What does it mean for Dulin’s Grove, or any local church, to be the church in 2018? Essentially, what we’re trying to do is get ourselves onto God’s interstate highway and merge into the flow of where He is going. You could be a driver without ever getting on an interstate; you could even drive up to the interstate and then decide to take the back roads. There is always an option for bailing out. But we don’t want to do that – we want to get on God’s interstate, and we have to learn how.
Getting a wider perspective of God’s purpose in the world will help us when we return to the book of Acts to see the specific things that He teaches about being the church. And, we will see how Acts fits exactly in with this purpose. To do that, we will look at Psalm 67.
Blessed to Be a Blessing
To emphasize a point, Psalms were sometimes structured like a stream flowing between two stream banks: everything filters down to the stream, the focal point. The first thing we see when we come to the edge of the stream bank is that God has a purpose beyond our personal consumption for the blessings that He gives His people. Verses one and two have the same theme as verses six and seven:
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
that your way may be known on earth, you saving power among all nations.” (vv. 1-2)
These verses (especially verse one) come from the blessing of Aaron in Numbers 6:24-27. In this scene, God is giving instructions to Aaron and his family, the priests. God instructs them to be mediators of His blessing to the people.
In the New Testament, it says that the church is a royal priesthood. We the church are mediators of the blessing of God to the world around us. That’s our job, just as it was for Aaron and his family. This blessing not only has to do with finances and money, but also with family and health. Yet the spiritual blessings we have in Christ Jesus are the core of it, binding everything together.
The purpose of God’s blessing is that all the peoples of the world would come to know His saving power and His life in Christ (v. 2); that it would extend and overflow to everyone. This “blessing to be a blessing” goes all the way back to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). Our blessing is not for our personal consumption – it is meant to be passed on.
Blessed for God’s Glory
The purpose for all the nations of the earth coming to know the saving power of God is beyond just their salvation. This is what we find in verses three and five:
“Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!”
The goal behind all the peoples coming to know the saving power of God in Christ is that they will worship Him and glorify His name. Missions, therefore, are all about worship. Missions are just a means to the end: that all the peoples of the earth will glorify His name. The glory of God is the purpose behind the blessing that comes through knowing Christ Jesus, and it is the unifying theme of the entire Bible (Exodus 9:16; Habakkuk 2:14; Revelation 7:9-10).
Created for Worship
Now we come to the stream, the climax of this Psalm, in verse four. And what we find here is overflowing joy. God’s greatest desire is to fill us with the overflowing joy of knowing Him in Christ Jesus, because, in doing that, God is glorified more than at any other time.
“Let the nations be glad and sing for joy . . .”
God wants us to sing for joy. Joy is something much deeper than circumstantial happiness, it is eternal and founded in who God is. True joy – the very deepest joy possible – is worship. We were created to be worshipers. The glory of God is greatest when our joy in Him and is at its greatest.
Church is not about relieving a guilty conscience, or making your family happy because you showed up, or getting three tips to be a better parent – those are lesser goals by far. The goal of church is about being a true worshiper of God. It is about joining the flow of God’s purpose for the world. Let us determine that we want to be part of that.
Guest Speaker: Rev. Jeff Walsh
- Read and discuss Psalm 67 together.
- How have you been blessed by God through Jesus Christ?
- Why have you received these blessings? What is their purpose?
- What does it mean to be a mediator of God’s blessing to the world?
- What blessing are we mediating?
- What is the purpose of salvation through Christ?
- When is God most glorified?
- How do we, as individuals and as a church, truly worship God?