Let’s take a closer look at Psalm 117.
This Psalm is short but it is loaded with a challenge for believers in Christ. We don’t often think about the global plan of God to get the gospel to the ends of the earth. God has a heart for the nations! His desire is that every people group, every tribe, every nation would hear the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Do you realize that from beginning to end of scripture, God was evangelistic, meaning he was trying to reach people of all nations to come into a right relationship with Himself?
His choosing the Israelites as His chosen people, was to set them apart so that the nations would see the one true God through the way they lived and worshipped and through His miracles! His desire was that the nations would leave their false gods and idols and worship Him, the one true God who alone could save.
If God has a heart for the nations to hear the gospel, so should we.
Verse 1 of this psalm is a call for all nations to praise the Lord. Here, this call is for every people group, every ethnicity, and every nation to praise the Lord.
Verse 2 tells us why all nations should praise the Lord, “For his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord forever.” The psalmist is saying, “praise the Lord all nations because our God does not change! His love does not change, and His faithfulness does not change! It is “steadfast” and “endures” forever!”
And then this verse ends in another call to praise which is literally, “Hallelujah…praise the Lord.”
I once read a quote by John Piper. He said, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” What he means is that if we believe that God is the one true God who deserves to worshipped because of his steadfast love and enduring faithfulness, then our mission is for him to be worshipped by every people, every tribe and every nation!
Think about it. Does God deserve to be worshipped by all people? Right now, there are people all over the world who worship gods that do not deserve their worship. They do not deserve to be worshipped because they are NOT faithful gods, they are not loving gods. In fact all other gods enslave their worshippers to believing that their salvation is dependent on whether their worship is good enough; whether or not they live good enough lives so they live in fear thinking that they will spend an eternity being punished based on how THEY live!
The gospel is different! The gospel is NOT dependent upon US and how we live or how good we are or how good our worship is! The gospel is God’s love for us and faithfulness to us to send His only son to die for EVERYONE who would believe in HIM!
The gospel sets people free to worship a God who loves them, and is faithful to SAVE, not ENSLAVE! This is why we do missions because God deserves to be praised and worshipped by all people! The great commission in Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore into all NATIONS…”
Do you realize you were not saved ONLY for you to go to heaven? You were not saved just for you! You were saved so that God would be worshipped and glorified for being a saving God who saves by His grace. You were saved so that God would be worshipped by your sharing this good news with others so that they too would worship God! This is why we share the gospel with our friends; this is why we go to the nations on mission trips, so that those who do not worship God, would know Him as the loving and faithful God that he is and be worshipped by all peoples!
May we be a church that has a heart NOT for missions, but a heart that God would be worshipped by all nations and THAT would motivate us to LIVE ON MISSION.