If you're reading this, you probably already know just how much I like to think and analyze things.
For the past couple of weeks I hadn't been able to shake the feeling and belief that life is pointless. As I thought about it and dug into it, the only answer I could come up with for a reason for there to even be human existence, much less live, was what I've heard people say: Our purpose on earth is to bring God glory.
Unfortunately, that didn't cut it for me. My analytical mind immediately shot that down. If our only purpose is to glorify a God who is everything, who needs nothing from us, and has angels that worship him, then what point is there in that? Yes, God is awesome and deserves honor and worship, but he already has it. Don't try to tell me he needs us--I won't fall for it.
So, if that's not the purpose, then was is? I started getting fairly worried, and I was scared to voice my thoughts out loud. What if I'm proven right? What if "to bring God glory" is the only answer that others can give me?
Yesterday though, I voiced my thoughts out loud to a friend, and was immensely relieved to find I'm not the only one who hasn't settled for just that.
She first brought up what the Westminster Catechism says: "Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever." Then also that when asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied that it's to love God. We talked for some more time about this, and other things, and when I came home I started reading in Romans, and then moved to 1st John.
1st John 4:7-12 "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."
vs. 16 "We know and rely on the love God has for us."
vs. 19 "We love because he first loved us."
vs. 21 "And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."
5:1-2 "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands."
As I read over these verses, it's pretty clear that loving God and loving others is closely entwined. If you love God, you'll love your brother. Love comes from God, and God is love. No one has ever seen God, so we can't know exactly what His love looks like... but God did show us his love by sending his son into the world that we might live through him. Also, when we love one another, we are showing others God's love.
So, our purpose is to love God, and to love others. When we love God, we'll carry out his commands. 2 John, vs 6 says "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love." When we love God, glorifying him will come naturally. Glorifying God is important, but if we try to do that without loving him... we end up failing pretty badly.
These are my thoughts of late, and I can't begin to explain how hard it was to be tackling with a question I couldn't answer, and how thankful I am to have it answered. I'm still thinking through all this, and trying to see exactly how I should apply it to my life.
A couple of songs came to mind that relate to this topic:
Tobymac's "Made to Love." Specifically the lines, "Whatever happened to a passion I could life for? What became of the flame that made me feel more? And when did I forget? I was made to love You!"
"Knowing You" (don't know who it's by) "Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You. There is no greater thing. You're my all, You're the best, You're my joy, my righteousness. And I love You, Lord"
Skillet, "Whispers in the Dark" ... "My love is just waiting to turn your tears to roses. I will be the One that's gonna hold you, I will be the One that you run to. My love is a burning, consuming fire."
"Everything" by Lifehouse, "You are my purpose, You're everything."
"Love Them Like Jesus" by Casting Crowns: "Love them like Jesus, carry them to Him. His yoke is easy, His burden is light. You don't need the answers to all of life's questions, just know that He loves them, and stay by their side. Love them like Jesus."
Oh, and have I mentioned that God is awesome, not just because he is, but also because he loves us?