Nations

The Big Blue Marble
It is said, and we have seen the pictures to prove it, that from the surface of the moon the earth looks like a big blue marble. Imaginative computer artists have shown us what our world looks like from deeper in space—just a blinking dot of light. These realizations make us feel small and perhaps insignificant.

For the Christ-follower images of earth from space cause us to be even more amazed at grace. To think that God “out there” who made all of creation would take notice of each of us individually, seems completely out of the realm of reason—except for one image—that of a cross, empty now with no helpless victim attached, and yet full of meaning, telling us that God loves us.

“What is man that you are mindful of him, O Lord?”
The question has been around since people first sensed a connection between the glittering night sky and the stirring deep in the human heart that tells us we are not here by accident. The Good News is that God made the universe and us, too! There in the secret place He knit us together. It was not a meaningless hobby of His—it was a purposeful act of destiny for us.

  • God made us.
  • God loves us.
  • God has work for us to do.

What work could that be?

If God loves people, then He must also love nations.
Reading in the Old Testament, God’s concern for the nations of the world is clear. He raised the nation of Israel up to be a witness to the pagan, god-cluttered world of the ancients that there is One True God. This chosen nation would also bring a Savior to the whole world.

God loves people and God loves nations. The world isn’t a big blue marble to Him, nor is it a distant speck of light. He has invaded our space and is standing by. Today we must call upon Him while He draws near. We must love Him with all our heart and soul and mind and strength.

We have a story to tell to the nations—His story—the narrative that gives life and the saga that rescues from danger.

No one else is appointed this task. Angels might have been excellent witnesses but that is not their job. The heavens are telling the glory of God yet it seems most people don’t understand the love of God that shines in the stars or reflects from the moon. People need faces and voices and hands that are tender.

And that is why we are here on this Big Blue Marble.

Scriptures:
Psalm 67 NIV
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways
may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, O
God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule
the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you. Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him.
Psalm 8:3-8 NIV
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
Mark 16:15-18 NIV
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, You are the Lord of the Harvest. You have called the Church to speak to the world, to the nations of men, to the cultures of peoples of the Earth. Help us learn their languages so we can tell them Your story. Send Your chosen ones to the nations of this earth and to the islands of sea. Call each of us to go and to send. You gave us Your Holy Spirit so that we might be Your witnesses starting with our neighbors and our neighborhoods, extending to our towns and nations and to the ends of the earth. This we must do. In Your holy name! Amen.

Song:
We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations
Words and Music: H. Ernest Nichol

1. We’ve a story to tell to the nations,
That shall turn their hearts to the right,
A story of truth and mercy, a story of peace and light,
A story of peace and light.

Refrain:
For the darkness shall turn to dawning,
And the dawning to noonday bright;
And Christ’s great kingdom shall come on earth,
The kingdom of love and light.

2. We’ve a song to be sung to the nations,
That shall lift their hearts to the Lord,
A song that shall conquer evil
And shatter the spear and sword,
And shatter the spear and sword.

Refrain

3. We’ve a message to give to the nations,
That the Lord who reigneth above
Hath sent us his Son to save us,
And show us that God is love,
And show us that God is love.

Refrain

4. We’ve a Savior to show to the nations,
Who the path of sorrow hath trod,
That all of the world’s great peoples
Might come to the truth of God,
Might come to the truth of God.

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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