I’m often told that at CBC we “need someone to…” and then express a ministry that would be wonderful to add to the agenda that CBC already has. My standard answer has been, “when can you start?” That seems to change the passion for the idea a lot. Yet, it’s easy to look around at our world and at people in our church and sense the many different kinds of needs that are out there. We all have needs! We can recognize the needs of others easily also because we know what it’s like to have an unmet need. Living in a world of perceived unmet needs arouses guilt in us for not meeting those needs. I’ve often used guilt as a means to motivate people to serve in the Church. But, we really don’t want a “needs based” ministry at Country Bible Church. I don’t want to say we “need this…” or we “need that….” I don’t think God intends for us to serve him out of need!

Did you know that God doesn’t need us? Acts 17:24 and 25 says this, “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” God doesn’t need us. He has angels by the millions to fulfill any desire he might have. He has rocks that will worship Him if we don’t. He has donkeys to instruct wayward sinners if we don’t (See Numbers 22). All nature is under His command. He has resources beyond all this that we probably don’t even know of or could understand if we did. This truth that Paul so powerfully told to the Athenians who worshipped and served every kind of God imaginable was a truth that he attributed to “an unknown God.” I often feel that the God of all “grace” and “love” is still an “unknown” God to me as I wrestle with guilt over what I leave undone in my life. I know individuals locked into abusive relationships because someone “needs them.” Guilt drives them to continue to meet the perceived needs of others. Many see their service to God in a similar light.

While all the idols were dependent upon their worshippers, this so-called “unknown God” was a God who didn’t need anything or anybody. He was completely sufficient in and of Himself. This God doesn’t need us, but through the grace of this almighty God, He “wants us.” He does not want you in order to add you to his list of slaves. He’s looking for a bride. The Church is the bride of Christ, not the slave. He wants to pour out his love to us. We are children of God and heirs to the promises, not slaves serving under the legal system. God’s grace sets us free from a legalistic, guilt motivated service, to a love based, passion inspired service that brings to us the fulfillment and meaning in our lives that is missing. God has graciously blessed us with the gifts of service he has given us so that we can receive even more Grace from God! When we love and serve others from this motive, we are a blessing, and we receive an even greater blessing.

For all the previous devotions go to www.chucklarsen.com