The Gift You Cannot Buy
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in tem- ples 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 does not want to be served in any way that implies we are supplying his need or supporting him or offering him some- thing that he does not already own by right. “Who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” (Rom. 11:35). “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine” (Ps. 50:12).
Therefore, we simply cannot negotiate with God. We have nothing of value that is not already his by right. We cannot ser- vice him. His car never breaks down. It never runs out of gas. Itnevergetsdirty.Henevergetstired.Henevergetsdepressed.
He never gets caught in traffic so that he can’t get to where he wants to go. He never gets lonely. He never gets hungry.
In other words, if you want what Jesus has to give, you can’t buy it. You can’t trade for it. You can’t work for it. He already owns your money and everything you have. And when you work, it is only because he has given you life and breath and everything. All we can do is submit to his spectacular offer to be our servant.
And this submission is called faith—a willingness to let him be God. Trust him to be the Supplier, the Strengthener, the Counselor, the Guide, the Savior. And being satisfied with that—with all that God is for us in Jesus. That’s what faith is. And having that is what it means to be a Christian.
Christmas means: the infinitely self-sufficient God has come not to be assisted but to be enjoyed.
This advent reading is from The Dawning of Indestructible Joy – Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper. You can download the entire book as a free PDF or purchase the Kindle or hard copy versions here: The Dawning of Indestructible Joy – Daily Readings for Advent