Well, the verse of the day today is one I think I’ve covered before. Matthew 16:25, “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” And while that is an awesome verse and one that is definitely worth meditating on, the Lord brought a different scripture to mind when I sat down at my computer this morning.
In the sermon over the weekend, my pastor referenced Psalm 50:15 as evidence that we can use prayer as a weapon in spiritual warfare, and I wanted to know what the rest of the chapter said. You should read the whole thing sometime. It’s really an awesome chapter, but for now I’m just going to focus on versus 7 through 15.
7 “O my people, listen as I speak.
Here are my charges against you, O Israel:
I am God, your God!
8 I have no complaint about your sacrifices
or the burnt offerings you constantly offer.
9 But I do not need the bulls from your barns
or the goats from your pens.
10 For all the animals of the forest are mine,
and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird on the mountains,
and all the animals of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for all the world is mine and everything in it.
13 Do I eat the meat of bulls?
Do I drink the blood of goats?
14 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
15 Then call on me when you are in trouble,
and I will rescue you,
and you will give me glory.”
As I read this, I got to thinking this morning. What does God need?
Well, nothing. He doesn’t need anything from us or from the universe or from anywhere. He is God. He is self-sustaining, perfect and eternal.
He doesn’t need our sacrifices. In the Old Testament, He didn’t need people to kill animals on alters. And even today, God doesn’t need us to give our tithes to the church. God doesn’t need us to volunteer our time in ministry and in serving others. He doesn’t need our friendship. He doesn’t need our presence period. He is God. There is nothing we can give Him that He didn’t already make.
So why does He ask us to tithe? Why does He ask us to serve? If He doesn’t need it, why does He ask?
The plain and simple truth is that we are the ones who need it. We need Him. We need to make sacrifices to Him. We need to tithe because of Him. We need His friendship and His love and His protection and support. And God knows that we need this because He made us.
There’s an old saying that there’s a God-shaped hole in every human being and until we choose to fill that hole up with God, it will always be empty.
God doesn’t need anything we do for Him. But worshipping Him, building a relationship with Him, fills something inside us that can’t be filled otherwise.
And even if you don’t have money to give or animals to sacrifice, you can still offer God your thankfulness. That’s more important anyway. That’s how God judges people, by their hearts, their motivation, their true selves. Be thankful for all that He’s done for you. God doesn’t need your thanks, but He deserves it.