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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Created for Glory

Why were we created? What was God's purpose in creation? Specifically, in creating us?

Here's what we know. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (Gen 1:1) In that process, God made Man. Here's what He said about that. "Then God said, "Let Us make man in our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." (Gen 1:26) Now, isn't that strange? I mean, doesn't the Creator have dominion over everything? Well, yes, indeed, He does. What He was doing here was subcontracting the job, so to speak. As a president of a company has department managers under him, God put us here as "Earth managers", so to speak. But He did it specifically by making us in His image. What does that mean? Well, it means that we have some points of commonality with the nature of God, especially in the soul, but it also means that, in the image of God, we are a reflection of God.

Creation, you see, had one singular purpose. We were created by Him for Him (Col 1:16) for a specific function. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork." (Psa 19:1) "His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made." (Rom 1:20) God created ... everything ... for the purpose of declaring His glory. This is why we are commanded, "Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor 10:31) Why were we created? We were created to glorify God. And, as a result of this, God's intention was to glorify us (Psa 8:54; Rom 8:30).

For some reason we seem to miss this. Perhaps it's our natural enmity with God (Rom 8:7; James 4:4). Perhaps it's blindness (Jer 17:9; 2 Cor 4:4). But God spelled it out plainly. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Rom 3:23) Did you ever wonder about that last phrase? We have a two-fold problem. One is sin. The other is our failure to fulfill our purpose -- proclaim the glory of God. Perhaps it's the same thing, two sides of the same coin. But here we see that sin isn't "bad things" or, as some are happy to affirm, "mistakes". Sin is a failure of purpose.

Often, at the mention of "sin", people seem to go deaf. "Oh, no," they think, "we're about to get a lecture about how we need to be good and not do bad things." Often they're right. I'm not going there. I'm looking at purpose. Each of us has a purpose. Indeed, I don't think that any created thing can have any greater purpose than the purpose for which we were made. And yet we routinely and universally "fall short of the glory of God." We fail to fulfill our purpose. Is it any wonder that people are generally dissatisfied? They want more of this and more of that. Maybe it's money or power or "stuff" or friends or sex or work or love. It's just "more". Because what we have and are does not satisfy and we're trying to fill that hole. Except the only way to fill that hole is to fulfill the purpose for which we were made. I'm not talking here about people doing "bad things". I'm talking about a lack of fulfillment.

We were created for glory, both to give it to the One who deserves it and to receive it from the One best able to give it. Instead, we settle for a paltry human attempt at building for ourselves something we are not equipped to make and calling that "good enough". I hope for something better. I hope to glorify God in all that I do. I long to be a faithful reflection of His glory. And I expect to be fully satisfied with the glory He gives. It's His purpose for His creation in general and human beings in particular. It is true fulfillment. And I hope that for you.

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