September 25, 2014

Acts 17:24-25 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.”

This is the classic statement of who God is, and is the foundation of monotheism. However, it is remarkable how many people act like it isn’t true. We of course have the cohort of those who deny there is or ever was a Creator, because they don’t want to acknowledge their accountability toward Him. However, even setting those aside we have many people who act like God lives in the house they made for Him, and nowhere else. It’s not that they have examined that way of thinking and are intellectually satisfied with it, it’s that they have an emotional need to feel like they “own” God, that He belongs to them instead of the other way around. Then we have the people who feel like God couldn’t get along without them. There is a song that goes, “God has no hands but our hands…” That has some truth to it, but the fact is that He allows us to participate in what He does, rather than Him being unable to do things without us. Failing to serve God hurts us, but it doesn’t hurt Him. And the last point is one where we all trip up from time to time: God supplies everything for us. We are prone to miss Him in one of three ways here. We tend to think we have what we have entirely by our own efforts, forgetting that “It is [God] who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:18) As this passage says, every breath we take is a gift from God! The second mistake we often make is the opposite of that, thinking God owes us, that nothing is called for on our part. That would be the ultimate Welfare Society, and as is so evident today, that is invalid on every level. The third, and most common, mistake we make is in thinking, or at least feeling emotionally, that God is going to run out of what we need. That’s called being anxious, and the Bible is filled with admonitions to have nothing to do with it. (Philippians 4:6, etc.) When we have the right foundation for our faith we can grow strong and tall, but if the foundation is faulty, everything will collapse.

I am deeply grateful that this foundation was laid in my heart early in my life, but I deal constantly with people who were not so blessed. I find that things that seem completely obvious to me come across as fresh insight to many, and it never ceases to surprise me. I am never to get conceited about it, but rather be faithful to speak the truth in love so that others may receive it, passing on what the Lord has poured into me. At the same time, I am not to think that simply knowing these things is sufficient in itself; I have to live it out. I am not to fall into the trap of deceiving myself. (James 1:22) Only then will I be effective in communicating God’s truth to others.

Father, thank You for who You are, and for the incredible privilege of calling You Father. May I be an effective instrument in Your hands so that many, many more may be drawn into that relationship with You through Christ Jesus Your Son, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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