“You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving.”

Amy Carmichael

TODAY’S READING: Deuteronomy 5–7

God did indeed make a covenant with Father Abraham to bless all nations, but at Sinai, Moses reminds us all: “The Lord did not make THIS covenant with our fathers, but with us, those of us who are here today, all of us who are alive” (Deut. 5:3, emphasis mine). What God expected of Abraham, He expects of us. And what God promised Abraham (blessing to bless all peoples), He promises us, that it might be well with us and our children forever (v. 29). God wants the wellness of His presence among us that His blessings might extend to all His nations. “The very meaning of the law is grounded in the gospel of God’s saving grace in history.”[1]

My friend Kevin Stone says that people lose their way when they lose their why. When Jehovah unveils the greatest commandment (6:5), we lose our way, even in love, if we forget why. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, so that His holy presence can dwell with us, so that we may experience the fullness of His blessing (shalom), so that He might use us to bless all the unreached peoples of the world. We love Him because He has redeemed us to be His agents of redemption. He has preserved us alive (v. 24), so that, like Joseph, He can use us for the saving of many lives. He has disposed of others (7:1–5), so that we can be a holy people, a special treasure above all the peoples of the earth (v. 6), because He loves us and wants to keep His promise to Abraham to bless all the peoples of the earth (v. 8). God will go ahead of us into the nations and make us fearless, so that the nations will be delivered (v. 23).

Historical Israel was special for the same two reasons we are special: They were small and weak (v. 7) and they were loved. That love has a why. According to Christ Wright, “the election of Israel, therefore, was not tantamount to a rejection of the nations, but explicitly for their ultimate benefit. Election is missional in its purpose. If I might paraphrase John, in a way he probably would have accepted, ‘God so loved the world that he chose Israel.’”[2] God so loved the Arab Sudanese Muslim that He saved us. God saved and blessed us, that we might bless Sudanese Arabs. We bless best by the proclamation of the gospel. We bless best by letting God’s Sudanese Arab sons and daughters hear in their own heart language that their Father misses them and that He has devised ways to bring His loved ones home.

This second sermon of Moses in Deuteronomy is “an urgent call to covenant loyalty through exclusive worship of Yahweh alone, based on the unique history of his redeeming and revealing activity through the exodus and at Sinai, and worked out in practical ethical obedience to his laws in the land of promise, with a view to the affect that this will have on the nations.”[3] Every time we revisit the Ten Commandments, we should read them through a missional lens.  Our morality is based on God’s missionary character. The “why” of what we do—why we love, why we obey, why we are ethical, why we are industrious, why we are kind, why we are respectful—every “why” of life is based in the great metanarrative of the Bible, the great missionary heart of God, so that a holy God can live among us, so we can receive and extend His blessings, so that every tribe, tongue, people, and nation may come taste of His sweetness and enjoy Him forever. God loves us, and we love Him, that many Sudanese Arabs might love and be loved with us.

[1] Christopher J. H. Wright. The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative. Downers Grover, IL: VP Academic, 2006. 59.

[2] Ibid. 329.

[3] Ibid. 377.

Prayer Focus: South Sudan (7 UPGs)

Today’s Unreached People Group: Arab, Sudanese
Population: 460,000
Language: Arabic, Sudanese Spoken
Primary Religion: Islam
Evangelical: 0.40%
Estimated Workers Needed: 9

[Source: Joshua Project]

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