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)
God doesn’t need our work. He doesn’t need our money, either. God can get everything done without us. He didn’t ask for any help when he created the galaxies. He can get along just fine without our inconsequential contributions to the universe.
He doesn’t need our worship either. He doesn’t need our praises to bolster his self-esteem. God doesn’t need anything. He doesn’t need our worship, our work or our money. So why does God command us to worship, serve, and give our money to him?
First of all, for his glory. For, “Everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him”(Colossians 1:16b). If He doesn’t need our work or worship, how does it glorify Him? It certainly doesn’t add anything to His glory. Yet it does display His glory. When we sing His praises together, we display to one another God’s greatness, kindness, and love. When I hear you give thanks to God, I’m reminded afresh of His goodness. You display God’s glory to me. And it builds my faith and helps me love and trust Him more. And when we do works of love, we display the character of Christ God is forming in us.
Another reason God commands us to worship, serve, give and obey is for our joy. When God tells us to sing and raise our hands to Him, it’s not because He needs our praise to feel good about Himself. It’s for our pleasure in Him. When we express our appreciation of God, it enhances our enjoyment of Him. Like when we clap our hands when we watch a cricket match, the players don’t need us to clap for them but it is our way of expressing our joy. It enhances and completes our enjoyment of it. When God commands us to give, it’s not because He needs the money. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. It’s for our benefit and good. When we give, God pours blessings back on us. When we sow, we reap. All God’s commands are for our benefit and joy. That’s why we should serve Him cheerfully.
Serve the Lord with gladness! (Psalms 100:2). It doesn’t glorify God to serve Him cheerlessly. It’s not enough to serve the Lord, we must serve Him with gladness. If you asked someone to help you with something and they did it as perfunctory how would you feel? We would say, ‘don’t bother, I will do it myself’. God loves a cheerful giver. Do you think it glorifies God when we grudgingly say ‘Alright, here’s my money’? He loves a cheerful giver because glad giving displays the value of Christ. That He is more valuable than all our money. It shows we believe he’s generous and good and will bless and provide for us.
God does not need our worship, but we must worship Him to please Him. Our singing, praying, studying His word, giving, and communion are designed by God to bring us closer to Him and to cause us to think more like He thinks, thus becoming more like Him. James 4:8 tells us to, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Our worship not only honors and magnifies God, but it is also for our own edification and strength. Worship helps us develop a God-like and Christ-like character. We become like unto those we admire and worship. When we worship God we tend to value what God values and gradually take on the characteristics and qualities of God. When we worship God we develop such traits as forgiveness, tenderness, justice, righteousness, purity, kindness, and love. All of this is preparing us for eternal life in heaven with God and Christ. As we are told in Colossians 3:2 to, “Set your mind on things above, and not on things on the earth.” God doesn’t need our work or our praises or our money. He gives them to us as gifts to display His glory and enhance our enjoyment of Him. So let’s serve the Lord with gladness today.