God] comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
~ 2 CORINTHIANS 1:4 [NLT]
Crossing Cultures, Touching Hearts
God loves the nations. He loves Iraqis. Somalians. Israelis. New Zealanders. Hondurans. He has a white-hot passion to harvest his children from every jungle, neighborhood, village, and slum. “All the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Numbers 14:21 ESV). During the days of Joshua, God brought his people into Canaan “so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty” (Joshua 4:24 ESV). David commanded us to “sing to the Lord, all the earth! . . . Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” (Psalm 96:1, 3 ESV). God spoke to us through Isaiah: “I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6 ESV). His vision for the end of history includes “people for God from every tribe, language, people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9 NCV).
God longs to proclaim his greatness in all 6,909 languages that exist in the world today.20 He loves subcultures: the gypsies of Turkey, the hippies of California, the cowboys and rednecks of West Texas. He has a heart for bikers and hikers, tree huggers and academics. Single moms. Gray-flanneled executives. He loves all people groups and equips us to be his voice. He commissions common Galileans, Nebraskans, Brazilians, and Koreans to speak the languages of the peoples of the world. He teaches us the vocabulary of distant lands, the dialect of the discouraged neighbor, the vernacular of the lonely heart, and the idiom of the young student. God outfits his followers to cross cultures and touch hearts.
Lord God, you love the entire world. You want your kingdom to include people from every corner of this earth. You care about the needs of all people groups, and you want us to touch them with your love. Cleanse our hearts from any thoughts of superiority or inferiority among the people of the world. Let us embrace all tribes and nations and cultures and speak to them the language of your love. Teach us to be gracious in our speech and to bring out the best in others. We want to cross cultures and touch hearts, amen.
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.
~ ISAIAH 49:6
Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.
~ NUMBERS 14:21