In Acts 17:25 we read that God is not “served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” God is portrayed here as a consummate giver; the God who generously gives “life, breath and everything” to all his creatures.
There is a misconception held by some that the Church has been turned into a bazaar because people are always encouraged to give sacrificially to God. Some say they stay away from the Church to avoid succumbing to the endless appeal to give. But our text for today reminds us that God does not need anything from us. There is nothing we give to God that impresses him. Ultimately, we are the beneficiaries of his generosity (1 Chro.28:14).
One attribute of God is that he is a giver. God is called the El Shaddai God, the All-Sufficient and Bountiful God who satisfies the needs of his people. God’s arms are always wide open and stretched out towards his creatures. He tenderly beckons on us to come to his banqueting table to receive from his bounties and goodness; to buy without money, and to drink to our fill.
C.S. Lewis defined Christianity as ‘a kind of giving’. God has poured out his generosity to you in Jesus (John 3:16). Many texts highlight the generosity of God. Permit me to draw your attention to some.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13 NKJV).
“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32 NKJV)
Some phrases or words stand out in these two key texts. First, is the phrase “…give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” The Holy Spirit is God, he is the greatest gift God can give to anyone. When God gives the Holy Spirit to us, he is giving himself completely to us. He has given us his Spirit to guide, teach, encourage, and be with us. (Luke 11:13)
The second is the phrase, “…freely give us all things?” Paul says that God can “…freely give us all things.” How amazing!
God is a giver of all good blessings. James says that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
God has given us salvation. He gave us his ultimate gift in his only son through whom we are saved (John 3:16-18; Titus 2:11-14). He has given us grace. He is the God of all grace, by whose grace we are all saved (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:7).
God gives comfort to the distressed, the brokenhearted, and the afflicted (Psalm 34:18). He gives life to all. Job said, “You have granted me life and favor, And Your care has preserved my spirit.” (Job 10:12 NKJV).
God is a giver of healing. Jesus went about doing good healing all manner of sicknesses (Acts 10:38). He gives us peace amid (Ephesians 2:17). He gives us joy (John 16:33). He gives us hope (Jeremiah 29:11; Col.1:27; 1 Peter 1:3). He is the giver of mercy (Psalm 103:8,11,17; Lk.1:50). He is the giver of forgiveness (Psalm 130:3-4).
Since God is a generous giver of all things, should we not reciprocate with thanksgiving, worship, service and obedience?