Why Did God Create Mankind?

This is a question that has perplexed me for many years. Oh, I’ve heard the answers of laymen and theologians, but none of them answered the question so that it satisfied my curiosity. Some say God created mankind for fellowship. That didn’t fly with me because He already has fellowship – perfect fellowship in Father, Son and Spirit and a host of angels. Others say so that He would have worship. That answer also left me unsatisfied – He has the ultimate worship in the heavenly choir. And our worship is imperfect at its best. No, I reasoned, that couldn’t be right.

There is a group that believes God created mankind to obey Him, as if God needs someone to bolster His ego.

“Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him” (Isaiah 43:7)

“Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11) 

According to http://kirkcameron.com/articles/god-create-man-knowing-sin:

The Purpose of Man

Man was created for God’s pleasure and for His glory. That was true for Adam and Eve, and is true for all mankind throughout the centuries. Our purpose in life is to please God by living in a way that honors and glorifies Him, by being His steward and His ambassador on earth and by living in right relationship with Him. Borrowing from the Westminster Shorter Catechism, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

That sounded pretty good to me: it’s short, sweet, and supported by Scripture verses. I like it. In fact, of all the answers I have seen, this one is ‘correct’. But it still didn’t satisfy my “WHY?” And how do we bring Him glory and pleasure when we are so ugly? He doesn’t need us – for anything!

As I have pondered this question, I have finally come up with an answer that satisfies me. It probably won’t satisfy anyone else, but it has shined the light of understanding in such a way that I can now understand how mankind brings Him glory and pleasure.

Everyone knows, I assume, the story of the fall of Lucifer and how God cast Lucifer out of heaven because of his pride and rebellion. (Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:12-19)

I had this thought: suppose, as God was casting Lucifer and his minions out, that Lucifer taunted God with something like “No one would serve you willingly. No one, not even one you created just for that purpose, would choose you!”

I can just see the Mona Lisa smile on God’s lips, and hear His voice thunder “Watch and learn!”

And God created mankind. And God gets glory every time someone chooses good over evil. And the angels in heaven laugh and rejoice when someone believes in the finished work of Jesus Christ and becomes a member of the Kingdom of God.

And the devils get madder and madder, hotter and hotter, tormenting and terrorizing those who have proven them wrong: we have chosen to serve God willingly – in deed, in worship, in words. And one day, this great cloud of witnesses will stand by at Lucifer’s final judgement and watch as he is cast out one last time – into the lake of fire that burns eternally! Hallelujah!

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Love Your Enemies

I don’t know about you, but I am a champion of social media. Of course, like everything else, it needs to be enjoyed in moderation. But I love being instantly connected to the day-to-day lives of family and friends all around the globe. A sweet friend in Romania was recently engaged! I was overjoyed to share in the pictures of that momentous occasion.

I also get to enjoy pictures of birthday parties and anniversaries that I would never be able to attend, as well as news of reports cards (good and bad), babies’ first teeth, graduations, marriages, and sometimes, deaths of a dear friend’s loved one. I can play Scrabble with my sisters who live in different states hundreds of miles apart, and giggle as my nephew gloats over passing me in a silly minefield game.

Yes, I like social media, even with all of its faults. And today I was able to observe firsthand one of the effects of social media and ‘instant’ response time.

There was a ‘news’ posting that my cousin shared (I don’t subscribe to any of them – but sometimes they are shared). This one purported to come out of Seattle and was a report of 16 anti-Trump protesters who had linked arms across a busy freeway, blocking traffic as they chanted ‘dump Trump’. The article went on to say that after a few minutes they separated and let traffic pass and when the roadway was running smoothly again, they linked arms again and spread themselves across the freeway again. Only this time, tragedy struck as a trucker could not stop in time and hit six of the protestors, killing four instantly while the other two died later at the hospital.

This was a very sad story and I haven’t even researched to find out if it is true. Because that isn’t the point of this posting. What I noticed was that about two dozen people had commented on the post and not one of them had ANY compassion for those who had (reported to have) been killed. NOT ONE.

My heart is breaking for this nation. What has happened to us that makes us so unconcerned with those who hold different opinions than we do? When did we become so calloused as to think someone deserves to die if they don’t share our political views (or social views)?

Wake up, Americans. No one, not even me, is promised tomorrow. We could step off a curb today into eternity. Do we really want to stand before the God who created the BIG BANG that created the universe and try to justify ourselves for the things that we are allowing to take place in this country? I don’t. I encourage you to stand up and fight for the downtrodden, the lost, the hurting, the orphans, the widows, and all those who disagree with you. Fight FOR them, not with them! It is our only hope….

Matthew 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,

Making Plans and Changing Lives

That’s what I started out intending to do today – make plans and change lives. I confess to not being very adept at it. You see, my personality type is one that is concerned more for what others want than what I want and consequently, whenever I try to make plans I am driven by my concern about the impact of MY plan on the lives of family members, friends, my church, the DOG! If I were a younger woman with family still at home or a job to consider then I think my general reticence to make a plan without taking into account its impact on everyone else would be a reasonable thing. The issue is that I have no family at home. It is just me and my little red wagon. That’s all. So why am I so concerned about the impact of MY plan on THEIR lives? I just don’t know. Anyway, I back-burnered the idea in favor of puttering around the house taking care of little things and generally relaxing.

This afternoon I was busily applying vinyl lettering to a wall in my den. The phrase I was placing there is one that I love so well and really reflects who I am. Plus, I had a blank space that was crying for some attention so I thought, why not? Well, let me tell you why not……

My son showed up just as I was finishing the task. And like all grown children, he thinks he has to comment on whatever his parent is doing. And for whatever reason, the comment was not encouraging or congratulatory. No, his concern was for his mother who has started “writing” on her walls. Perhaps she needs to talk to someone about her desire to mark up the walls? Perhaps the time had come to consider some sort of ‘community’ living arrangement. Was I lonely? Too much time on my hands? Do I need a hobby? I wasn’t amused.

Thankfully, I also wasn’t upset. I didn’t expect praise for what I was doing so his comments did not come as a shock nor did they upset the peaceful emotional balance in which I have come to dwell (thank you Jesus). I also didn’t feel the need to respond or defend myself – that, my friend, is a REAL milestone (again, thank you, Jesus!)

So there I was, busily rubbing the vinyl lettering on and chatting away with my son just as if he hadn’t said anything negative or rude or condescending. His words seemed to roll off of me like water off of the back of a duck.  And as we chatted I became even more aware of my desire to ‘hit the road’ so to speak.

Anyway, back to my point – I want to spend what remains of my time on this green earth doing something that brings me joy and draws others into the circle of love of the Master. I really am not particular about what that might be. I just want to get on with it. So today’s encounter with my son revealed that I have grown quite a bit and maybe, just maybe, this time I CAN make a plan without being concerned about what the rest of the family thinks or how it will impact their lives. Because the fact is, it won’t really affect their lives at all except that I may not be available all of the time to them whenever the fancy strikes them. And that’s probably a good thing – everybody has to stand on their own some time.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Life Happened While I Was Making Plans

Have you ever run across people who seem to know every step they are going to take in their lives? They seem to have goals and milestones set and they work their plan, striving to attain those goals and quite often they do, seemingly effortlessly. They have struggles and set-backs but those things never seem to change the outcome of the plan. They work the plan and plan the work and meet their goals. Period.

Today I am contemplating such people and I’m not sure I believe it any longer. I began wondering if someone who never deviates from their plan has either (1) never had an unexpected, life-changing event, or (2) they are lying, or (3) they are miserable, letting their life plan dictate their decisions. And then I realized that I have never actually had an intimate discussion with anyone about their life plans and how they got to where they are and just, exactly, where are they going. I’ve had talks with people who generally are on track with where they want to be in their lives, but never actually any in-depth discussion about the mishaps they may have encountered along the way. So, now I’m on a mission: what was your life plan at 20? At 30? At 40? At 50? At 60? Are the plans different?  Did they change significantly or are they basically the same? Were there hiccups in the road that caused major milestone shifts or are the major milestones intact?

It would be easy to gather the statistical information to analyze the what’s and wherefore’s of life-plan-deviation. Yet I am interested in something much more meaningful: I want to understand the emotional stressors that impact life plans. For instance, just how much stress has to be applied for the milestone “Medical School” to be changed to “Law School” or to be dropped entirely? Conversely, what events or emotions cause someone to add a milestone “Graduate School” to their life plan after they have already passed the “Thirtieth Birthday” milestone?

I think it would make for a very interesting study, and there is a facet of the study that really interests me the most, probably because I’ve been there. There are those people among us who have suffered such catastrophic life events that their life plans have been totally scrapped. Some pick up the pieces and try to devise new live plans, and others simply don’t even try – the devastation has rocked their world and they see no point in trying to direct anything any longer – it is enough to get through today.

These are the people I want to find. I want to embrace them, and cry with them – or hold their hands and commiserate with them. I want them to know they are not alone – that they are not the only people in the world whose life has turned upside down or has lost all meaning. I want to express the love of Christ to them, and let them know that He sees it all and He cries with them or rejoices with them. I want to let them know that it is all okay: God has a plan for their lives and He will bring it to pass. God is able to bypass and overcome all of the obstacles the enemy of their souls has placed in their paths. God loves them and wants them to live the life of an abundant spirit – drinking in the goodness of each day and rejoicing in the smallest victories.

That’s my mission today – seeking out those for whom life has happened while they were making plans!