Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Worthy of Men's Praise - Psalm 96

Worthy of Men’s Praise

“Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens…”
—Psalm 96

John Piper put it well that “missions exists because worship doesn’t.” In other words, because the vast majority of men of every language, color & custom have turned away from the God who made us, and worship false gods, it is therefore necessary to make the living God known & call men to return to Him. If all men everywhere were worshiping God from the heart, then there would be no need for missions. Indeed, the great end in view in this psalm would be accomplished. Then the fullness of Christ’s Kingdom would be here, and all who reject God would be gone. But that is not the case!
Rather, men of every tribe & tongue are worshiping gods they’ve created by their own imagination, which are “worthless” because they cannot rescue or aid those who serve them. This includes not merely the animist in Africa, the Hindu in India, but also the humanist in America. Each of us is responsible before God, and we must one day give an account to Him for our lives (v. 13).
This psalm (i.e., song) has chiefly in mind love for God’s glory. The psalmist (song writer) desires God to be known & praised, and urges other believers to make Him known. And the scope of his vision for God being glorified by men is global. He is not satisfied with one people in one corner of the globe knowing & praising God. He longs for the time when all nations & all of creation will join with one heart & voice to worship God. Do we have the same longings? What are we doing about it?
As we know, the nations, or people groups, are at fault for their ignorance of & rebellion against God. However, the nations are also to be pitied in their darkness & spiritual poverty. This also is expressed by the psalmist. He does not here call for the judgment & condemnation of the idolaters, but desires their salvation, and their entering into God’s triumphant praise. The nations’ problem—our problem—is idolatry. The psalmist’s solution: joyful worship of the true & living God.
The psalmist’s call to action for God’s people is to “sing to the LORD, bless his name[i.e., our own worship of God]; tell of his salvation from day to day[proclaim God’s love, grace & salvation].Declare his glory among the nations[declare who God is], his marvelous works among all the peoples! [declare what God has done]...Say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns…for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth [declare what God will do].’” Here is a simple plan for evangelism: worship God ourselves (otherwise we are hypocrites); proclaim his deliverance; declare who he is; what he has done; and what he will do. This is what idolaters need; they need to hear who God is, what he has done, and what he will do. No elaborate arguments, no seminary degree needed, simply proclaim what the Bible says.
The nations need to hear all of the message: God’s creation; His holiness, wrath& judgment; His love, grace & salvation; the Father, Son & Spirit’s work in saving us; Christ’s death & resurrection; Christ’s coming again & His Kingdom. To give them only part of the message (e.g., God’s love & grace without His wrath & judgment) will do the nations no good. That is to make a caricature of God—an idol. But the full message will bring the desired result: “The LORD reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD.”
Proclaiming God & his works is also an act of worship. Consider, when a man & woman love each other, their love spontaneously expresses itself in praise to each other; but it also spontaneously expresses itself by praising the beloved onebeforefamily, friends & others. We joyfully tell others what delights our hearts. Likewise, when we delight in God, we will gladly tell others about him. “Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.” We see both worship toward God, as directed to his ears, and worship proclaimed to others, as directed to the ears of men. In this way, our worship begets their worship.
Therefore, Brothers & Sisters, Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.” Our God is worthy of men’s praise!

Michael Pfleegor - Missionary to to Suriname

Michael and his wife Erin have four children and one on the way. They are members of Rockport Baptist Church in Arnold (near St. Louis), Missouri and are currently preparing to be sent to Suriname as missionaries. Please visit their blog "Multiply the Blessing" to find out how you can know more and partner with them in this ministry.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thank you for your giving

I was recently notified that people have made contributions for several needed items. We are humbled and grateful for your partnering with us. Here is an update on the progress recently:


We have purchased Bibles and a Family Devotion book for individuals currently being discipled near the US/Mexico Border. We have confirmed that some of the items have been received and delivered.

I was also notified that we have the funds to purchase a case of Bibles and Gospel tracts and send them to the Border. These items will be used to spread the Gospel through an area heavily influenced by false teachings.

Summer Missionary Support

I have also been informed that the funds were received for the purchase of a bike for our Summer Missionary and Intern, Billy Jackson. Billy is using this to get around to make visits and share the Gospel with others. This allows him to save money that would normally be spent on fuel for a 15 passenger van. Those funds will be reallocated now for further ministry projects.

Current need -Billy could still use financial support to finish out his journey in the Rio Grande Valley. This week he is serving as a Bible teacher and student leader for a Christian summer camp. He will return to St. Louis next week to work at a camp here. Following this, Billy will return for another trip to the Rio Grande Valley with a mission team.

We do seek to be faithful financially and therefore would ask that the Lord would provide the necessary funds for him to finish this summer project. If you are able to be a part of this, please contact Debbie Ferrell at psalm67missionsnet@gmail.com

As always, we thank you for your faithfulness in your support of sending and proclaiming the Gospel to every nation, tribe and tongue!

In Christ,


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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Report from the Border with Billy Jackson

I recently wrote an e-mail to Billy Jackson, Summer Missions Intern, and asked him to write up a short post on some "things learned" this summer and perhaps some ways that we can be praying for him. Here is his response:

Probably the number one thing I've learned is that God is always faithful through both small and big things. He is faithful not only to provide provisions but also to help you through conflict, to teach us his gospel and truth and he is faithful to use us to teach others as we are faithful in prayer and in the reading of his word.

I guess it is part of human nature to doubt as we see the next wave approaching us. It always looks bigger than the last one. And I think part of this is a subconscious knowing that we can't make this work out right no matter how hard we try, and that even as we are trying... things are messing up. Most of the time its only after the wave has passed that we see resolution and we're like "ahh, thats so nice how that work out..." and then we turn around and see the next wave coming and we're like "AHH! WHat's going to happen now!!??" "How can this be good?"

But God IS faithful. The big thing for me is to keep trusting him even through the situation, and to make sure I am working in his word (staying in it) and committing myself to prayer. The thing is it sound so simple but it can be hard sometimes. Sometimes you have to come up with strategies for staying alert as you read (and not falling asleep!). Or come up with something to help direct your prayers so you don't float around and then end up daydreaming.

Then probably the second thing I'd list as something I've learned is that it is ok and probably good to feel you total helplessness and dependence on God for anything good to happen or for you to even continue on in a good way. Actually this tends to make you pray with earnestness and to search the scriptures for something that will help you, something that you feel is his word to you (and then you're like "Wow! This is Awesome! I can teach this to the kids on Sunday!")

It's after the first week or two when you start to feel that you might actually have it together now... that you are in real danger. While you are on the cliff with the rope attached to the harness, yeah its scary, but you are safe. It's when you start to feel that you don't need the rope that you are in real danger and need to wake up to your situation. I've actually been teaching the boys here at the Bible studies about the need for the Holy Spirit, first to be born again as Jesus tells Nicodemus, and then second we need the Holy Spirit just to stay in the battle against the flesh and against the devil. We looked at Galatians 5:16-25 about the difference between the flesh and the Spirit. We looked at Ephesians 6 about what we need for this spiritual warfare. This Sunday we are going to look at Ephesians 2. I've already told some of the boys to read it so they have a head start.

So with all this I should be ready to follow the Lord faithfully into any situation without doubting, firmly grounded in his word, without any pride in my own strength (which doesn't actually exist), Right? heh heh... Well I'm still learning like everyone else.

Please pray that I would continue to grow in the power of the Holy Spirit, in humbleness so that I clearly see my need for the Holy Spirit, and in my dedication to the Word of God and to prayer that I may be able to stand against the Devil and his schemes and that I may bear fruit in keeping with repentance.

Pray for the Valley! We want to see people know Christ and join the ranks of willing solders going forth. I especially want to see fruit in these kids that we've been teaching. I am satisfied that God will bring about his glory in their lives but I will not stop sharing the gospel with them while I still can.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad