Monday, September 15, 2008

What is the chief end of man?

As I began a new Bible study at church last night the leader took us through hermeneutics as a foundation of our study. She reminded us of the catechism question I had learned in childhood, "What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." Or translated, why am I here? What is this life all about? I spent last week in the doldrums. I wasn't feeling well physically and could not discipline myself to read or study the Bible. As a result I felt further and further from God when I tried to pray. On Saturday as I began all the chores I usually undertake on that day I realized something. I didn't FEEL like doing laundry or dishes or cleaning the bathroom, but I would never really consider not doing those things because I KNOW they are necessary. Here I was neglecting the one place God promises to speak to me, in His Word, because I didn't FEEL like doing the work necessary to meet Him there.

This morning I read the following and it reiterated what God began showing me the past few days. I am here to glorify God and become more like Him. I need to make this the focus of my priorities and discipline before anything else.

Thank You for more lessons in WHAT REALLY MATTERS. Help me to seek You first and KNOW everything else I need will be added to me.

The purpose of God for our life on earth
(J. R. Miller, "Garden of the Heart" 1906)

We should get it settled in our minds, that the purpose of God for our life on earth, is to have us grow into Christ's image. We are not in this world merely to accomplish a certain amount of work--but to be fashioned into strength and beauty of character. If we would always remember this, we would not be perplexed so often by the mysteries of our lives.

If joy is ours--it is to make us better and a greater blessing to others.

If sorrow is ours--it is to purify us and bring out some line of Christ's image in us more clearly.

If our hopes are disappointed--it is because God has some better things for us, than that which we so earnestly desired.

If we are called to endure pain--it is because the best in us can be called out only by pain.

If bereavement comes and we are left without the strong human arm we have leaned upon heretofore--it is because there are elements of strength in our life, which never could be developed unless the human supports were taken away.

If our burdens are heavy--it is because we grow best under burdens.

If we are wronged by others--it is to teach us better, the great lessons of patience and sweet temper.

If our circumstances are uncongenial and our condition hard--it is that we may be disciplined into self-control, and may learn to be content in whatever state we are in.

The Master is always teaching us new lessons, making us into the beauty of the pattern He has set for us, and preparing us for greater usefulness and better service.

1 comment:

SuzyQ said...

What an amazing post!
I got goosebumps reading it. God truly does have a plan for all of us. Every experience in life has value, each and every one of us is precious in his sight. Through everything we go through we can glorify him and gain a greater compassion for others.This has been so true for me. He has taken the suffering I've gone through and turned it into something beautiful. He takes the things I do wrong and forgives.
Such beautiful insights here that I will reflect upon today.
Blessings ~