God’s Dream: Story of God

My son Cooper was born and lived three and a half years of his life in Africa. He is five now and is wrestling with the fact that his skin color is manyshades darker than the rest of his family’s. He keeps running his hand up and down my arm and asking me, “Where can we go, so I can get skin like this?”

He’s not speaking with knowledge of the painful history of his skin color in our country yet. He just wants to be like his family. His identity is unique in our family. So he quietly asks me as we lay in bed before prayers:

“Why did God make me born in Africa?”

“Why did God put me in another mommy’s tummy?”

“Why did God make me?”

My five-year-old needs to know his life was on purpose and for a purpose. He wants to know he wasn’t an accident. Cooper will never make sense of his life until he understands God’s bigger, eternal story, and how the God who made him placed him in his spot. It’s a big earth, and when Cooper studies it, he sees countries separated by a huge ocean and he feels lost and small in it.

My sense is Cooper is not the only one.

I think a lot of us feel lost and small.

We all want to know we are not accidents. We all want to know our stories are going somewhere on purpose. Something deep down inside us is made to live for a story bigger than ourselves—the story of the one who made us. Any other version of this story will consistently feel shallow and empty.

And because of that we desperately want to find “God’s will for me.” We want to know we exist on purpose and for a purpose. We often try to find “God’s will for me” without simply first understanding God’s will. But we will only ever discover his will for us within God’s will for this earth, for eternity, and for his people. We were made for this story-his story. And yes, he wrote little parts for each of us in his story. Or else we wouldn’t exist.

Respond:

What is most difficult for you to believe about God’s story?

How confident are you that God has specific purposes for your story? What difference has that made to you?

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God’s Purpose: Giving Meaning to Life

The broad question that the writer of Ecclesiastes seeks to answer is, “Is there any meaning to the time that I spend in this world?” We put on a man’s tombstone that he was born on a certain date and that he died on a certain date. Between these two poles of time we live our lives. The basic question is, “Does my life have meaning?”

A common refrain echoed in Ecclesiastes is that there is futility, vanity, and “nothing new under the sun.” If our lives begin under the sun as a cosmic accident, a result of random collisions and mutations of inert matter, and if our ultimate destiny is to return to the dust that bore us, there can be no purpose.

When we cease to look “under the sun” and seek our destiny “under heaven,” we find our purpose. Our origin was not in the primordial soup but in the very hands of God, who shaped us and breathed life into us. Our destiny is not to return to dust, but to give honor and praise to God forever. Under heaven we find purpose. If we have God as our origin and as our destiny, between those poles there is purpose and meaning.

The writer answers the question with a resounding “Yes!” There is a reason for our lives. There is a reason for our suffering and a reason for our pain. There is also a reason for our joy.

New 2 Faith: “Fellowship with Christians”

Giving encouragement, love, and strength to other believers is one of our greatest priorities. The fact is that we need each other. That is how God designed it. God doesn’t want anyone to “go it alone.”

The truth is that building relationships with other Christians is crucial to our own growth. God often sets up “divine appointments” for us to minister to or encourage one another as maybe only we can.

The principle of strength in numbers applies even to Christians, and having strong relationships with fellow believers helps us grow in our walk with God!

God’s plan in establishing the local church was for you to be connected to other believers. Get involved and enjoy the benefits of giving and receiving blessings from your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ!