What on earth am I here for?
What’s the purpose for my existence?
What’s the meaning of life?
Haven’t we all asked these or similar questions at some time?
From the beginning of time, countless generations have been searching, and continue to search the meaning to life. If I were to ask each of you what is your purpose for existing then I’m sure I would receive many different reasons and opinions (with them all being valid in their own way).
Life is rather like a tin of sardines – we’re all of us looking for the key.
– Alan Bennett (author & actor)
Indeed, what’s the key?
Evolution v Creation:
Some claim we have evolved over billions of years. That somehow we randomly became what we are today – by a process of chance factors combined with biological & chemical happenings, mankind developed into the dominate species on the planet.
Having a level of intelligence and creative abilities far beyond that of any other animal that has evolved. In contrast Christianity teaches that we were created in the image of God. There isn’t time to go into detail and debate evolution v creation. But simply to say that the complexities of our make-up point to a Designer (Creator) rather than a random selection process. Anyway, what does it mean to be created in the image of God?
Over the next five minutes or so I want to share three fundamental attributes that we share with our Creator. Which set us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom
1. Spiritual Beings:
Foremost of these attributes is that we were created as spiritual beings.
God is a Spirit – invisible to the natural eye but yet a reality in the spiritual realm.
God created us as triune beings – We have a spirit and we have a soul, which comprises our emotions will and intellect.
Our physical bodies are not the real us but an outer shell as it were, in which our spirit and soul reside. You cannot take a surgeon’s knife and separate the spirit from the soul and body. They are interwoven and interdependent of each other, making us the totally unique individual we are
Yet it is our spirit (our core) which enables us to connect with God.
2. Relational Beings:
God has revealed Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and yet is One, how can this be?
This unity of three persons is so perfect that they function and act as one. This triune aspect of God we call the Trinity and the relationship between Father, Son & H.S, exists in perfect relational unity.
Relationship is also at the core of our being. We are created to be relational beings – We have an inbuilt desire for intimacy, to love and to be loved.
Our lives revolve around relationships – with our parents – with our siblings – with friends – with work colleagues – with our spouses – with our children etc.
Of course we know from experience that families and relationships can be thwart with problems and hurt. Yet this inbuilt desire for relationship was put in us by God not only to develop relationships with others but primarily with Him, our Creator.
In the beginning our relationship with our Creator was perfect, Gen 1:31. Yet this perfect relationship between God and mankind was marred through an act of disobedience and rebellion by those He had created. The fact is whenever the relationship between God and ourselves is broken we can never fully be satisfied or find true meaning in our lives. Like a Master Potter who fashions a lump of clay into a beautiful vessel we struggle to find acceptance and purpose without the One who fashioned us
3. Purpose for Being:
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer”. – Jim Carrey (actor & comedian)
A common factor amongst people who find fulfilment in life is that they share a sense of purpose. Having a purpose gives you direction and a goal to aim for. Some find their purpose in their work, in their families, or a hobby.
God created us to experience fulfilment and to have purpose through knowing Him. But He has also given to each and every one of us creative abilities. You and I are unique having different skills and creative abilities. Some of us are more artistic whilst others have more practical talents or organisational skills. All these abilities are gifts that God gives us.
We were given these gifts and abilities so that we could express our uniqueness and creativity through the things we do. By being creative we share in His likeness because He (God) is so amazingly creative
Just look at nature, the universe or consider our own bodies and their design and you will see creativity beyond anything we could ever imagine or design ourselves.
All our abilities give us value and are part of who we are as individuals. Yet in all our doing we all too often overlook the one who put those talents in us in the first place. When everything we do is taken away what is left?
If we have no relationship with God then all we do becomes of little value
So in summary:
If we are created by God to enjoy a relationship with Him.
How do we do that?
What does this relationship look like?
Firstly we have to believe the love that God has for you and me
God says “I have loved you with an everlasting love”
God`s love for us is unconditional – it`s not dependent on anything we can do ourselves
God`s love is perfect unlike ours which is often flawed by our own weaknesses
God will never let you down when you believe what He says
Accept the love God has for you
It`s one thing believing but another thing to accept it
Sometimes we disqualify ourselves from accepting God`s love by feelings of unworthiness or never accepting He could love me that much
We accept His love by acting on what God says about our condition and the remedy for it
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
In other words we all fall short of being able to live the lives God wills for us
It wouldn`t matter how hard of for how long we tried to make up the deficit of wrongs we had done
We could never re-connect with God in our own strength or wisdom
This perfect harmony between God and mankind is broken when we choose to do things our way
The Bible calls this sin
Our sin causes a spiritual blindness and separates us from God
Yet there is a remedy – There is a way back to God
And that way is Jesus
We would have remained in this condition but for God Himself intervening and coming to this earth in the form of a man, Jesus
Jesus came to reveal the nature and purpose of God
Jesus demonstrated Gods loves for you and me by dying on a cross
In this act of self-sacrifice He took our sin upon Himself
Through Jesus we once again have access to God – the broken relationship has been restored
Through Jesus we can reconnect with God spiritually
He begins to work afresh in our lives, restoring and healing the brokenness we have experienced through being separated from Him.
The Bible puts it this way:
We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 NLT
We come to experience and know the love that God has for – that we are accepted and approved of by Him. We begin to understand that He has created us for a purpose and that our lives have meaning and value. We come to understand the meaning of life is having and enjoying a relationship with our Creator in this life and for all eternity.
It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
– Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
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