QUESTION: What is the chief end of man?
ANSWER: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!
The question and answer above come from the Westminster Catechism. Some of you grew up memorizing the Catechism. For others of you, the term may be brand new. When the Church of England was going through its stage of restructuring the Assembly decided it was important to clearly lay out what they believed. The Assembly at Westminster gave birth to The Westminster Confession of Faith, The Westminster Larger Catechism, and the Westminster Shorter Catechism. The catechisms were used to instruct the congregants in matters pertaining to their faith. The question above is the very first question in both of those catechisms.
I hope you will take time to memorize this question and answer because it offers tremendous comfort to the Christian pilgrim. Read it again. Meditate on it.
Now think of all the answers this question could have had, meditate on your own private answer. Which one do you find brings the most peace to your soul?
I hope you see my point here. However, just in case. . .
· The answer could have been that your purpose in life was to keep all the commandments. Well, we all know how we do with those!
· The answer could have been that you were supposed to give up all your earthly possessions and live your life in some cave in the middle of nowhere.
· The answer could have been that you had to perform some quest of legendary significance.
· The answer could have been that you had to right some universal wrong or bring justice to some horrific situation in some far away land.
No! No! No! And again, No! Now engaging to some degree in any of those may be wonderful undertakings, and, in fact, they may bring great spiritual blessings to you. But, when it comes down to God’s greatest wish for you? He wants you to praise His name for what He has done, and He wants you to enjoy your relationship with Him. Christianity should be fun! It should be a blessing! It should bring joy into your life!
Your Heavenly Father does not highlight your failures. The scrapbook with your name on it that sits on his shelf is not a collection of your most embarrassing moments. No, it is a memory of your closest time with God that is so precious to you because that is precious to Him as well. It remembers the time on your knees when you confessed with tears, not because of your tears or your guilt, but because when you got back on your feet you knew you were clean! What a joy our relationship with Christ becomes when we recognize that is indeed the God we worship, serve, glorify, and enjoy forever!