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What on earth are we here for?
you can hear a MP3 recording of sermon here
Sunday, 2nd March, 2014

 I don't want to survive. I want to live.

So says Solomon Northup in 12 years a slave.
It is deep in our mind that there is more to life than just the  of the species.  Charles Darwin wrote a book
called   On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.  And it has been made the foundation of an mind-set since. Whatever your views on evolution, it is tragic that his work led to justifying fascism, and a mindless tumble into chaos, based on the false premise that there is nothing else to life than an evolutionary spiral.


Most of us do not think we are just here to survive, that maybe how we feel after a hard week, a bad cold or a tragedy in the family but something deep inside of us cries out that there is more to life than survival, we want to live! And what is more we want to live forever!


Our question this morning is

What on earth am I here for?

Your answer will depend on your world view. And right from the start a Christian’s answer to this question it is totally at odds with most other world views.

My first answer is our verse for the year:

 God knows the plans he has for you.

This statement, as does much of the Bible, turns the question of “What on earth am I here for?”  into “what is God’s purpose for you?” You have a destiny solely because God has given you one. You are part of his vast eternal plan and you are not just a bit player, an extra with a walk-on part, you are the reason for creation. But before we get carried away with grandiose dreams of our destiny we need to keep in mind that the universe does not revolve around us, but it is created by God for himself.

 Listen to these words:

Genesis 1:1-25


Did you hear the repeated refrain? “God saw that it was good  The universe is a creation of God who is pleased with what he created. He does not like sin but he loves his creation. God’s plans are good and for good.

It’s not about you, it’s about Jesus.

Most religion and philosophy starts from me and reaches out to understand the world I live in.

Liz was once driving her nephew round Chelmsford and made a wrong turn. He said, helpfully

“Can we get there from here?”

The mathematical answer to road systems is yes, we can but it is rather a tall order to assume that starting with us we can make sense of life, the universe and everything.

We need to seek God first, then there is purpose. Without God, purpose is ego-centric, aimless and finite. When  the Bible says “The fool says in his heart  ‘There is no God’” it is not intending to be abusive, it is setting out the problem of direction. Without revelation, there is constantly competing purposes that lead nowhere.

 Not only can you not find purpose but you are out of sync with the universe. Everything in life is created by God for Jesus. 


Listen to this:

 Colossians 1:15-20


Let’s go back to the creation story and read on.

Genesis 1:26-28

What have we just read in Colossians 1?

The Son is the image of the invisible God,

Jesus is the image of the invisible God and you and I were created not to be advanced animals but to be Christ-like

You are intentionally created not to be a upright citizen or effective worker or to travel the world or whatever we use to fill this gaping hole of what on earth are we here for? We were created to be Christ-like.


While we live as if we can be independent of God, we are always pulling ourselves to bits. Something like loading the clothes in the dishwasher. You get a result but its may not be the cleanest wash you hoped for. How about using screwdriver to chisel wood. It is not designed for that job and it makes a poor job of it.


You are at your best when you are living the way Jesus calls us to in the gospels. Your body works better, your mind is improved, your emotions are transformed and your spirit is given life because you are ‘in Christ’  Being born again is the pinnacle of God’s creation because that was God’s desire, to have a created human race that would live forever in his presence and to bring joy to his heart. That is why the crucifixion is the centre-piece of God’s plan. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.


Now this amazing understanding of God’s world view has some great consequences.

You are not an accident

This is very important to know. God created you to love with you share eternity with you. If you were unwanted by your parents, you were certainly wanted by God. There are no illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents. We need to get that into our heads because society around us is rejecting marriage, family, and the security of committed relationships. God is not like fallen humans.

Psalm 139:13-16.


You are not just a part of God’s plan but a specific person  whom God wants to love and win your affections and loyalty.

 Listen to Jeremiah 31:3

 The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.


 God has the capacity to handle 60 billion lives at the same time, so you are not forgotten, not a side-show, he loves you.


 What drives your life?


This is a serious question for the believer. It is a serious question when the children leave home if our reason to be is the family. It is a serious question when you retire because it is then that we discover how much we think our identity lies in our job. It is a serious question when you lose a spouse because you have lived for your partner and now that reason for living has departed. It is a serious question when your dreams don’t work out and you realise you will never play for England, be a brain surgeon, or a pop-star. It is a serious question when your health falls apart for whatever reason.  But the message to today is that God knows the plans he has for you, plans for good, even if you are alone on the world, without partner, job, spouse, or dreams. He wants to walk with you where you are now, demonstrating his power to transform every situation by the presence of the Holy Spirit. You do not have to just survive, you can live!


Designed for living. Engineered to last.

So Ford advertised their cars which last about 10 years. But God has plans for eternity for you.

Life is on earth is temporary

 Hebrews 13:14

 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.


God has a robust plan for you. A plan that deals with the day-to-day and also looks forward to eternity. To live Christ-like lives, we, like Jesus himself, need to recognise the long-term objective while living for today. His mission was to bring forgiveness and healing through his death on the cross, but that did not interfere with his compassion for the individual and the crowd who needed compassion on the way.


 The universal plan is for us to be in the image of God – to be Christ-like The cross makes this possible because it deals with our sin. Heaven is where we are going! Live the hope but also live the life that God intends now. We each have a destiny in Christ, he has a plan to demonstrate his love in  and through you. Discover it and live it!

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