Saturday, September 19, 2015

Question 1: Does Life Have Purpose?

What is The purpose and meaning of life? Does it have purpose? Do the scriptures point believers to our true purpose?

 What do you think? Does Life Have a Purpose? 
     There are different ways to unpack this question. Some think in terms of purpose, others want to know if life has meaning. Some just want to know if their life has a purpose.
Some look at life like like scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins, that death proves there is no purpose in the universe except genetic replication: He wrote,
”During the minute it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive; others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear; others are being slowly devoured from within by …parasites; thousands …are dying of starvation, thirst and disease. . . . In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.[1](WOW! Why does he get up every day?) 
     But he’s not alone! And he’s not the first one to think that. Remember Macbeth? Shakespeare wrote:
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,   To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot,  full of sound and fury - Signifying nothing.
     But that’s an atheist and an old playwrite! What does the Bible say? Well, If Death and suffering are the most basic facts in the Universe, then the Bible pretty much agrees! Vanity, vanity, all is vanity! Everything is meaningless…What do people gain from all their labors?...No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered...”(Ecc1:2-4)
     So Is everything Really Emptiness? Is that really what the Bible teaches? Well, Ecclesiastes starts out by saying all is vanity and empty of meaning. But it ends with this: Ecc 12:13 The end of the matter; after all has been heard. Revere & honor God, keep and guard His Word and commands, for this is the whole duty of man.  Well, well, well, that sounds like something close to a purpose to me!
     But, One thing death does is cure us of the delusion that we are the center of the universe and in control of everything. We are not the Masters of our destiny if we can’t even guarantee tomorrow!
We are obviously not gods! Gods don’t die. But does this mean, because we aren’t gods that we don’t have meaning?  This is important. You don’t want to get this wrong, but neither do you want to say, "sure my life has meaning," but not know what that meaning is!
     What if someone had a Stradivarius violin and you asked them, do you know what that is for? And they looked at you funny and said “Sure I know what a violin is for!” Then they started to hammer a nail with it! They either have a low view of violins or don't care about the price of a hammer! OR, They don't really know what a violin is!
     When Barna Research group asked the Question “Are you clear about the meaning and purpose of your life?” 21% somewhat agree & 64% strongly agree! That’s 85%! But I have to wonder what their answer is based on? Are they driving nails with the Stradivarius life God has given them? 
     So let me ask you - Are you clear about the meaning and purpose of your life? You are a gifted person. Each of you. You may be a teacher, a marathon runner, a song writer, a great parent, or a really good listener! You have something you do well! But is that your purpose! What happens if you can’t do it anymore? What if you're a great listener and then you go deaf. Have you lost your purpose? If it’s not your talents or the abilities you have worked hard to perfect, then what is your purpose?
     Ever heard the expression, “Image is Everything”? Usually it’s used in an ironic sense. We say it about people who value image over substance. Some people don’t care if they are Doing a good job as long as they LOOK like they’re doing a good job. For them Image is Everything. But I don’t mean it that way when I say it. I mean it the way God uses it in Genesis. God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female…” We are made in God’s Image. THAT image is everything.
Why do I say that? Isa 43:6-7 says, Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory.” And then there’s Rev 4:16 that says were created to glorify God, for His pleasure and His will. 1Cor10:31 says, ‘whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
     So let me tie this together: We were created in the Image of God, And, God created us for His glory! So we are to reflect his supreme goodness and the excellence of His character! We are to provide that Image to the world and reflect it back to Him!
So God created us for His glory, were are to glorify Him in all we do – BUT, what does Romans 3:23 say? Famous verse! Its one of the verses of the famous Roman Road! 3:23 says, For All have Sinned and…What? Fallen Short of the Glory of God!
God gave us a life that is like a Stradivarius – it should be making beautiful music in reflecting back to God the beauty of His Holiness. And we started hammering Nails with it!
    I am suggesting to you today, God created us for a purpose. God gave us meaning. And we misused our lives because we thought we knew better, or because we thought we could have more fun, or because we want to be our own masters.
     There is a building in London that has a mural painted on the ceiling by Peter Paul Rubens. They say the beauty and intricacy of it is amazing! But you can only stare up at the ceiling so long before you get a neck ache. So they provide mirrors for you so you can look in the mirrors and see the beauty up above without breaking your back! (Now don’t get ahead of me here.)
     But like that ceiling, the Beauty of God is so high above us, that we can’t continually look at it. Not because we get sore necks. It’s because we have fallen so far from where God created us to be. But Listen, God created us in His image! God wants us to behold the beauty of the Lord, so he sent us a mirror!    Remember what Jesus told the disciples? “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father!Col 1:15 says Jesus “is the image of the invisible God”.

     And listen to 2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
   I love that! We have the light of the knowledge of God's Glory in Jesus Christ's face!
So what does that mean for us? Think of all the things we say that God has done for us. He loves us so He sent His son, Jesus, who died for us, He rose again, He forgives our sins, He adopts us into His family, He gives us eternal life, he gives us the riches of grace, on and on and on… Why?
WHY does He do all this? WHAT IS THE PURPOSE????
Rom 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.” He did all this, so that we may be just like Jesus, who PERFECTLY reflected the Image of God the Father.

Does life have purpose? Yes. For all the meaning your life might have, for all the reasons you exist, it starts with the Purpose of our Creator! And its Found….. In the Face of Jesus Christ!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to tell me and others what you think. You can use the tools of rhetoric but please, be clean and nice.