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What Can You Do for God?

Typically, we want to act kindly toward those whom we love.  We seek to bring them joy and pleasure whenever we can. If they have needs, then we will work to satisfy those needs.  If they are sick or in pain, then we help them find relief and comfort.  Sometimes we give them gifts just to make them happy. In all of this, we find joy in bringing joy to those whom we love.

What then shall we do for God?  We love Him more than anyone else, so we ought to do something for Him.  When asked which was the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" (Matt. 22:37).  If we love God as Jesus said we should, then we are compelled to act kindly toward Him more than anyone else.

As we consider what to do for God, we must first realize that He needs nothing.  In fact, we are entirely dependent upon Him.  In Acts 17:24-25, Paul said,

24"The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things."

Indeed, God gives to us everything that we need in every moment of the day (Jas. 1:17). Conversely, He needs nothing from us, for everything that we have is His already.  He says, "If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is Mine, and all it contains" (Ps. 50:12).  Of course, He does not become hungry, and neither does He grow tired or weary (Isa. 40:28).  What then can we possibly do for God?

Even though God has no needs, we can bring Him pleasure through our actions. He is pleased by those who seek Him through faith (Heb. 11:6).  Likewise, He is pleased in all respects when we "walk in a manner worthy of the Lord," bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Col. 1:10).  When we act in these ways, we are not supplying a need to God, but rather we are pleasing Him by doing His will.

Although the whole world belongs to God, we must not think that we have nothing to give Him.  Instead, "let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name" (Heb. 13:15).  Furthermore, Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16).  Praise, thanksgiving, glory, service, honor, and reverence are all things that we should give to God, and these bring Him pleasure.  In fact, it is for such things that we exist, for God describes His people as "everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made" (Isa. 43:7).

There is yet another way to give to God, and that is by serving and giving to others. God has no needs of His own, but He receives our efforts to relieve the needs of others as if those needs were His own. In Proverbs 19:17, the Scripture says, "One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his good deed."  In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus said that those who serve the needs of His brothers serve Him, and He receives such service personally as if it were done directly to Him. Recall again when Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment, and He replied with two answers.  The first and foremost commandment was to love God, and the second was to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Matt. 22:37-40).  These two commandments are inextricably linked to one another, and one cannot be kept without the other.  Consider 1John 4:20, which says, "If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen."  Likewise, 1John 5:1 says that "whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him."  Therefore, we love God by loving His children, and we give to God by giving to His children.

What then shall we do for God?  Truly, there is much that we can and must do for our beloved God in heaven.  This is not a matter of His needs, but rather it is our need to serve Him and fulfill our God-given purpose that must be satisfied. That purpose is to bring glory, honor, and praise to our God, and He has made it possible for us to do so through the gospel of Christ.  Therefore, let each one be cleansed from sin so that he may "be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work" (2Tim. 2:21). This is what we can do for God.

Stacey E. Durham



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