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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of August 26, 2019

Evangelism exists because worship doesn't.

Once Christ returns at the end of this age, all those who have been born again will be with God worshiping him, and missions will no longer be necessary. Worship is eternal, but evangelism is temporary.

Until Christ returns, the purpose of evangelism is to spread a passion for Christ. We evangelize so that all the peoples of the earth will "Sing to the Lord [and] proclaim his salvation day after day" (1 Chronicles 16:23). Said differently, the goal of missions is worship.

Not only is worship the goal of missions, but it is also the fuel of missions. Worship begets missions, and missions begets worship. In the words of pastor and author John Piper, "You can't commend what you don't cherish." If you don't treasure Christ, you won't be compelled to encourage others to treasure him. Where zeal for Christ is lacking, passion for missions will be lukewarm.

Jesus instructs us to spread his name to all peoples (Matthew 28:16-20), but we'll do so only once we come to the same point as the Apostle Paul, who exclaims, "I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:8).

When, like Paul, we treasure Christ above all else, then we will be passionate about missions. But once Christ returns, evangelism will no longer be necessary because he will bring to himself and be worshiped by all those who have been made righteous in Christ. In the meantime, evangelism exists because there are still people called by Christ who are not worshipers of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Joyful living requires giving.

Most people are selfish and self-centered, focusing only on what benefits them. Such thinking claims that the more you have, the more you accumulate, and the more attention you receive, the happier you'll be.

Yet, most of the time, such selfishness only makes a person more depressed than ever. This is because when all you focus on is yourself, you'll always want more, and you'll never be satisfied with what you have. On the other hand, if you live focused on how you can bless others and serve them, then God will give you joy.

It is no surprise, therefore, that Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

Likewise, in John 13:1-17 Jesus is seen washing his disciples' feet; he sets an example by humbly giving himself to his disciples. Then, in John 13:17, Jesus tells them, "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." In other words, you will be blessed, which in the Greek has the meaning of being happy, if you give and serve others. The Bible makes it clear that joyful living requires giving.

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