< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: What is the meaning of life?

Friday, January 19, 2007

What is the meaning of life?

Christians are told that the chief aim of life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. To glorify God means to reflect Him so that others see Him through you. Jesus did this on earth. He tells us in the Bible “when you see me, you have seen the Father.” Our goal is to become like Christ, which then glorifies God. To enjoy Him forever is to know that whatever is happening, you are in His hands, He will take care of you, and having peace with that.

There is a wonderful story called ‘The Refiner’ that is based on a verse, Malachi 3:3. “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver” and also on Isaiah 48:10 which says, “Behold, I have refined you, but not with silver, I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.” The story goes, “I heard a silversmith talk about refining silver. He said, “I must sit with my eyes steadily fixed on the furnace. The silver is too precious to risk losing. If the time necessary for refining were exceeded by the slightest degree, the silver will be injured. If I take it out of the furnace too early – it won’t be purified. When the silver is in the furnace I must focus on it and not let anything distract me, waiting for the exact moment to take it out. I know the silver is pure when I can see my face reflected there.”

If our goal is to become more like Christ, to reflect God, this story tells us that trials are a necessary part of the process. When a trial comes my way, my first inclination is to ask God to save me from it. But, sometimes He doesn’t save me! He is the great silversmith. While I’m in the furnace He focuses and watches. His job isn’t a quick rescue mission. His job is to purify. He has plans for us and will never forsake us!

God’s grace is sufficient.

We fulfill what we are meant to do when God is recognizable in us! To Glorify God is to show Him to the world!

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