Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Devotional

You have nothing to offer God. You, as a person, in and of yourself, have nothing to contribute to the Supreme Being of the Universe. Nothing. This is true for at least two reasons. 

 First, God needs nothing. 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) To say that God “needs” anything would imply a deficiency of some sort, that there was something lacking in God. And this is simply not true. God is not deficient in any manner. He is lacking in nothing. He does not need creation. He doesn't need the birds. He doesn't need the trees. He doesn't need you and He doesn't need me. If you'll forgive me for my bluntness(and my impromptu rhyming that I couldn't resist including), God just plain old doesn't need us. He lacks nothing and provides everything.

This ties into the second reason you and I have nothing to offer God. We just don't have anything. Not of our own and not worthy to give, that is. Anything good we have finds its source in God, so returning it to Him would be just that, a return. In addition, anything we try to bring apart from Him is rejected because, as the Bible graphically displays, it is disgustingly sinful. We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away...For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 14:23b)

You have nothing to offer God. Yet He loves you greatly and, as His child, receives you eternally. Why? Fathers will understand this. My youngest son likes to find stuff and give them as presents. Flowers, bugs, trash. One time he found some rusted, broken tool. For some reason it made him think of me. Did I need an old, rusty tool? Not especially. I cannot even use new, clean, properly-maintained and functional tools. But when he presented it to me, did I accept it or reject it? I accepted it with joy. Did I accept it because of what owning an old, ugly, broken toy would add to my life? No. My acceptance had nothing to do with the inherent value of the tool because in and of itself the tool was worthless. My acceptance and my joy was a result of the giver, not the gift. I cherished it as a gift from my son.
On our own, in and of ourself, we are a broken, rusty tool. We are sinfilled and sinful, deserving the eternal wrath of a holy, just God. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2:4-6) We were acquired by Christ, His Son, at the cost of His life. We are presented to the Father by His Son. To paraphrase Matthew 7, “If you, who are evil, know how to receive gifts from your children (like a rusty tool or an ugly tie or smelly cologne), how much more will your Heavenly Father receive a gift from His Beloved Son?”
We are received by God not because of what we can bring but because of the fact that we were brought. Not because of what we have to offer but because we were offered. Not because we have been perfect but because Christ is perfect and his perfection is counted towards us because of His sacrifice. We are received by the Father because we are a gift from His Son, His Son whom He has loved eternally and infinitely.

You have nothing to offer God. And that is good news.