Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Why on earth am I here?

The renowned atheist Bertrand Russell once wrote:  "Unless you assume a God, the question of life's purpose is meaningless." 

While in Hobbs, NM (actually we are still here for at least another month)  I took a survey of students at the University of the Southwest, a Christian university in Hobbs.  I asked, "If you could ask God three questions, what would they be?"  I was a little surprised by the most popular question.  The question these students would most like to ask God is this:  "What is my purpose in life?"  I was surprised that this was the most prevalent question at a "Christian college."  If students can't get the answer there "Houston we have a problem."  One thing the Bible does make clear, God as a loving father is much more concerned about who we are than what we do.  He is concerned with our character.  I think it was Augustine who said:  "Love God with all your heart and do what you want."
For if loving God is our main vision we will want to do whatever pleases him. Jesus said two things sum up all the Law and the Prophets, love God and love people.  The question asked by an aging private Ryan in the movie Saving Private Ryan is instructive.  "Did I live an honorable life?"  To find out how to do that requires a familiarity with the instruction manual.  Psalm 19 after an opening affirmation of who God is describes the benefits of studying and knowing God's word. 

"The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.  More to be desired are they than gold even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.  Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward." (Psalm 19:7-11) 

Yours and His,

Dr. B