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What is humankind's primary purpose?

"Humankind's primary purpose is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."

So says the opening Q&A of The Westminster Shorter Catechism (in Modern English). That means praising God is our top priority, from which everything else - mission, evangelism, pastoral care, &c - springs. And it stands to reason: the more we exalt God, the more we magnify his glory, the more convincing our testimony. To certain people, and to all of us in certain seasons of life, that will come naturally. But what happens if we are new to faith, or we have grown cold and stale?

I'd like to commend 'A Life On Our Planet' by David Attenborough. It's not a Christian production, nor does it acknowledge the Creator, so far as I recall. But in the way that this seasoned reporter presents the wonders of the natural world - both in the superlative sense of its vastness and in the minute detail which the microscope reveals - one cannot but be amazed at the extraordinary complexity, beauty and integrity of it all. One cannot but gaze in wonder and, from the Christian's perspective, be bowled over by the sheer power and artistry of the Creator and the privilege we enjoy in knowing Him and relating to Him.

Now isn't that something to propel anyone into an evangelistic mindset? Behold the wonder of Creation and let me introduce you to the One who made it all, who looks after it and who even has a plan to heal all the damage we are doing to it... This not only works with Attenborough's films, it can work with any documentary concerning the natural world and the universe. But make no mistake, without reference to Almighty God, there is a poignancy to them all because everything looks programmed to decline and self-destruct. Yet, seen through the lens of faith, we glimpse another, far more positive perspective. For God's intention is to renew everything, so that rather than destruction: a New Heaven and a New Earth. Now isn't that even more compelling and motivating?



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