Herald Journal Columns
Jan. 5, 2004 Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

What is the purpose God has given us for this life on earth?

By Rev. Kevin Opatz, Good News Church, Howard Lake

One of the most popular Christian books on the market today is "The Purpose Driven Life."

In the first two chapters of Genesis, scripture gives us the four main purposes for mankind. Our purpose is closely associated with a very important aspect ­ our very reason for living.

The first major purpose projected in Genesis is simply fellowship with God. Man's creation began with a spoken word, and God hasn't stopped speaking.

At the heart of God is His desire to fellowship with His most precious creation ­ us. God's presence in the garden was a constant with man, and that principle will never change.

In fact, Satan's primary emphasis is severing that relationship of man with God. He does this by separating the word of God over our lives from its reality in our lives. Through deception we are enticed to leave behind God's presence of word and spirit. We then succumb to living a life through mere intellect and emotion rather than spirit to spirit as God intended.

The fellowship man had with God initiated our second major purpose in life.

God spoke to man and assigned him the task of cultivating the garden. He was placed in the garden to tend and care for it. Adam began naming the animals while God was right there with him. It was the place God had put him. It was the duty God appointed for him.

We all have places and activities designed for us. Sometimes they change, but we'll always have a garden to cultivate. Certainly our workplace, school, and family are applicable.

But, the real beginning point to watch over and nurture is the soil of our own heart. The Bible says that out of the heart will flow the issues of life.

Thirdly, God purposed man to rule over the earth. This was for the mutual benefit of both. God's provisional word for man in the garden contained only one do not ­ do not partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Man, again, was to take dominion through fellowship with God. Obey his directives and rulership would be a cinch. The perversion (wars, pollution, poverty, etc.) we see in man's rulership position over the earth is a direct result of relationship interferance.

Our "in touch" relationship with God has waned and man acts on his "better idea."

Lastly, man was made and mandated to be fruitful and multiply. Jesus expressly states that His disciples/followers would be known by the fruit they exhibited. One of these prominent fruits is love. Passionate, unconditional, unfailing love.

First, a love for God, which develops through constant fellowship. Second, a love for mankind. Remember God did state that it was not good for man to be alone. He would be complete only through relationships with others, as well as God.

This also is the primary essence to multiplying. A command to make disciples of all nations by way of people and God intimacy. By keeping these major purposes before us we can better understand that which God has specifically called us to in our mission in life.

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