The Good News – Made to Know God

Most people at some time in their lives wonder what it’s all about. Why do they exist? What is the purpose of it all? Of course we don’t spend all our time thinking about that. We’re too busy getting the breakfast, brushing our teeth and going to work or school. But occasionally, perhaps in a quiet moment or when something significant happens, we wonder what it’s all about.

The truth is, that the way most of us live, gives us an idea of what we actually think our purpose is. The person who gives it all at work perhaps thinks it’s about making money or achieving some kind of success. The person who is always going to see different places or try different things thinks it’s all about exciting life experiences. And the person who is devoted to family, sacrificing so that the children or grandchildren can succeed thinks it’s all about family.

But often these purposes go wrong. How often do we read of the money-driven person who has made all that they could possibly have hoped for and yet still isn’t happy? Or perhaps the experience driven person who as they age can’t do the thing they want to? Or the family-focused person who falls out with their children? And even if everything goes well and we succeed in all we seek to do and find a measure of happiness, we all know that this is temporary. We’re all born, live and die however effectively we think we’re achieving our purposes.

In church, we’ve recently been thinking about a summary of the Christian message to help us explain what we believe to people who don’t really know about the Good New of Jesus. The summary that we’re looking at is from a booklet called Knowing God Personally, which breaks the message down into four points. The first is:

God loves you and created you to know Him personally.

If that’s true then it gives us a wonderful purpose – an eternal relationship with a God who perfectly loves us. The Bible is crystal clear about each of those things.

God Loves Us

The Bible tells us repeatedly that God loves us:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

(John 3:16 NIV)

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

(Romans 5:8 NIV)

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

(1 John 4:10 NIV)

It’s important to see how God’s love for us is shown in what Jesus, his Son, the Christ did for us. But more of that in a later post! For now we can see that the Bible clearly teaches that God loves us. Maybe that’s a surprise to you if you thought God a kind of distant and severe disciplinarian or perhaps that he was a higher being who couldn’t possibly be interested in you.

God Created Us

You maybe know the story of Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden. There the Bible teaches us that all of the universe was created by God and in particular human beings were created specially by him in his image (so we reflect God himself in some ways).

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

(Gen. 1:27 NIV)

That wasn’t just the first humans though. King David, perhaps the most famous king of Israel and also a writer of songs wrote this:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

(Psalm 139:13-14 NIV)

Perhaps you thought your existence was just some kind of cosmic accident and basically just a meaningless chance. Well that isn’t true. God created you and loves you.

We are made to know God

Finally God made us to know him. When God made Adam and Eve it is clear that he had a relationship with them (see for example Genesis 2:15-16 and Genesis 3:8-9). That is what we were made for – it’s our purpose. So the gift of eternal life that is available to those who believe in Jesus (John 3:16) is defined like this:

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

(John 17:3 NIV)

Now I suppose it should be obvious that this is the most wonderful purpose we could have – to really know the God of the universe. Again this is tied to believing in Jesus, who says this:

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

(John. 10:10 NIB)

Maybe you struggle to see what the purpose of life is or more specifically what your purpose is. Maybe you’ve realised that the things you’ve been chasing – money, success, family, relationships or whatever it is – don’t really provide anything ultimately or securely meaningful. Well the Bible is speaking about what it is to have a full and purposeful life with a relationship with the living God who loves you. Surely that’s something worth investigating!

That leaves us with a question though. Why don’t people know God personally? We’ll think about that in the next post (or you can have a look ahead in Knowing God Personally).