God Is Self-sufficient

Read: Acts 17:22-34

. . . nor is [God] served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. (v. 25)

People understand the concept of quid pro quo—a favor for a favor. You do something for me, and I do something for you. Many approach their relationship to God in the same way: if they pray enough prayers or give enough money, they expect God’s blessing. After all—he needs us, right? So he owes us something for our “service.”

But what could God possibly need from us? Nothing. He is altogether self-sufficient. Paul made this clear in Acts 17, the account of his message to the Greeks of Athens. This pagan city filled with altars and temples and idols moved Paul to tell them about the “unknown God”—the true God who created everything. God didn’t need temples or sacrifices or anything man could offer. Instead, he was the giver of all things—including the only way to salvation. Paul told them to seek this God, and then delivered the good news of Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

In his book Desiring God, John Piper writes that God has no need for creation at all, but he desires that “others share the very joy he has in himself.” In Acts 17, some mocked Paul’s message, but others “joined him and believed” (v. 34). God needs nothing from us but gives all things to us so we can glorify him and enjoy him forever. —Laura N. Sweet

As you pray, thank God for giving you life and breath and everything.

About the Author

Laura N. Sweet is a wife, mother, grandmother, and former Christian schoolteacher from Midland, Michigan. She writes devotional material for both adults and children, and her work has appeared in more than a dozen publications.

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