God doesn’t need our work.
He doesn’t need our money, either. God can get everything done without a heavenly Kickstarter campaign. He didn’t ask for any help when he created the galaxies. He can get along just fine without our peewee contributions to the universe.
He doesn’t need our worship either. He doesn’t need our praises to bolster his self-esteem.
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. (Acts 17:24-25)
God doesn’t need anything. He doesn’t need our worship, our work or our money. So why does God command us to worship, serve, and give our money to him?
First of all, for his glory. Wait a second. If He doesn’t need our work or worship, how does it glorify Him? It certainly doesn’t add anything to His glory. Yet it does display His glory. When we sing His praises together, we display to one another God’s greatness, kindness, and love. When I hear you give thanks to God, I’m reminded afresh of His goodness. You display God’s glory to me. And it builds my faith and helps me love and trust Him more. And when we do works of love, we display the character of Christ God is forming in us.
Another reason God commands us to worship, serve, give and obey is for our joy.
When God tells us to sing and raise our hands to Him, it’s not because He needs our praise to feel good about Himself. It’s for our pleasure in Him. When we express our appreciation of God it enhances our enjoyment of Him. Like when we express appreciation for a great painting, or a great steak. It enhances and completes our enjoyment of it. When God commands us to give, it’s not because He needs the money. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. It’s for our benefit and good. When we give, God pours blessings back on us. When we sow, we reap. All God’s commands are for our benefit and joy. That’s why we should serve Him cheerfully:
Serve the Lord with gladness! (Psalms 100:2)
It doesn’t glorify God to serve Him cheerlessly. It’s not enough to serve the Lord, we must serve Him with gladness. Parents, ever ask your child to do something for you and he responds with as much enthusiasm as if you’d asked him to have a root canal? How does that make you feel? He may do the chore, but if he does it with grumbling or ingratitude, it doesn’t please you. You almost feel like saying ‘don’t bother.’
God loves a cheerful giver. Do you think it glorifies God when we grudgingly say ‘Alright, here’s my buck’? He loves a cheerful giver because glad giving displays the value of Christ. That He is more valuable than all our money. It shows we believe he’s generous and good and will bless and provide for us.
God doesn’t need our work or our praises or our money. He gives them to us as gifts to display His glory and enhance our enjoyment of Him. So let’s serve the Lord with gladness today.
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Mark Altrogge has been senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, Pennsylvania, since 1982. He has written hundreds of songs for worship, including “I Stand in Awe” and “I’m Forever Grateful.” Mark and his wife, Kristi, have four sons and one daughter.
Find out more on his blog, The Blazing Center.