Most people ask that question at some point in their lives. Some believe the answer is random chance—that there is no purpose to the universe. Others, including those who believe in a Christian God, answer that God created us for His purposes. The first question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?” with the answer being, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”
This past week I was reading through Isaiah when I came to chapter 43. I think that Isaiah 43:1 – 7 is my favorite passage in the entire Bible. (Read these verses and think about how much God loves you.)
I’m in the middle of raising the funds needed for my mission trip to Swaziland this October. A number of exceedingly generous people have contributed to my church account, but I have a long way to go. I admit, I’m struggling.
It’s not that I doubt God’s ability to provide. Pete and I have a long track record of God meeting our every need, even when things looked humanly impossible. My God is a God of miracles.
It’s not that I doubt my “call” to go on this trip. God clearly told me to go. I hadn’t even considered going to Swaziland before I heard his prompting, so I know I wasn’t confused by my own desires. The way he has put his motivation into my heart confirms his direction.
No, the problem is that I have a hard time asking anyone for money.
Last Sunday Pete and I helped people register to vote. We always vote in elections, and we enjoyed encouraging others to register as well. Our church had several tables set up around the hallways and café area, and our small group volunteered to provide the manpower. We had a short training talk, and then headed out with our clipboards, forms, and big smiles.
Most of the people we talked to were already registered. Others had recently moved and needed to “re-up.” It took all of five minutes to fill out the form, sign their name, and become eligible to vote in the upcoming election.
What surprised us, however, were the approximately 5% of people who refused to register or vote. As I pondered their various reasons for not voting, I began to wonder. Should Christians vote? Is it important? Does God care one way or the other? I did some research online and found that, like many issues, this one is a bit controversial. Here’s my opinion. I’d be interested to hear what you think, as well.
I’ve been reading a really good book lately. It’s called Why Don’t I Get What I Prayed For?, by John W. Cowart. I think you should read it too.
We’ve all dealt with unanswered prayer. From the “testing God” demands of our Christian babyhood (God, give me a parking spot right now!) to earnest, faith-filled supplication for the healing of someone we love, we don’t get everything we ask for—at least not in the form we expect. Is God not there? Is He not listening? Maybe He doesn’t love us—or maybe we’re just not good enough. Even though we know better, thoughts like these tend to run through our heads when we’re frustrated, overwhelmed, or angry at God.
Why do you go to church?
I hadn’t really thought about it before… that’s what Christians do, right? But then several people challenged my assumptions, and this question has been nagging me ever since.
I didn’t always go to church. My family wasn’t “religious” and church wasn’t part of my childhood. When I became a believer, at the end of my freshman year in college, all my Christian friends assumed I’d be going to church with them—so I did. I’ve been attending church regularly ever since.
Recently, during my search for a meaningful church experience, I re-examined my purpose in attending a weekend service. What was the point? I searched through scripture, talked to friends, and read books and articles. Along the way, I learned a few things.