John Piper Devotional

Duration: 365 days

BEWARE OF SERVING GOD

“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)

We do not glorify God by providing his needs, but by praying that he would provide ours — and trusting him to answer.

Here we are at the heart of the good news of Christian Hedonism. God’s insistence that we ask him to give us help so that he gets glory (Psalm 50:15) forces on us the startling fact that we must beware of serving God and take special care to let him serve us, lest we rob him of his glory.

This sounds very strange. Most of us think serving God is a totally positive thing; we have not considered that serving God may be an insult to him. But meditation on the meaning of prayer demands this consideration. Acts 17:24–25 makes this plain.

This is the same reasoning as in Robinson Crusoe’s text on prayer: “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine. . . . Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (Psalm 50:1215).

Evidently, there is a way to serve God that would belittle him as needy of our service. “The Son of Man came not to be served” (Mark 10:45). He aims to be the servant. He aims to get the glory as Giver.

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