The Drama of Redemption: Creation

Why do you think God created the world, and people in particular?  Was it because he was bored?  Lonely?  The Westminster Shorter Catechism has famously declared, “The chief end of man (aka: the reason we were created) is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”  God created out of love, that we would worship Him and be filled with his joy as we worship.  We were created by God in His image in order to “mirror” him by glorifying/worshipping Him in everything we do, because we received joy when we honor God.

What’s it mean to “Glorify” God?  One of our high schoolers gave among the best definitions of “glorify” I’ve ever heard: she said, “It’s to recognize who God is and what he’s done and to show that to other by what you do.”  1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  Eating and Drinking are pretty normal things, not super-spiritual things – and yet we’re told to do them (along with whatever else we do) “for the glory of God.”

So what’s it look like to glorify God?

  • When you’re in school and learning about biology, you recognize that God made your body to function so perfectly that every cell is designed to do a specific task.  Meanwhile, you also learn about the universe and how ridiculously small and “insignificant” planet Earth is when compared to all the galaxies far far away.  Just think: God created all those galaxies, and yet He cares for you so much that he sent Jesus to live and die and rise again for you!
  • When you’re on the practice field, you want to use your physical body and athletic gifts to honor the One who gave them to you.  That means you practice hard, take care of your body, and play as a good teammate (that means you pass the ball when someone else has a better shot!) and you aren’t an arrogant glory-hog when you play well.
  • When you’re home, you help with chores around the house, respect your parents, and are generally pleasant to be around.

Christian author, John Piper, has said “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”  Are you satisfied with God?  You were made to glorify God in everything you do, and to enjoy God forever!  Remember, en-joy, God wants to fill you with joy!  That doesn’t mean life is about being happy and living out the “American Dream,” because God often calls us to difficult things and He brings us through seasons of suffering – but He fills us with peace and joy even in the midst of those experiences.

Out of love, God created you to glorify Him and to enjoy Him forever.  Don’t want until “forever” begins… start now.  That’s what God made you for.  Obviously, “something” (Sin, which we’ll discuss next week) has gone terribly wrong; but it’s absolutely necessary for us to remember WHY we are here and WHAT God made us to do.

Are We Too Individualistic?

I’ve begun prepping for an upcoming series on the Nicene Creed, which begins “We believe…”  One of the books I’m reading emphasizes the “we” aspect to the Christian faith.  As Christians, we are called to be interconnected to each other, and to fully admit our complete dependance upon God through Jesus Christ.

So often we hear people talk about faith being “personal”… and it is!  But our faith must not be “private” so that we keep it all to ourselves and either a) Withdraw from the world (or else how will we be the “light of the world”) or b) Disconnect our faith from our daily lives (so that way our faith would have no affect on our daily actions… what good is faith then?!).

Here’s a great quote I read from author Alexis de Tocqueville’s work Democracy in America (which was quoted in the book I’m reading):

“Individualism is a calm and considered feeling which disposes each citizen to isolate himself from the mass of his fellows and withdraw into the circle of family and friends; with this little society formed to his tastes, he gladly leaves the greater society to look after itself…. They form the habit of thinking of themselves in isolation and imagine that their whole destiny is in their hands…. Each man is forever thrown back on himself alone, and there is a danger that he may be shut up in the solitude of his own heart.”

Read that a few times, and then take a look at what the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:3-8:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!”

Show Me What I’m Looking For

Carolina Liar is a newer band with a southern-rock feel to their music.  Based off what I’ve heard from them so far, I like them.  I downloaded their song “Show me what I’m looking for” a few weeks back off of iTunes and it came on my ipod yesterday while it was on shuffle.  The lyrics really struck me more than they have all the other times I’d listened to the song.  Here’s the video/song:

In the video, you see the singer in different places representing what some people “are looking for” (sex, money, friends, fun) all the while singing:

Save me, I’m lost
Oh lord, I’ve been waiting for you
I’ll pay any cost
Save me from being confused
Show me what I’m looking for
Show me what I’m looking for… oh Lord

What are you counting on for peace and meaning in life?  There are three questions we all ask ourselves, and how we answer them will determine how we spend our lives:

  1. Who am I? (Identity)
  2. Why am I here? (Purpose)
  3. Where do I belong? (Belonging)

This song reminds me of those questions and challenges me to constantly be reminding myself to cling to the knowledge that God made me in his image to serve and love him and to show his amazing love to others so that they would know His love too.

Where are you seeking answers to these big questions?

Jesus says: “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)