God’s Needs

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Al is out of town, so he offered his blog day to me. I would like to thank him and say that the views I express today are not necessarily his views:).

I went home a couple of weeks ago to see my family, and I attended church with them, which I enjoy, because I get to visit with a lot of dear friends I don’t see often. Both sermons I heard that Sunday by the preacher (who I am sure is a wonderful man) were about his dissatisfaction with congregational attendance, contribution, public response, and attitude.

Now, I am guessing that he probably preaches this sermon once a year, because he feels obligated to do so. Churches like everything else, because of the way they are structured, can’t help but be worried about the bottom line. Bottom lines are filled with all kinds of quotas. I am not making light of the “Great Commission”—I am just trying to think about it from a different angle. An angle I decided to discuss with my mother soon after my visit. Again I say, the views I express today are not necessarily her views:).

I believe if a church is having trouble with congregational attendance, contribution, public response, and attitude, the church leaders should stop and say to themselves, “Obviously, we aren’t allowing enough of God’s presence and power into and through our church.”

I believe, God is omnipotent, all-powerful, of unlimited power. There is absolutely nothing we can give to God that God does not already have. God created us. We didn’t create God. God needs nothing from us.

We, on the other hand, need everything from God. God doesn’t need our attendance; we need God’s attendance. God doesn’t need our contribution; we need God’s contribution. God doesn’t need our public response; we need God’s public response. God doesn’t need our attitude; we need God’s attitude.

I believe, the message of the “Great Commission” is “Good News”, not a burden to be delivered to the masses about all of the things they must do for God, so that God will love them and deliver them from evil.

I believe, God wants us to tell people what God can do for them, not what they should do for God.

The message should be, “If you are struggling in life, give your struggles over to God in prayer, and God will help you.”

Not, “God realizes you are struggling in your life, but God still needs you to give, give, give to Him as well.”

We all do need to give, but God doesn’t need us to give to Him. He wants us to give to each other. How else do you think God will help you with your struggles when you pray to Him? He will use others to help you—the others who aren’t struggling as much as you currently, and then when you aren’t struggling so much, you can take your turn and help others, too.

From Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore:
“We read the story of Jesus in the river, whether we are Christian or not, and are inspired to make our own baptism. The Jordan is the archetype of our willingness to live fully, to have our own work and mission, and therefore to be blessed, as the Gospel story tells, by a higher father and a protecting spirit. The Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca painted this scene at the Jordan, showing Jesus standing straight in his full dignity, while in the background another man about to be baptized—any of us taking our turn—has his garment almost off, lifted over his head in a posture of exquisite ordinariness. It’s an inspiring image of the willingness to step courageously into the river of existence, instead of finding ways to remain safe, dry, and unaffected.”

2 Responses to “God’s Needs”

  1. Michael Lasley Says:

    Thanks for the thoughts, Amy. This is always a tough topic for me, as I’ve never thought sermons on money were all that helpful or even appropriate, especially if a church is trying to reach people who don’t know much about God. And if you have to guilt people into attending, well, maybe that says something about the structure or general message of that church in the first place.

  2. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Thanks, Amy! Not only for filling in, but for the good thoughts.

    Only problem is that now I’ve got to go scrap my whole Christmas sermon.
    🙂 (Just kidding!)

    In fact, I think you might like my sermon, seeing as it is on God’s gift to us, and how God can be born in our hearts this Christmas.

    Thanks again…

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