What’s the meaning of life? What am I here for? Where is life headed? What’s the greatest joy you can find? I wonder how you would answer those questions? How would you answer them if a friend asked you? We all live life looking for meaning in something. Where would you go to find an answer to those questions in the bible? What one verse or passage would you turn to and how would it help answer those?
We’ve recently started our formation discipleship course and for this first term we’re doing a Bible overview in 8 sessions looking to explore what God says we exist for, what he says the meaning of life is. In a nut shell I think the answer is found in John 17v3, as Jesus prays to his Father he says this “This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent – Jesus Christ.” If I was asked for one sentence that sums up the whole Bible that’s it for me. Why do we long for more? Because we were made in God’s image to know and enjoy him. What is the story of the Bible? It is the story of life and joy found in relationship with God, and then lost because of sin and rebellion. But it is the tenacious story of God’s faithful love and amazing grace in redeeming us in Jesus – bringing us back into relationship with him and giving us eternal life, that doesn’t just start when I die but now, and which one day I will enjoy undeterred, unfettered, and uninterrupted in his new creation when there will be no barrier to us enjoying him forever.
You can trace that story throughout the Bible’s pages, God’s gift of relationship with him and the life and joy that brings. And that’s exactly what we’ve been doing as we see Abraham called to walk with God and know God and talk with God. As we see Israel redeemed from slavery to be God’s people, a holy priesthood, to choose life as they choose God. It’s a great picture and so helpful for our hearts to remind ourselves what God has redeemed us for. That the true treasure is God himself, we are saved to know him in Jesus filled with his Spirit, given his word, invited to walk with him and enjoy life in him.
I can sometimes forget that. In the busyness and bustle. The habits and devotions. Sometimes I forget the plain and simple joy that I am called, and saved, to know God. That is where eternal life is. And it’s all gift.