Where Do We Find What We Need?

I was reading some thoughts on the founding of our nation and this thing we call our inalienable rights. These rights include the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, which is a small sample of the things we need and want. And President Jefferson, the deist (one who believes in a distant, watchmaker God who set things in motion, but who is now rather remote and uninvolved), says we have been endowed with these rights from a Creator God.

I was struck by a thought from English professor, Louis Markos. I’ve reworked his idea a bit. See if it makes sense to you.

If I am poor, I cannot endow you with wealth, for I have none to offer.

If I am weak, I cannot endow you with power, for I have none to offer.

If I am foolish, I cannot endow you with wisdom, for I have none to offer.

If I am lonely, insecure, fearful, self-absorbed, angry, anxious, etc., I cannot endow you with strength, love, mercy, grace, peace, hope, joy, etc., for I am in need of those things myself.

Repeat this pattern as long as you need.

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So, where can I (you, me, we) get these things? What or who can “endow” (provide, supply, equip, invest, favor, bless, bestow, grace) us with these things?

Surely not Nature. Blind, impersonal, nature. All nature can endow us with is a dog-eat-dog, evolutionary survival of the fittest where the winner takes all, until someone stronger comes along and takes it away.

Surely not an Impersonal Force, for by definition, an impersonal force is devoid of anything personal, and that includes being devoid of knowing or caring you exist.

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So, Jefferson, deist that he was, knew we needed a personal being who possesses what we lack. But even here Jefferson falls far short. For the deist, God, even if he created us with the need for all these things, is not automatically going to give them to us. By definition, a deist god is a remote and uninvolved deity.

art credit: unknown

Which is one more reason I am a Christian.

For it is a personal God who is great and good, powerful and loving, and always involved who alone can endow me with all that I need. James says, every good gift we have comes to us from the good, good Father (James 1:17). It is the Creator God who puts within me what I need. It is the Savior God who actually gives me what I need.

It is at this time of the year, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, that we see just how far such a personal God will go so he can give us all that we need.

Of course, the old, rich, deep, wonderful word for this is the word salvation.

This week, may you experience Christ the crucified and risen, giving you everything you need.

Joyfully yours,
Pastor Brian

Brian Rice

What I love most about my job:

Having the ability to empower and resource leaders to bear much fruit that lasts. Being a part of a team of friends and missional servants committed to changing the world.
Brian Rice

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