Have you ever wondered why God created man and what is His will for us? How can we please God? Does God have a reward system? Does He favour some more than others? I believe we can have a better understanding of God and the answers to these questions if we come to know the implicit relationship between God and man.
St. Paul gave the pagan men of Athens a brief introduction to Christianity: “For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being; for we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God have overlooked, and now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:23-31). Are we any different from the men of Athens? Do we see ourselves as God’s offspring? Do we have other idols before Him, like money and worldly possessions? Are we repentant of our idolatry and open to His saving grace?
Jesus said: “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (…) The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (John 17:1-3; 22-23) Do we know God the Father and His son Jesus Christ? How can we know that we know them? How can we become perfectly one in God?
St. John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, taught: “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. (…) Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them. (…) Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of possessions—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (…) Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.” (1 John 2:3-29) How can we know what love is, and how we should love our brothers and sisters in Christ?
St. John said: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (…) This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. (…) This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be that person? Dear friends, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask; because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” (1 John 3:1-24)
I believe the above scripture passages have answered all the questions I have started out with at the beginning of this article. According to St. Paul, God created man to seek Him, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. The Apostle also said: “In him we live and move and have our being; for we are indeed his offspring.” God’s will for us is to know Him and His son Jesus Christ and to remain in them. For those who do His will He will give them eternal life. God loves each of us as He loves His son, Jesus. We can choose to live in union with God by keeping His commands and doing what pleases Him. His command is to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another. It is entirely up to us to acknowledge God as our Father by believing in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ. (John 1:12-13) Meanwhile, He is waiting for us like the compassionate and loving Father in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32).
Here’s a video presentation of God’s love letter to each of us. Will you accept His invitation to be His child?