The Meaning of Life:
“Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and no longer enjoy living. It will be too late then to remember him, when the light of the sun and moon and stars is dim to your old eyes, and there is no silver lining left among the clouds…Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken…For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it…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.” (Ecclesiastes 12:1-14).
What is the meaning of life? An episode of Everybody Loves Raymond inspired today’s devotional. In this particular episode, Raymond was about to sit down with his pre-teen daughter Allie and give her the “sex talk” because she had been asking about where babies came from. When he started talking to her, he realized she wasn’t asking about WHERE babies come from, she was asking WHY babies come here, and what our purpose is in life. She asked her dad, “If we’re all just going to die and go to Heaven, then why do we have to spend all this time down here on Earth?” Her father, dumbfounded, tried to flip through his parenting books to find the answer, but finally mumbled, “Because Heaven’s too crowded.” Realizing he was in over his head, he pretended to have a coughing fit and ran out of the room. When he got downstairs, he got into a big discussion with his wife, his parents, and his brother about the meaning of life. Here are some of the humorous answers that they came up with. Raymond’s father defined the meaning of life like this: “You’re born. You go to school. You go to work. You die.” Not the most inspirational motivational speaker you’ll ever hear. Raymond’s wife Deborah said, “God put us on Earth to help each other.” A little bit more wisdom than the first answer, I suppose. Raymond’s brother, Robert, said, “You know, the fruit fly only lives for one day.” Not too much wisdom there. Finally, Raymond’s mother, Marie, goes over to the bookshelf and says, “It’s all in the Bible.” Bingo. Now we’re getting somewhere. After reading Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth,” Marie quoted Proverbs 14:4 which says, “Where no oxen are, the crib is clean; But much increase is by the strength of the ox.”Deborah said, “That has absolutely nothing to do with Allie’s question.” And she was right. But I do believe that the Bible does have the answer to the question about the meaning of life. It’s found in the above Scripture, in Ecclesiastes Twelve.
“Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator.” King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, wrote these words. The whole book of Ecclesiastes was written in response to his personal quest for the meaning of life, and this was his conclusion. He said, “For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” James puts it this way, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” Finally, King Solomon ends with these words: “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.” What is the meaning of life? The Westminster Confession of faith declares that, “Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.” If you look at this life from the perspective of eternity, this life is going to be over so quickly. Let us use this life that God has given us to glorify him, and enjoy Him and His presence, now and forever.
“Look here, you people who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15).
Pastor Chris Jordan