What on Earth Am I Here For?

Everyone in your congregation wants to know if life really matters. Members, visitors, even your staff want to know, “What on earth am I here for?”

They’re asking three basic questions:

First, there’s the question of existence: Why am I alive? For thousands of years people have asked this question. Many people of the Bible did. Jeremiah asked this question: “Why was I born? Was it only to have trouble and sorrow? To end my life in disgrace?”

Second, there’s the question of significance. Is there some meaning and purpose to my life? Is all that I’m doing just a waste of time and energy? Is my life significant?

In Psalm 89, David asked, “I remember how short my life is [in other words, it’s not that long]. Why did You create us? For nothing?”

Job asked the question, “Why should I work so hard for nothing?” If there’s no meaning and purpose, why am I even doing this?

Solomon even questions the significance of pleasure. He says, “Laughing and having fun is crazy. What good does it do?” Is there any significance to what I do? Why keep going? Without meaning life is petty, trivial and pointless.

Third, there’s the question of intention: “Is there a purpose for my life?” Isaiah said this: “My work all seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and for no purpose at all.”

The British philosopher Bertrand Russell, who described himself as an atheist, said, “Unless you assume a God, the question of the purpose of life is meaningless.” In other words, if there is no God, there is no grand scheme or significance to anything. If there is no God, your birth was an accident. You simply represent a random chance. If there is no God, there is no right or wrong and no Heaven or Hell.

This is why it is so important that we teach our people that God made each one of them for a purpose. They need to know nothing matters more than knowing God’s purpose for their lives, and nothing can compensate for not knowing it—not success, wealth, fame or pleasure.

We need to teach that without purpose, life is motion without meaning, activity without direction and events without reason; yet, it’s never too late to discover our God-ordained purpose. They need to understand God makes everything with a purpose. Every plant has a purpose, every animal has a purpose, and if you are alive, that means God has a purpose for your life.

The Bible teaches that God had five purposes in making us. These five purposes are explained by Jesus in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. They’re demonstrated by the early church in Acts, chapter 2. They’re explained by Paul in Ephesians, chapter 4, and they’re prayed about by Jesus in John, chapter 17.

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Rick Warren
Dr. Rick Warren is passionate about attacking what he calls the five “Global Goliaths” – spiritual emptiness, egocentric leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease, and illiteracy/poor education. His goal is a second Reformation by restoring responsibility in people, credibility in churches, and civility in culture. He is a pastor, global strategist, theologian, and philanthropist. He’s been often named "America's most influential spiritual leader" and “America’s Pastor.