God's Grand Gospel Plans
God’s Grand Gospel Plans
by Pastor David
Sometimes I think too small. Sometimes in the rightness of “stick-to-it-tiveness“, of “wherever you are, be all there,” of “keep your heart where your body is,” I can lose sight of the grandness of God’s Gospel plans. We need to pour our energies into the mission field right around us. But there’s a whole forest of God’s Gospel work beyond these trees. We are part of an entire disciple-making plan that is global in scope. We’re in our own “ends of the earth,” and it’s certainly right to work for Christ’s kingdom right here. But it also helps to remember that we are part of something so much bigger than just our valley.
Knowing God’s global Gospel plans helps put our Gospel work in perspective. Maybe sometimes we can be frustrated that we are doing too little for the Gospel spread, and look to other harvest fields with envy or longing. But for God’s Gospel to spread globally, it needs preached and obeyed right here too. Maybe we can feel cut off and isolated from the work God is doing worldwide. In that case, we need to lift our eyes beyond ourselves and realize we’re joining the work of hundreds of thousands of evangelists. The knowledge of the grandness of God’s Gospel plan--”all the world”; “every tribe, tongue, and nation”; “the ends of the earth”--that knowledge ought to ignite our passion for Gospel success here and energize our confidence that God’s Gospel work will be done.
In light of that, I really appreciated this excerpt from a sermon on Acts 1:6-11 to college students by Kevin DeYoung. You can listen to or watch the whole thing here: http://www.universityreformedchurch.org/teaching/sermons.html?sermon_id=537
“‘It is too light a thing,’ Isaiah says, ‘that you should be my servant to take up the tribes of Jacob and to bring the preserved of Israel. I will make you as a light to the nations that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth’ (Isa. 49:6).
That was a promise about the Messiah and about the Messianic community. God says what you have in mind is too light a thing. He knew they were thinking, “God if you would just save us, if you would save Israel, if you would save people like me, if you save some friends of mine, some classmates, some people in my family, people who look like me, people vote like me–that’s what I want.” God says “That is all fine, but that is too small.” It is too small a thing that God would raise up the Christ just to save Israel. Oh no, no, no, he will be a light to the nations!
Listen, whatever plans and hopes and dreams you have for the gospel–and I hope you have some. I hope all of your hopes and plans and dreams are not concentrated on just your grades or your girlfriend or fantasy football. As important as those three things are (though it’s hard to be good at fantasy football and have a girlfriend). So I hope you have some plans and dreams for the gospel where you want something to happen in the world. It is possible those plans for the gospel are too self-centered or too impatient or too naïve, but it is not possible for them to be too big.
To the ends of the earth!
Do you want your family to believe in Christ? He can do that. Do you want your dorm? He can do that. Do you want this campus? He can do that. But anything less than the ends of the earth is too small a thing.
The disciples wanted the kingdom restored to Israel, but Jesus says ‘No, not just Israel. That is where it will start, and from there it will go everywhere.’”