Pulpit Reflections

I recently tried to set up internet and email capability for my in-laws in their new retirement community apartment.  I followed all the directions, checked and double-checked all the settings and it would not work.  I googled the error message I was getting and discovered this was a problem that others had experienced as well, but I couldn't find anyone who had found a solution.  I couldn't tell if there was a design flaw or if I just didn't know enough about how the program was designed to work.  It's frustrating when something doesn't work the way it was designed to.  I really wished I could talk to the guy who designed it.

I meet a lot of people who are frustrated with their lives and it's a similar problem.  I think most people have a sense that they exist for a purpose, but too many live their lives every day wondering if they are anywhere close to fulfilling it.  We all could benefit from talking to the designer.

You can look at most any gadget and tell it has some purpose, even if you don't know what that purpose is.  Just by observation you can tell that someone designed that gadget for something.  It's the same with people.  It doesn't take a lot of deep contemplation to realize we each exist for a purpose.  From there, it's a short step to realize we must have a designer.  Even well-know atheist, Bertrand Russell concluded "unless you assume a god, the question of life's purpose is meaningless."

The Bible says, "we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10, NIV).  This is a bold proposition that affirms a couple of things to anyone who wants to know why they live.

First, this verse affirms that our lives are meaningful because we have a creator who designed us for a purpose.  We exist as "God's workmanship" and He has planned specific "good works" for each of us to do.  All your inner desires to make a difference in the world resonate with this affirmation that you were designed by God to do good things.

Second, this verse affirms that your purpose is good.  Your purpose is not measured by your view of yourself or by what others think of you.  Your purpose is not defined by how you came into this world, the fortune or misfortune you've had, or how you've been treated.  Age doesn't matter.  Education isn't a factor.  Race and gender don't figure in.  Your purpose is defined by the plan God made for you before He created you, and His plan is all about the good He wants to do through you.  Your life is significant because God made you that way.

This is all very good to know, but it's not enough.  I know that the software I installed for my in-laws was created for a good purpose, but it is still not working.  It's not enough just to know God created you for a good purpose, if you never fulfill that purpose.  You need to get to know your creator.  It is in knowing God that you can know and fulfill the purpose for which you were created.

In Jeremiah 29:13, God promises, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."  Getting to know God begins with an intentional decision to seek Him.  God doesn't want to be worshipped from afar.  He wants you to know Him as intimately as He knows you.  So do something about it.  Take some steps toward God.  If you're not sure how to do that, ask someone you know who does.  If you don't know anyone like that, I'd be happy to share with you my experiences in seeking God. You can feel free to contact me at steve@gracebaptistvermillion.com or 624-4949.  You don't have to have it all figured out.  Just begin moving toward God, and He will see that you get there.

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