Thursday, July 02, 2009

Meaning is a Gift from God

“There is no other rational starting point for life than God. That is the axis upon which life turns. That is the source from which life begins. That is the reference from which all definitions arise.” ~ Ravi Zacharias; Cries of the Heart

To truly understand life and our purpose we have to begin with God. Since God is the Creator, He alone is able to answer the question of life's purpose. To seek the answer in anything or anyone else is meaningless. Unless we start with God, we will fail to see purpose in our lives.

God gives life its meaning. In Him we discover that there is a purpose to life and there is a reason for our existence. God gives hope to an otherwise meaningless existence. Think about it. If there is no God and we are just accidents of natural process then our lives would be meaningless. We would have no reason to live a moral life and no reason to try to make things better. If God did not exist then there is no standard of morality. What is right is determined by an individual. We would be ruled more by instinct than rational moral thought.

The book of Ecclesiastes details Solomon's search for meaning in life. He sought meaning in wisdom, work, justice, family, and pleasure. As he thought about these things he came to the conclusion they were all meaningless. In Ecclesiastes 2:17 he writes; So now I hate life because everything done here under the sun is so irrational. Everything is meaningless, like chasing the wind (NLT). Solomon experienced the greatest aspects of life, and in the end he saw them as meaningless. Nothing he did could provide the meaning for his life.

Solomon was very blessed by God, but he didn't obey God's law. He did his own thing a married women from other cultures who brought their religious beliefs to Jerusalem. Solomon's wives turned him away from God and to worship their gods. Living apart from God, Solomon discovered life was meaningless. No other god, no other philosophy, nothing under the sun could give meaning to life.

Through this process Solomon realized the need of God in his life. He discovered only God gives meaning to life. This is Solomon's conclusion; Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad (NLT). Solomon finally understood that unless we fear God and obey Him our lives will be meaningless. It isn't just a belief in God which gives meaning, for Solomon always had that, it is the fear and obedience of God which gives meaning to life.

Life will be meaningless if we live apart from God. Giving our lives away in obedience to our Creator gives our lives the meaning we so desperately need. We realize that our lives can have a significant impact on the people around us. It becomes obvious that life isn't about us, but it is about God, our Creator and Redeemer. Apart from God life will always be meaningless. Only the Creator knows the meaning of life.

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