At some point every mindful human being will ask him/herself these questions.
In some way or the other. Here they are:
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Where am I going?
Together with some good friends of mine I visited an old classmate of mine for the turn of the year last December in Budapest. Since I was the only theology student present I was asked to do a little “End of the Year” – devotional thought. With a “you-don’t-need-to-study-theology-to-give-a-devotion”-smile I gladly accepted to do it. I decided to answer those three vital questions by looking at the bible. I believe it is the Living Word of God and so it must also be able to answer them.
Let’s plunge right into the matter.
#1 – Who am I?
Well, I can not resist to bring up probably the most famous bible verse:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
What does the text say about me? It talks about the world. This world. The piece of rock you and I live on. It says God, the Eternal Father loved this world so much that He gave His Son, He gave everything (Romans 8:32) in order for us to be saved.
Ok. We know that.
We heard it a million times, but have we truly understood what kind of love that is?
And we probably never will fully understand. But isn’t that something?
I am loved by God. Let that sink in for a moment.
He. Loves. Me.
He doesn’t just accept me or like me. Nope, He loves me!
Check out what Isaiah has to say about this:
“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” – Isaiah 43:1-2
God obviously knows us. If He is the Creator that means He actually spent time to form you and He had to put His creativity into making you. He even went so far as to create you in His image (Genesis 1:28).
So God not only loved us, willing to give it all up for us, … no, He put time and effort into forming us and He wants to be close to us. We are of importance to Him.
So who am I?
I am a loved individual, made in the image of God.
This leads me to the next question.
#2 – Why am I here?
In the very beginning of the bible we’ll find an answer. According to Genesis 1:31 we were part of a “very good” creation. The logical conclusion is, that we were supposed to live a very good life. Actually, eternal life in happiness and joy. But we all know what happened:
Sin kicked in.
However! This did not stop God to offer a very good life for those who accept it. He says:
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.“ – Jeremiah 29:11
He is offering forgiveness from sin, eternal life and a plan of hope for me in a sinful world. All we have to do is to accept all these gifts. They’re for free!
So, we were created for a joyful life, huh? Interesting. Isn’t that what everybody is looking for? Happiness? And if possible for a long time? … like forever?
Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that God “has put eternity into man’s heart“. We strive to stay forever young and happy. And that is totally ok! We are wired that way, by God.
The cool thing is, that God is offering us the quality of eternal life, which is to know Him, (John 17:3) already now. Yes. Today.
So this is the purpose of our life: To live happy, eternally, endlessly falling in love with our Creator.
Finally, the last question.
#3 – Where am I going?
I believe, that the journey is the destination.
The answer to question #2 is in a sense the answer to this last question.
I mean, yes, eventually we all want to go to heaven, right? So that could be an answer.
But I believe Jesus’ statement in John 17:3 is very powerful and adds another consideration to the wish to be in heaven.
Jesus claims, that eternal life is to know God. If that is true then ‘heaven’ can start already today, right now. On this rock we live on.
So, what’s the answer?
Where am I going, after knowing that I am loved by God and that He has true happiness and eternal life in store for me?
There is only one rational, emotional and logical way to go:
To Him. The One who first loved us (1John 4:19). And to stay with Him. Every day. Forever.