Full-Service God

Saturday, February 12, 2022
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Acts 17:25b – He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. (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.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Thank you, Martin, for your devotionals. Blessings.

    Interesting. I like your comparison to a filling station. Thanks for Sharing.

    Very true Martin.
    Our gas station is still full service.

    YES, Martin!! So well worked out with this analogy! Memorable! Useful! Thank you!

    Wonderful analysis of our contemptuous culture which I never considered Martin! Blessings.

    This is so good. Thank you for writing, and we give the Praise, the credit for sharing brother, and ALL the Glory to our Father, through Jesus Christ our Saviour! Keep going.

    Good morning, Martin,
    A great message with a neat way of explaining it to us so that we really get the point. Thanks and let us all be grateful that we have “a full service” God who is always available 24/7. Blessings.

    Thank you for the great analogy! Our small town still has a full-service station, although they only pump gas for you now. The days of clean windows and an oil check seem to be gone. Remember when the attendants wore uniforms complete with a hat? Very official looking!

    Thank you, John, for this deep and resonant devotional. You speak clearly of an issue we each face and remind me/us of how amazing God’s grace is.
    God bless and keep you, and yours, and your ministry.

    Great illustration, Martin, about the danger of being “me-do-it” (like 2-year-olds) Christians. It made me smile, too, because I live in Oregon, one of the last (if not only) states to prohibit pump-your-own gas. The macho pump-your-own proponents are relentless, however, so I see them winning before much longer.

    Greetings Martin,
    Your devotional this morning sure took me back in the years when my Dad had a full-service gas station and the price of gas was 19 cents a gallon and for that price there was, as you mentioned, oil check and window washing. How times have changed since then! However as things do change, something we must stay steadfast in, is our faith and reverence to our loving Saviour. Abiding in His ways and showing that kind of love to others is what we need, and what our world is so in need of these days. You have expressed this very well in your writing of today’s devotional. Blessings for these very special and mindful writings you do.

    Thanks for sharing, Martin.

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