He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need.(Acts 17:25b NLT)
They were called filling stations, and for a good reason.
When I was young, filling stations were places where people went to fill their vehicles with fuel. But they were quite different than they are today. They were full-service stations. When a customer pulled up to the pump, an attendant came out, asked how much fuel the person wanted, and then filled the tank for the customer. While the tank was filling, the attendant checked the oil level and cleaned the front windshield.
Then, convenience stores with gas pumps became popular, but they weren’t full-service stations. Customers had to pump their own gas, which made prices cheaper. To compete, full-service stations had to add self-service pumps. Gradually, full-service stations moved toward extinction. Just recently, the last one known to me closed its doors.
As Paul walked the streets of philosophical Athens, he noticed a plethora of idols and shrines. One was even entitled, “To the Unknown God”, just in case they missed one. Paul took the opportunity to tell them about a “full-service” God. He was the One for Whom they didn’t have a name.
Self-service is the name of the game these days, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with doing something myself if I can and if it saves me money. If I don’t know how to do it, the chances are great that I can Google my question and find directions on a YouTube video.
For some things, however, we need full service. There are occasions when we need the full-service God about whom Paul preached. Salvation is one. We can’t save ourselves. We can’t be good enough or work hard enough to measure up to God’s standards. He must apply His grace and forgiveness to our life.
As God fully serves us, so He expects us to serve others fully in His name. This implies serving with the right motives and on every occasion that He gives opportunity. If we don’t depend on His direction and strength as we serve, wrong motives will creep in, and we may even gravitate to the point of thinking that we no longer need Him — or that we can create service opportunities without His input.
Are we depending on a full-service God, or have we become our own god?
Prayer: Father, may we always recognize our dependence on You. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Martin Wiles <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission