Opportunistic Christians.

An infinite God created a finite world in Genesis 1. God exists in the eternal present, but humanity lives within the bounds of time. What is the proper use of a Christian's time and resources? The first three questions in the Westminster Catechism give simple answers to biblically appropriate questions about the purpose of mankind.

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

Q. 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.

Q. 3. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A. The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God and what duty God requires of man.1

The chief purpose of mankind has never changed. Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Jesus Christ is "the radiance of [God's] glory and the exact representation of His nature." Christ is the only way we can glorify God forever. The purpose of our lives is to participate in His mission. And God has a specific plan for how that will look in each person's life.

A Divine Perspective

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 gives us some insight on God's view of time. God works and orchestrates all circumstances to glorify Himself and draw people to Him. It does no good for us to get wrapped up in what we can't understand. We simply trust in God's sovereignty.

Ephesians 5:15-16 is a clear instruction regarding Christians' use of time. In the context of the chapter, our time is another aspect of imitating God and His character. All the world knows to do is evil, as reflected in Ephesians 5:3-6. Believers no longer operate under darkness but shine the light of Christ. The command is to be wise by making the most of our time. The word for "making the most" has been translated "redeeming," but the idea in the original language is not to buy back. It is the concept of buying up or taking something off the market. From the individual sphere to our corporate witness, we must make sure we have an influence on people in darkness.

Application Points

  • Human beings cannot comprehend an infinite God. We must know Him through His Son. Do you know Jesus Christ? Does He know you?
  • Is the purpose of your life to participate in God's mission? Ask God to show you what an evangelistic and disciple-making life should look like for you.
  • Are you shining the light of Christ to those around you? Who in your sphere of influence needs to know Christ? How can you set aside specific time to do this?

Tools for Further Study

A Hymn to Encourage: "O Word of God Incarnate"

O Word of God incarnate, O Wisdom from on high,
O Truth unchanged, unchanging, O Light of our dark sky:
We praise you for the radiance That from the hallowed page,
A lantern to our footsteps, Shines on from age to age.

The Church from her dear Master Received the gift divine;
And still that light is lifted Over all the earth to shine.
It is the chart and compass That, all life’s voyage through,
Mid mists and rocks and quick sands Still guides, O Christ, to you.

Oh, make your Church, dear Savior, A lamp of purest gold
To bear before the nations Your true light as of old!
Oh, teach your wandering pilgrims By this their path to trace
Till, clouds and darkness ended, They see you face to face!

1 Copied from Reformed.org.