Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
In this fourth and last part on this subject, we are talking again about the fact that God says to you, You are a worthwhile person.
God’s Word tells us, in Psalm 139, that we are not an accident. God has never made anything without a purpose. God planned you. He planned everything about you. God knew how and when and where you would be born. And he also is fully aware of the length of your days, including the exact time of your birth and death. That doesn’t mean that God predestines the good and bad things that come to us. Good people are killed all the time, and our loving heavenly Father is not the creator of those tragedies. We have freedom of choice, and God has his loving will, but bad things still happen to good people.
Ephesians 1:4 tells us the whole story. Long before he laid down the Earth’s foundation, God had us in his mind and settled on us as the focus of his love to be made whole and holy by his love. We are here for his purpose, and his purpose is to lavish his love on us. To flood us with his love—redeem us through it; restore us through it. He made us in order that we could be the objects of his divine love.
A man and his wife are supposed to go out to dinner with some friends one evening. The husband doesn’t want to go, but she refuses to cancel—they’ve postponed it twice already—so tensions are running high. She’s out by the car, all dressed up, fit to kill, while he’s still inside putting on a tie. When he comes out, she’s crying, wrecking her beautifully made-up face.
What’s the matter? he asks. And she tells him: I accidentally locked the keys in the car. Well, he just blows up. And he shouts at her: How could God make somebody so beautiful—so stupid? And she comes right back at him. God made me beautiful so that you would marry me, and he made me stupid so that I’d marry you!
But God made us so that he could love us.
Does My Life Matter?
This matter of significance is a great topic: Does my life matter? In Isaiah 49:4 this prophet says: “My work all seems so useless. I’ve spent my strength for nothing and for no purpose at all.” Then the prophet Elijah felt useless and insignificant after a lifetime of serving God.
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Rick Warren tells a story from World War II where the Nazis forced prisoners to take all this rubble from a blown-up factory, and move it from point A to point B. The next day, they’d take the same wheelbarrows and put all the debris and bricks back at point A. On Wednesday, back across the street to point B. Back and forth, day after day. They were just keeping the prisoners busy, wearing them out, breaking their will. And some of the inmates, with no purpose in life, just being mocked by the Germans for the emptiness of what they had to do, got suicidal.
Some of them actually tried to simply jump in front of the Gestapo guards, wanting to get shot. To live a life without purpose, without significance, was worse than death. Psychologists tell us we can exist on one of three levels. Number one is survival—just enduring. I think about refugee kids in the camps of Darfur, in the Sudan. Virtually no food. No water. Their parents are dead. Rapists lurk everywhere. People pillaging. All they can do is hang onto a thread of life.
And then we know about things that happen. We should ask ourselves these questions:
- Are we happy?
- Are we surviving?
- Do we really matter?
Well, God made us because he wanted someone to love. But there’s more than that. Notice what the Bible tells us in Isaiah 44:2: I am your Creator. You were in my care, even before you were born. And God piles on the good news with this. His investment for us is for eternity! Psalm 33:11 says: “His plans endure forever; His purposes last eternally.”
So, God says to each of us: You were made to last forever. This speaks volumes to us about our value. And here’s a point. We’re on this Earth for God’s purposes, for God to love.
Life on Earth Is Just the Beginning
But do you know that our life here on Earth—our purpose here—is just the briefest of warm-up acts. We will be God’s love, his treasure, his trophy for eternity! Here, and there too. Rick Warren says, “This is kindergarten. This is preschool. This is just spring training.” C. S. Lewis calls this entire journey on planet Earth one small, false step—one misstep as we start out. One tiny stumble. Then we pick ourselves up, thank God for caring for us—and begin the real, glorious journey. Our whole life here is just that first baby step.
I like what it says in 2 Corinthians 5:1 (GNT): “When this tent we live in—our body here on earth—is torn down, God will have a house in heaven for us to live in, a home he himself has made, which will last forever.”
Now, what is my purpose? That’s what King David asked God one day: “Why did You create us? For nothing?” (Psalm 89:47). Deep down, a number of atheists out there have admitted: If there isn’t a God, our lives really have no purpose. Bertrand Russell, one of the most renowned atheists from England, confessed in these words: “Unless you assume the existence of God, the question of life’s meaning and purpose is irrelevant.”
And if we want to know what our purpose in life is, we have to ask the One who made us. We have to look in the owner’s manual, and go to the Word of God for answers. Proverbs 9:10 (TLB) says, “…Knowing God results in every other kind of understanding.” So we find our purposes by getting to know God. He wants to love me. I find my purpose by placing myself under the umbrella of that love.
Colossians 1:16 (The Message) says: “For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible . . . everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.” And in Ephesians 1:11 (The Message) we read: “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for . . . part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”
And if we want to know God’s purpose for us, we have to get to know him. I can’t make it easier than that, because that’s what it is. Marriages prosper when we know each other; it’s the same here. We may wish there was some other plan besides what we already know—worship, Bible reading, prayer, fellowship—but the simple truth is that this is how we come to know and love someone. That always has been the formula, and it always will be the formula.
I have heard people say, I’m just too busy to do all of this. But we need to make time and discover God in a new way. It’s worth the effort to sit and read his Word, read a good quality Christian book, and feel your life transformed.