Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.
Love is doing what will enthrall the beloved with the greatest and longest joy. What will enthrall the beloved this way is the glory of God. Love means doing all we can, at whatever cost to ourselves, to help people be enthralled with the glory of God. When they are, they are satisfied and God is glorified. Therefore loving people and glorifying God are one.
What is sin?It is the glory of God not honored.The holiness of God not reverenced.The greatness of God not admired.The power of God not praised.The truth of God not sought.The wisdom of God not esteemed.The beauty of God not treasured.The goodness of God not savored.The faithfulness of God not trusted.The commandments of God not obeyed.The justice of God not respected.The wrath of God not feared.The grace of God not cherished.The presence of God not prized.The person of God not loved.That is sin.
We can say that true gratitude does not give rise to the debtor's ethic because it gives rise to faith in future grace. With true gratitude there is such a delight in the worth of God's past grace, that we are driven on to experience more and more of it in the future...it is done by transforming gratitude into faith as it turns from contemplating the pleasures of past grace and starts contemplating the promises of the future.
Our obedience is God's pleasure when it proves that God is our treasure. This is good news, because it means very simply that the command to obey is the command to be happy in God. The commandments of God are only as hard to obey as the promises of God are hard to believe. The Word of God is only as hard to obey as the beauty of God is hard to cherish.
In all of knowable reality, God is unique. He is knowable not like the multiplication table or the table of elements; he alone is knowable as the one totally in control of being known. He is not at the disposal of the human mind. He is known when he wills to be known. Yet he is known in and through created reality, which is known naturally. Therefore the glory of God is exalted most not when we know God apart from observation and reading and study, but when we know God as a result of his free and gracious self-revelation in and through our earnest observation of and meditation on his work and Word in history.
... the mind was designed not to defend what we want, but to discover what is ultimately true, which should shape our wants and satisfy them more deeply with God. The purpose of the mind is not to rationalize subjective preferences, but to recognize objective reality and to help the heart revel in God.