Several years ago, the Kids Ministry of the church I served as lead pastor gave me a book for Pastor Appreciation Sunday. It’s titled “Dear God,” and contains several letters written to God by young children. Here is a sample:
I read the Bible. What does begat mean? Nobody will tell me.
Is it true my father won’t get into Heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house?
Did you mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident?
Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t You just keep the ones You have now?
In school, they told us what You do. Who does it when You are on vacation?
Are you really invisible or is that just a trick?
I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay?
What does it mean You are a Jealous God? I thought You had everything.
Why is Sunday school on Sunday? I thought it was supposed to be our day of rest.
My brother told me about being born but it doesn’t sound right. They’re just kidding, aren’t they?
We buy books like that because deep down inside we have questions! To be human is to have questions. The issue is not our questions. It’s the fact that our lives are filled with so much busyness that we don’t have time to ponder them and to reflect. We’re running on the treadmill of life, and it’s like we don’t know how to stop. We don’t take the time to cherish the moment. We don’t take time to ponder the questions of life.
They surveyed people over 90 and asked them what they would do differently if they could go back and start over again. In the top three answers was this statement, “I would slow down and reflect more.” Would you want to do that? Think and ponder more?
In today’s blog, let’s probe the question: What is the meaning of life? Is there a purpose? Does life have meaning?
Before we discover where this all ends, we must understand where it all began. The question of origin is: Where did I come from? Go there first! The question of meaning is: Does my life have a purpose? How you answer the first question determines how you will be able to answer the second.
There are only two possible answers to the first question, where did I come from?
1. We came from God.
2. We didn’t come from God.
Either we came here as a result of the direct action of an Almighty God, or we did not. If we did not, we are simply a result of a cosmic, random accident. There’s no reason behind it, therefore we have no significance. If answer #2 is true, then there is no need to ask whether your life has a purpose because there is no answer. If you came from nothing and nowhere, you are heading to nothing and nowhere.
But, if #1 is the correct answer, we can ask question #2, does my life have a purpose. We are here on purpose and for a purpose. If #2 is true, life has no meaning, and there are no moral absolutes! How should we live? Any way we want. Might makes right if there is no God behind it all.
I approach these questions with a bias – a presupposition. The presupposition of this blog is that there is a God who is the reason for all that exists. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God…” The search for your purpose begins with God. Paul wrote in Colossians 1:16 that everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment.
That is my world view. And, since I believe that is true, I know there’s a purpose for my life! Settle the origin question first.
Albert Einstein said that “God doesn’t roll dice.” God works on purpose for a purpose. God is not random. Proverbs 16:4 reminds us that the LORD has made everything for his own purpose. God has told us that His fourfold purpose for our lives is to…
1. KNOW HIM.
God didn’t create us because He was lonely. Need is a word that can never be applied to God. God created us to share His love. Ephesians 1:4 says that long before He laid down the earth’s foundations, He had us in mind and He settled on us as the focus of His love. God doesn’t want us to just know about Him in a philosophical sense, but to really know Him in a relationship!
2. GLORIFY HIM.
We are created in His image to be a reflection of Him on this earth. Paul told the Romans in Romans 11:36, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.” The whole meaning of life is found in that one verse! We are made to be walking billboards of who God is!
3. ENJOY HIM.
The Westminster Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?” The response is, “To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” God is not an Ogre in heaven trying to make your life difficult. We are the ones who do that! Jesus said that the purpose of his coming is to give us a rich and satisfying life (John 10:10). God wants you to ENJOY Him! Sour-pussed Christians bring no glory to God!
The meaning of your life transcends what happens while you are on this earth.
One day I walked through a cemetery that was next to the parsonage we were living in at the time. Two of my granddaughters were with me. I drew their attention to the many headstones, particularly what was etched upon them. I pointed out the date of their birth, the date they died, and the dash in between. I emphasized to those two young girls that everything hinges upon what the deceased did with their dashes. The same is true for all of us!
When I die, people will more than likely gather. Some will be sad. Others may hear of my passing and be glad. A few will say nice things about me. Still, others will shed tears in silence. Others may shrug their shoulders with indifference. After they put me into the ground, they will go somewhere and eat hamburger BBQ and potato salad while they tell funny stories about me. But while they are doing all of that, my dash will continue.
The answer to the question “What is the meaning and purpose of life?” has to have forever in it! THE QUESTION FINDS ITS ANSWER IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD! He created us with the unique ability to make moral choices.
Jesus made a bold and audacious claim in John 14:6-7: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father, too.”
That verse irks many people! How dare He? But, if that man is the Son of God, and I believe that he is, he has every right to make that claim. To connect with God through his Son, Jesus, is to be awakened from spiritual slumber and to discover the life and adventure of the ultimate meaning and purpose of life.
Are you ready to make that connection? If so, pray this prayer…
Lord Jesus, for too long I’ve kept you out of my life. I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. No longer will I close the door when I hear you knocking. By faith I gratefully receive your gift of salvation. I am ready to trust you as my Lord and Savior. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth. I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank you for bearing my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life. I believe your words are true. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be my Savior. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, please call Lifeway Church at 717.454.3300, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. We want to celebrate with you.
Know him! Glorify him! Enjoy him! Forever!