Christian Philosophy Lite: No. 1 priority of life
By Raymond Smith
There is nothing more important in this life than settling our relationship with God. If there is a God and an afterlife, and we certainly do believe that, then it is foolhardy to use this life as a playground and risk whatever fate awaits us.
Millions of highly educated men and women down through the ages testify to a personal relationship with the Almighty that makes life meaningful and rewarding.
To find God, one must take time to consider him; his handiwork is all about us for those who have eyes to see. Oscar Wilde said, "A thing is, according to the mode in which one looks at it." William Blake, on the other hand, said "Where others see but the dawn coming over the hill, I see the sons of God shouting for joy." For the man with a closed mind, only some great adversity could open his eyes to reality. The farmer behind his plow was much more inclined to consider the wonders of God, than the modern who is caught up in today's fast pace of living.
It is God's wish that every person come to acknowledge him and become a disciple of his. Jeremiah 29:11 states, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future ... you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
The serious thinker is convinced that there is a purpose to our existence. Many believe that this life is a preparation for greater responsibilities in the future life. The idea of an afterlife is inescapable. The book of Ecclesiastes says that God has put eternity into the heart of man. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Many, who have had near-death experiences testify excitedly to the reality of heaven.
To get right with God, then, we must first look to his holy word - the writings of the early fathers, the prophets and the apostles. What we learn is that sinful man cannot find acceptance before a holy God. The Bible expressly states that there must be some kind of peace offering so we can have a relationship with him. That offering from earliest days was the shedding of innocent blood.
Blood is the lifeline, the most vital part of any created being. In early biblical days, it was the blood of animals that was to atone for men's sins, but in this new dispensation, it is the blood of God's only Son shed on a Roman cross.
While it is admittedly an awesome plan, it has a certain logic to it and it has worked to bring uncounted millions into the Kingdom of God. Living in that kingdom today makes life meaningful, gives us access to God through prayer, and a confidence of eternal life where we will see our creator face-to-face. We can do no good works to earn his favor; our salvation comes by faith in this Son who gave his life that we might live.
Raymond F. Smith is president of Strong Families of Victoria.