In my missions class I read an article written by David Bryant called Beyond Loving the World: Serving the Son for His Surpassing Glory found within my textbook, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. I wanted to share some insightful and encouraging things I gathered from the article. The following are some quotes from Bryant:
I have heard it said among believers: “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” Of course there’s great truth in that. But at the close of this Perspectives journey I think you can see it would be much more appropriate to say it this way: “God loves His Son and has a wonderful plan for Him, to bring all the nations to His feet as Lord of all, and He loves you and me enough to give us a place in it.” We’re accustomed to thinking God’s love for the world as the most radical love of all. After all, John 3:16 sums it up in the minds of most believers. Because of the Father’s vast love for the world, He gives His Son. But look again at John chapter 3. Just 19 verses later we find, “The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands.” Steve Hawthorne puts it this way: “While it’s true that the Father loves the world so much that He gave His Son, the greater love is that the Father loves the Son so much that He gives Him the world!“
His “single strategic plan” is for His followers to declare His glory in selfless love, and thus to draw many from every people to willingly serve Him. Ultimately, the demonstrations of His love and glory throughout history will stand as witness against those who refuse Him, so that every knee will bow, by either redemption or judgment, to confess His kingship over all (Isa 45:22-24; Phil 2:9-11). Like waves ascending up a beach in the momentum of an incoming tide, despite periods of ebb and flow, His missionary purpose cannot be stopped. God is writing no other story. For 20 centuries Christ has never ceased to advance His global work among the nations. Never is a day wasted. He has not failed to keep His promise that He would be present with those He sends “all the days until the end of the age” (a literal translation of Matt 28:20). He always meets them wherever He sends them. There is no place His ambassadors go where He has not gone ahead of them. Exerting the fullest, God-granting authority over all heaven and earth, He sets the stage for their arrival before they get there. He works through them as they speak or serve in His na,e. And he sustains the impact of His reign long after His servants have moved on.
With full determination, this mission-sending God has narrowed His sights on our generation. He sees more than two billion still largely unevangelized. He knows there are multitudes that have no knowledge of his Son – that have no one near them, like them, to even begin to tell them. But He refuses to leave earth’s people in this hopeless condition.
What is the goal of God’s story? To achieve the most comprehensive glory for His Son, a relational glory in which He will be loved and served by a great host of people drawn from every people. Their love will forever magnify the wonders of His salvation and the supremacy of the Messiah.
God loves His Son, and has a wonderful plan for Him… and He loves you enough to give you a place in it.
This is encouraging. This is incredible. God loves His Son and He loves us. And because of God’s love for us we have been invited to be partakers of something much greater and much more important than ourselves: the magnified glory of Christ.