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 (Manna 71: What Does God Require of You?)
What the Lord Requires of You
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What the Lord Requires of You

Based on a sermon by Nathanael Chin—Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Parents naturally have certain expectations towards their children. Today, we have become the children of God and He is our heavenly Father. Hence, He has specific expectations towards us.

During creation, God created Adam and Eve, and placed them in the Garden of Eden. God gave them the following instruction, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen 2:17).

This was God’s requirement of the first man, Adam. Unfortunately, Adam and his wife did not meet the requirement of God; they sinned and were cast out of the Garden of Eden. Since then, men have been dwelling in sin.

God also had expectations for the Israelites because they were His chosen people. Deuteronomy 10:12–13 records, “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?”

The Principle

From these two examples, we can see that God had requirements for His people since the creation of man.

For Christians today, God requires us to observe the teachings in the Bible. However, we must first have a correct understanding—what is the principle of God’s requirements? Are His requirements impossible for us to meet? No! God’s requirements for us are not excessive. Parents today may impose excessive requirements on their children and have expectations that are beyond their capabilities, but God’s requirements are different.

“For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.” (2 Cor 8:12)

Although the specific focus of this verse is on offerings, the underlying principle of God's requirements can be seen here. Firstly, there must be a “willing mind” with which anything that is done will be pleasing to God. Secondly, these requirements are based on “what one has” and do not surpass a person’s ability. Every one is different; God’s requirements for each person are also different and based on individual ability.

Take for example an elderly man. If there were a race, we cannot expect this person to run as fast as a young man. Both men need only to run to the best of their abilities. This is also the principle of God, which is why the requirements of the Bible are reasonable and based on individual ability, for God knows what each of us can achieve.
With this principle in mind, what does the Lord require of us today?


“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Heb 11:6)

Faith is the foundation of our belief. Today, we say that we believe in Jesus in order to enter heaven and have eternal life. But we have never seen Jesus, heaven, or experienced eternal life so what makes us believe in them? The answer is simple—faith. This is why faith is the foundation of our belief.

Through faith, every Christian can receive grace and blessings. In the time of Jesus, people received grace because of their faith. There were numerous instances of Jesus commending certain people for their faith, saying, “Your faith has made you well,” after they had received grace and were healed (cf. Mk 5:34; 10:52; Lk 17:19).

So what does the Lord require of us in the aspect of faith? The first requirement can be seen in the first part of Hebrews 11:6, which states that through faith we are required to “believe that He is.” In other words, we must believe in the existence of God. This is of utmost importance, for when we preach the gospel and tell others of God, we ourselves must believe that there is a God who created the heavens and earth. If we do not have this conviction, we cannot convince others of the existence of God.

Why is Abraham known as the father of faith? The Bible records that God reckoned Abraham as righteous because “he believed in the Lord” (Gen 15:6). Abraham believed in God and was fully aware of His presence. This recognition guided his footsteps throughout his life.

Another example is Joseph. Although he was sold to the foreign land of Egypt, he did not murmur against God but overcame the temptations of Potiphar’s wife instead.

“How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen 39:9)

Joseph’s statement shows that he had God in his heart. Hence, he could live a godly life in Egypt. Today, we too must know that there is God, and this recognition will guide us to lead a steady and godly life.

The second requirement that can be seen from Hebrews 11:6 is that we "must believe that … He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Not only must we believe in the existence of God, we must also know He listens to our petitions and rewards those who seek Him. In doing so, we will learn to rely on Him. We can take Hannah as an example. She was extremely sorrowful because she was barren. The Bible states that “her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb” (1 Sam 1:6).

Instead of wallowing in her miseries, Hannah prayed before God when she was in Shiloh. She poured out her burdens before Him and once this was done, the Bible records how she got up, went to eat, and was no longer in sorrow because she trusted in God. When she had a son, she named him Samuel, because “I have asked him from the Lord” (1 Sam 1:20). This was a woman without any hope of having children. Yet, because she believed in God and was willing to bring her petition before God, God rewarded her with a son.

Today, what is the stage of our faith? I believe all of us acknowledge the fact that we believe in the existence of God, but do we believe that God will reward those who diligently seek Him? Do we know how to pray to God and rely on Him in the midst of sorrows and helplessness?

In summary, God's requirements concerning faith are that we acknowledge He exists and believe He rewards those who diligently seek Him. Are these not reasonable requirements that we are able to fulfill?


“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings." (Mal 3:8–9)

The above verse tells us that the people of Israel failed to meet the requirements of God in terms of offering tithes. Hence, God rebuked them through Prophet Malachi. These people even had the audacity to ask God when they had ever robbed Him.

Today, the offering of tithes is a basic requirement for Christians. If all of us recognize this and make our offerings, the house of God will not be short of funds to finance His work. We need to take heed of the warning of Prophet Malachi and not rob God.

Through offering tithes, we acknowledge that what we have comes from God. King David, while preparing materials for the temple, prayed in this manner:

“Both riches and honor come from You, [a]nd You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great [a]nd to give strength to all. But who am I, and who are my people, [t]hat we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, [a]nd of Your own we have given You.” (1 Chr 29:12,14)

David knew that although he had offered much, all that he had was from God in the first place.

Do you think that the requirement of tithing is reasonable? Let’s say we earn $1000, and we offer $100 to God. Is this reasonable? Applying David’s viewpoint that everything comes from God, the whole amount of money actually belongs to God. He allows us to use $900, and we have to return just $100 to Him. If we look at it from this angle, is this not a reasonable requirement?

Ministering Gifts Received

“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Pet 4:7,10)

Peter reminds us to put God's gift into good use by ministering it to each other. Every one of us is a member of the body of Christ and everyone has a role to play. God has bestowed different gifts upon us so that we can work together as a common whole.

This is what God requires of us in terms of the gifts that we have received from Him. Paul reminds us that this gift is for “the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ … from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Eph 4:12,16).

The different types of gifts that the members have received are to be “knitted together” to build up the church of God. There is no place for individualism. For example, if we decide to walk towards one direction, both our legs and the muscles therein as well as our torso must all move together towards the same direction. A limb cannot decide to do something different and refuse to co-operate, or else, the whole body will not be able to move in a coordinated manner. It is all about concerted efforts where everyone applies the gifts received from God to work together and complement each other with the common goal of prospering the church of God.

In addition, Peter exhorts, “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Pet 4:11).

In all that we do, our goal should be to glorify God. This is another requirement—that we do not use the gifts that God bestows upon us to benefit ourselves. Instead, it is required of us to bring glory to God through our actions. Hence, God bestows different gifts to His children—so that they can unite their efforts and work towards the common goal of building up the church and exalting the name of God.


In conclusion, God’s requirements in terms of faith, offerings, and the ministering of gifts received are reasonable and within our capability to fulfill. The question is: are we willing to do so?

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Author: Nathanael Chin