One of the things I’ve been pondering recently is God’s goodness in His universal missiological intent. From the very beginning of Scripture, God intentionally selects one person or one people group to receive His blessing and presence in order be the agents of His goodness to the rest of the world. The Lord does not select one person, such as Abraham, to be the focus of God’s presence and mercy for their own sake. Rather, God chose Abraham to be the father of many nations that would all be impacted by the goodness of the Lord.
Genesis 18:18-19 is a profound verse, according to theologian and missiologist Christopher J.H. Wright, because of the way that it weaves together election, ethics, and mission into one verse. In this verse, God intentionally elects Abraham as the agent of His work (“Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation”) and calls him to live in an ethical, God-honoring way (“to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice”) for a missiological purpose (“and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him”). God’s purpose in selecting Abraham and creating the Israelite nation was so that they could experience God’s presence and live in a counter-cultural way that glorified God and drew other nations to Himself.
This is meaningful to us as we go out and do our work in ministry. The very work of evangelism is tied to God’s intent at the beginning of time to bring the Gospel to all nations. For example, we see this work in Scripture with the inclusion of Rahab into the community of God’s people in Joshua 6:25. Much later in Scripture, we see the Gospel going out to the Gentile people through the work of the apostles. God is always at work to bring the Gospel to all nations and all people, regardless of background, language, culture, education, talent, ability, or status.
This changes the way that I see the unbelievers around me. God loves His creation so very deeply that He has been working from the beginning of time to shape His people into agents who spread the good news of the Gospel to everyone around them. This is a central example of God’s goodness on display – His driving desire to bring freedom, inclusion, equality, forgiveness, and eternal life to all humanity.
How have you seen God’s goodness on display in your ministry recently?