December 10, 2012

We Have Only One Reason To Exist (Updated)

Every now and again, I come across old posts and feel like re-sharing them.  This one seemed appropriate to recent thoughts of mine.  I've updated it and added a few things, including a link to a very uplifting and encouraging message from 1 Corinthians 15.  Here's a link to today's sermon.

UPDATED...again 12/11/12.  Here's the video:

March 27, 2011 (updates in italics)

I don't really know how to sound intelligent or deep. I'm a super opinionated person, with nothing really to say. I read all sorts of blogs and Internet sites (Twitter mostly these days) trying to gain knowledge on things that will make me sound like I know what I'm talking about, but I don't really know anything about the important things of life. Well, there is one exception to that. I actually know the most important thing (to a great eternal) life. But I don't live like I do, or share that knowledge. In fact, most of the time I live and act and speak like I don't know this crucial truth to our existence. I know there is a deep and critical purpose for our lives. I know this purpose brings hope and joy. I know that without understanding this purpose, besides the eternal damnation we face apart from this truth, our lives will be lived hopeless and frustrated, filled with hated, anger, and emptiness. The crazy thing is, even with this knowledge in my own head, I live in a negative place right now. And this is because we are not called to merely understand this purpose, but we are told to live it.

I turned 35 last week (36 now) and I've started to take a look at my life, maybe for the first time. I've been looking at where I came from, where I am, what I've accomplished, and what I've set as goals. I started my life in a loving family, where I was raised, protected, and guided in the knowledge of God. I grew into an involved member of the Church, playing music in worship services, leading small group discussions, working on my own relationship with God, studying the Bible, and trying to live my life to please God. Currently, my life is a joke (still true). There is nothing in it that resembles a life lived in faith. Sure, I go to church on Sundays, where one of the most dynamic preacher I've ever heard teaches; I teach my kids about God, I pray with them, I even pray (mostly plead) on my own, but I don't live daily by faith. My wife and I have had our share of tragic happenings, from medical things and deaths in the family to financial and job related trials, but our prayers and requests for God's help and guidance are far and few between. We don't live in faith. We don't live as though we understand our purpose for existence.

I am a huge failure. I don't take responsibility for my wife's spiritual maturity as I should. I should be leading this family into meaningful, deep, real, solid relationships with God. Instead, I'm the one that is too angry and frustrated at the outcome of my life this far to be a positive force in this family. As someone who was raised in the church, with lots of access to the Bible and teachers and examples of God-pleasing people, I should lovingly lead my wife and kids into God's light and grace. I have the chance to show them God's grace and love, and that our purpose is to enjoy glorifying Him. But I'm selfish, frustrated, sinful, and horrible. I don't bring God glory with my own life, so how can I teach my family to do the same? After 8+ 9+ years together, how is it my wife is still a baby Christian and I've now become someone who doesn't even resemble one at all?

Knowledge is nothing without actions. Just like James 2:19 says "even the demons believe - and shudder". It's not knowledge of God that saves. It takes faith in our need for Jesus. We must give up self control. We MUST realize we can never be good enough on our own. Apart from God, we are nothing. Our purpose is to glorify God, who is the Creator of all things. He gave us free will, and then a Savior to save us from ourselves. Think of it like this: we are called to go out into the world and reveal God to those we meet. But if we don't know God ourselves, how can we share Him with others? I need to wake up and live this knowledge. I am nothing apart from God. I deserve eternal damnation because of my sins. And without God's Son, Jesus, that's where I'd be headed (HELL). But by the grace of God, I am saved from these sins by the perfect lamb, sacrificed for me. Now I have only one reason to exist: I MUST GLORIFY GOD!

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