Meaning of Life

The Life Well Lived

Some years ago I was invited to deliver the high school graduation homily at my daughter’s graduation. Her classmate, who issued the invitation conversationally, called it a “brief address thingy.”

Since she put it like that, how could I refuse?

I didn’t really need any persuading. Having attended quite a few graduations before that, I’d had occasion to ponder what I’d want to preach at a graduation if I ever got that opportunity.

What I wanted to tell them is that, for a Christian, any kind of graduation is a major step forward in a life well lived—and if we want to understand what that means, there is no better-lived life than Jesus’ life. Philippians 2:5-10 provides a powerful summary.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth (NKJV)

I challenged the graduates that day with three observations about the life well lived. (The students had all studied Greek, so I brought a bit out.)

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What Is the Meaning of Life? Stewardship

A study by LifeWay Research several years ago found that 75% of the general population agreed with the statement, “There is an ultimate purpose and plan for every person’s life.” That number still seems surprisingly high to me. The same study found that 50% of those who never attend church services said there is no purpose or plan for human lives.

Though Christians are usually clear that there is purpose and meaning in life, many seem confused as to what exactly that purpose is. So my aim here is to answer what is really a pretty simple question:

What is the meaning of life?

A good place to research the meaning of life in Scripture is its beginning. When we look to Genesis, we find that our stewardship includes four things.

1. We’re stewards of ourselves.

We can infer much from the account of the creation of man.

[T]hen the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (ESV, Genesis 2:7)

The intimate act of God’s breathing into the first man to give him life, along with the revelation he was made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26), combine to teach us that were made to provide visible expression of some of what God is. We were made to make Him known.

This is where we see the first hint that we exist for God’s “glory.” His glory is His cavod (Heb.)—His weight, His true character.

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How Simone Biles Helps Us Understand Eric Liddell

By Jordan Standridge, reposted from The Cripplegate.

How many takes have you seen about Simone Biles and her decision to drop out of several events at the Olympics?

Everyone seems to have an opinion.

There are people that are angry at her. There are people that are thankful for her. There are people calling for more discussions about mental health. There are people blaming the horrid sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of Nassar. It seems like everyone is talking about it.

I happen to be re-reading Hamilton’s brilliant biography on Eric Liddell called For the Glory right now. And though Eric Liddell has always been a favorite missionary of mine, and his biographies have brought me often to tears, I never truly grasped the vitriol his country leveled at him after pulling out of the Olympics, as much as this week, after watching the response to the Biles situation.

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The Viewpoint of Ecclesiastes: Cynicism or Realism?

From Faith Pulpit, Winter 2012.

Qoheleth, the author of Ecclesiastes,1 looked at the various areas of life and concluded that everything was vanity.2 He started (1:2) and ended (12:8) his writing by stating, “vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” Is vanity, however, the theological message of Ecclesiastes? Or should it be understood in a more positive light? Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, co-authors of How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, take differing views: “[one of us] understands Ecclesiastes to be an expression of cynical wisdom, which serves as a kind of ‘foil’ regarding an outlook on life that should be avoided; [the other one of us] understands the book more positively, as an expression of how one should enjoy life under God in a world in which all die in the end.”3 So is Ecclesiastes a warning to us of the vanity of life outside of a relationship with God or a message of how one can enjoy life despite its vanity?

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More Americans are wondering about the meaning and purpose of life

"A study from Nashville-based Lifeway Research finds, compared to a decade ago, U.S. adults today are more likely to regularly wonder about meaning and purpose in this life but less likely to strongly believe finding a higher meaning and purpose is important." - BPNews

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