The Meaning of Life: We Are Here to Love & Worship God
In our investigation of the meaning of life, we ask: Why are we here?
Last week we said one reason is to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. As Jesus told us in Matthew 22:37: We are to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” But how do we do that?
First, is that we are to put God, not others, first. Some people turn this around and put others first. But that’s not what Jesus said, is it? Doing good works, helping others, feeding the hungry, helping the poor and the sick—these are in the second part of Jesus’s command. The first part is to love God, and without that, the second is of no use. It’s a matter of priorities.
We love God by putting him first, by not creating idols that supersede or overshadow God’s place in our lives. The first two commandments Moses received on Mt. Sinai deal with those things. God is to be the first and only God in our lives. The third commandment, “Don’t misuse God’s name,” is one that too many people ignore. There are even websites whose very name takes the Lord’s name in vain. We are to keep his name holy because God is holy. So putting God above all other things—money, career, sex, hobbies, friends—that’s of utmost importance.
Next we are to worship God on a regular basis. We can only do this in a community of Christians. In Western culture this is usually, but not necessarily, on Sunday mornings.
Note that we come to faith individually, but it cannot end there. We must worship God with others. This means gathering with other Christians in both large and small groups. In the large group gathering we can experience a tiny slice of what it will be like in heaven, singing and praising God en masse. It also provides a venue for hearing teaching and preaching. In the small group gathering, we can share meals together, discuss, and ask questions, do in-depth Bible studies, make friends, and live life together. That’s what we try to do in the community group that meets at our home each week. And it’s a necessary part of Christian life.
So we worship God in both large and small gatherings. We sing praises to him.
What else do we do? We obey him. 1 John 2:3–6 (NLT): “3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4 If someone claims, ‘I know God,’ but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.”
Also part of obeying God is serving Him. Doing good works. Helping others. Fulfilling the second great commandment to love others. James 2:17 (NLT): “17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.”
Another part of loving God is knowing Him. So we study and learn and pray to Him on a daily basis. Prayer is communication with God. Prayer involves praising Him, bringing petitions to Him, and asking for His guidance.
Worship. Praise. Christian community. Service. Obedience. Loving others through good deeds. Seeking him through knowledge and prayer. I’m sure there are ways I’ve missed. But that’s how we love God. That’s why we are here.
Next time we’ll look at the second part of why we are here.