Sunday, December 5, 2010

Why Are We Here? (Part I)

I'm not an ordained minister, neither do I possess any degrees in theology, but I am a child of God, and I like to preach at our church, on occasion.  Recently, the Lord led me to address a question that many ask of God or the universe: "Why am I here?"  I've been having issues with making videos recently, so instead, I will share my notes with you.  Because my notes are usually quite lengthy, I'm splitting this post into two parts.  Enjoy!

This is a classic worldview question, and one of the most important. A worldview is a system of beliefs, assumptions, or doctrines that we use to interpret the world around us. Everyone has a worldview, whether they know it or not. The man-on-street’s answer to this question will quickly reveal what he thinks about God. One might talk about the Creator. Another about karma. Still another about primordial soup and random mutations.

But the man of God should probably rephrase the question to a more personal level: God, what is Your purpose for me? What do You want me to do with this life You have given me? Doing so, we not only acknowledge God, our Creator, as a personal being with Whom we can converse, but also recognize that He has a Grand Plan for His creation, and each one of us fits into it a little differently, like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle.

1 Cor. 3:10-15 (wood, hay, and stubble are burned up)

I have a giant to-do list. I was reading these verses last week and started to think about the items on that list. Which are gold, silver, and precious stones? Which are wood, hay, and stubble? As big as that list is (over 70 items!), and as little time as I always seem to have, I can’t afford to work on things that will be burned up at the last day. Ironically, some tasks that seem like gold are actually stubble, and vice-versa. Let’s get some examples and guidelines from God’s Holy Word.

Matt. 25:14-30 (parable of the talents)

God blesses each one of us with abilities and possessions of various kinds, but it is our responsibility to use these blessings responsibly and in a way that will bring glory to God and further His Kingdom. Squandering what He has given us, including the very breath that fills our lungs, makes us like the slothful servant who hid his lord’s money in the ground. Ask God how He wants you to use what He’s given you.

Ex. 3:1-10, 4:10-12 (God calls Moses)

Moses was about 80 years old when God finally called on him to bring the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. What does that teach us about patiently waiting on the Lord? Moses must have felt that he was special. Out of all the Hebrews, he alone was called the Pharaoh’s grandson. He even tried to be a judge for his people, but the plan backfired, and he had to flee. He spent much of his adult life as a shepherd. Ever wonder what he thought of his life and if he thought God had given up on him? I wonder how many nightmares he had about his Jewish brethren, who were suffering under the yoke of the Pharaoh. And yet, God used this time to prepare Moses for the task that lay ahead.

John 21:1-22 (Peter, the fisher of men)

After Jesus’ resurrection, Peter and six other disciples went back to being fishermen. This might have been fine, except it wasn’t what Jesus wanted for them, particularly Peter. You might’ve noticed, but Peter seemed to have a hard time even finding the fish, without Jesus’ help! Jesus asked Peter not once, but three times if he loved Him more than fishing, and asked him to feed His sheep. Putting God first means not letting our own interests keep us from doing His work.

To be continued...


Gigi said...

Wonderful! Off to read Part II

Gigi said...

Oh no...what happened to Part II? I see it in my Google Reader but it's not here?

Hope I don't have to wait too long!

Dr. Russell Norman Murray said...

'Putting God first means not letting our own interests keep us from doing His work.'

Yes, and can be a struggle.

I like that type of Christmas/Winter art. Impressive.