by C. W. Naylor

The Bible tells us that God created man and clearly implies that all the rest of the material creation of earth was for his benefit and for his use. But what purpose had God in creating man? Did God make him simply to gratify a desire to make something new? Is his existence the result of some mere whim? When God created him, did he expect to give him no further attention? The Bible tells us plainly that God had a distinct purpose, and that his creation was for God's own purpose, not simply that man might exist. Speaking of man, he says, "The work of my hands, that I may be glorified" (Isaiah 60:21). Again, he says, "For I have created him for my glory" (Isaiah 43:7).

That man was endowed with natural faculties that make it possible for him to know God and to communicate with him, to understand his will, and to obey him, and to find his highest pleasure in all these, shows that the purpose of man's life is something very exalted. It is possible for him to debase his powers, to put them to ignoble purposes, and to fail entirely of the true purpose of his life. He may develop his physical being and bring it to a high state of perfection, so that he is an athlete. He may be in perfect health. He may conform to the law of his physical being and be worthy of the admiration of his fellows. He may develop his mind until he reaches out into the starry heavens and reads the secrets of the planets. He may delve into philosophy and into science until his mental faculties are enriched and highly developed. He may grapple with the great problems of life and solve them. He may fill the chair of some great university. Men may marvel at his learning. He may be eloquent until he can sway the multitudes. He may rise to eminence in the political world and be famous. Men may admire and respect and honor him, but the perfect body and the highly developed mind, or these two united, do not make a perfect man.

Sooner or later disease will seize upon that body. Sooner or later that mind will lose its brilliance and its power. The end is but the grave. What then? Shall we say that a man who has lived only for his body and for his mind has truly lived , has truly fulfilled the purpose of his creation? Not so. He has omitted from his life that which is highest and best. He has failed to develop that spiritual element which is his real self, that element which will live on forever. He has starved and neglected it, and it has withered away, overshadowed by the other parts of his being. If a man forgets his soul, if he makes no preparation for the life that is life indeed, there is no symmetry in his life. It is unbalanced and incomplete. No matter what his success in other lines, his life is a failure. No matter how much wealth he may amass, how much he may win, nor how much of anything of earth may be his, it must end with the word "failure," for he has not lived for God. He was created for God's glory, but how much has his life subserved that glory? Has he honored God? Has he served him? Has he fitted himself for his society in the world to come? The man who fails to develop his mind and then is brought into the society of men of learning feels at once and feels most keenly how he has neglected himself and how hampered he is in his associations with them, how unfit he is to enjoy their society, and how little such society can really mean to him. So the man who neglects his spiritual life, when he shall come into the presence of God will find himself wholly unfit to mingle in the society of heaven. His soul-faculties will not be able to respond to the influences of that place. In fact, it would be torment to him to be there and constantly feel his unfitness.

There is but one true purpose in life. All other things are subsidiary to it. If we fill our life with trifles, with things that amount to nothing, shall we not reap the trifler's reward? God desires our services. He desires union with us. He desires to be honored and worshiped by us - not simply for some selfish interest; for when we give to him that which belongs to him, we do for ourselves that which is best and highest. And when we refuse to give him that which belongs to him and that which he has a right to expect of us, we are injuring ourselves and are placing barriers before our own souls. We are destroying our own selves.

Let me ask, what is the purpose of your life? What is your life amounting to? Are you spending it for God? Are you developing your soul, your spiritual faculties and powers? What will your life profit you if you are not? Shall you endure the things of this life, its cares, its sorrows, its heartaches, toil on till its end, only to have "Failure" written over it at the last? Be wise. God has given you intelligence. Use it for his glory. Neglect not your soul, that priceless treasure which must somewhere spend eternity, the eternity for which you are now preparing it.

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