Does the title sound heretical to you? God doesn’t need us; we need Him! Of course, this is true. He’s all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere at once. However, could He have accomplished His plan without becoming a man?
God’s purpose has always been to be in relationship with the pinnacle of His creation, mankind. The problem is that man is sinful and God is holy. No bridge can span the gulf between God and man. But, He had a plan. The solution was that God Himself would become the sacrifice for sin. He would demonstrate His love and satisfy His justice in one amazing event – the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The great chasm of man’s sin was bridged by the cross. God chose to bring mankind into relationship through faith in His Son. Human intervention was required to accomplish His plan. In the cross, sin was defeated. Man’s other great enemy, death, was overcome in the resurrection of Jesus. Plan accomplished, or was it?
That was over 2000 years ago. What about now? Man is still separated from God by his sin. We are all sinners, and we are all victims of sin in this fallen world full of selfishness, disease, and violence. Does God’s plan still require human intervention? The answer is “YES!” Jesus made relationship with God possible, but each person must choose to receive God’s gift of salvation by faith. God chose to include us in His plan. Why didn’t He give the job of proclaiming His gospel to the angels! The cross was not for angels. It was for man. The gospel story is our story. We have been commissioned to proclaim it.
All this is from God, Who reconciled the world to Himself through Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. (2 Co. 5:16-20a)
How do we fit into God’s plan each with our own gifts, personalities, and God-given passion? We’ve become so specialized. “My gift is showing mercy. I don’t talk.” … “My gift is evangelism. I don’t have the gift of mercy.” *Here are some numbers for you. Out of 100 lay persons, 97 serve, show mercy, help behind the scenes, and exercise other gifts; 3 have evangelism as a dominant gift. Do you see a problem? When God opens the door for someone with the gift of mercy to speak, can he or she? Yes. The evangelist must learn to show mercy if he or she wants to be heard.
On November 21, 1980, a fire broke out at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino (now Bally”s) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fire killed 85 people, and injured hundreds. The tragedy was the third-worst hotel fire in modern U.S. history. Billy Graham had rented two large adjoining halls for a crusade. Each could seat 10,000 people. The second was for overflow, but it wouldn’t be used for chairs on the night of November 21st. It became temporary housing for hundreds. I watched with a lump in my throat as Billy compassionately listened to and prayed with people. Perhaps the greatest evangelist the world has ever known was showing mercy and offering help.
God got out of His comfort zone, became a man, and went to the cross. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can get out of our comfort zones, pick up our crosses daily, and share the gospel with words AND service. God decided that His plan would require human intervention.