Devotions this week based on the Message: “BELIEVE: Week 7: Humanity”
(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
What is humanity’s biggest need?
If you know a little bit about psychology you may have run across “Maslov’s Hierarchy of Needs.”
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.
From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the needs are: physiological (food and clothing), safety (job security), love and belonging needs (friendship), esteem, and self-actualization.
Needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up.
As you look at this list of needs, you probably can quickly relate.
What is always interesting to me is when secular scientists, or in this case psychologists, observe components of nature or humanity that reflect the very creation God put together. Remember we have been reflecting on different worldviews this week. A humanistic worldview can recognize these basic needs of humanity. A biblical worldview would agree, but take it one step deeper.
Ultimately all of these needs are filled by the Almighty God who loves every member of humanity.
Remember Wednesday’s devotion on the First Article? Consider our need for food and clothing and safety…Luther wrote:
He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy,… (Explanation to the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed)
So what about the need for love? We looked at that yesterday in God’s love that sent Jesus as well as our key verse for this week:
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
So what about the need for “belonging, esteem, and self-actualization”?
Consider the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed:
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
What does this mean? I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.
Belonging? The work of the Holy Spirit through the message of the Gospel has brought me into “the holy Christian church, the communion of saints.” I belong to God and fit in with all other believers around the world of all time. What greater belonging could one ask for!
Esteem? I am forgiven. I have been made a saint! I have value because God valued me enough to call me into his kingdom!
Self-actualization? If left on my own “self” my actualization will only be what I can accomplish on this earth. But when I realize that God created me for his purpose, I grasp he desires my “actualization” to be fully realized with him in eternity. What greater “actualization” reality do we have to look forward to: On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. The eternal life that sin lost is restored. Just as Jesus rose from the tomb, I too will rise and experience the full reality God had in store for me for eternity.
In the Lord, all my needs – great and small are met!
This is most certainly true.
Apply: So reflect on the devotions this week. How would you like to view humanity? A product of chance with no other purpose than to survive? Or would you embrace the view of humanity God gives? You are loved, created, priceless, and have a God who fills all your needs in every way…including our biggest need for forgiveness and grace. How can you embrace this view of you and others every day?
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for loving us, creating us, valuing us, and providing for all our basic needs of life and our most important need for eternal life – the forgiveness of our sins. AMEN.