Man’s Great End … from The Valley of Vision

LORD OF ALL BEING,

There is one thing that deserves my greatest care, that calls forth my ardent desires,

That is, that I may answer the great end for which I am made – to glorify thee who hast given me being, and to do all the good I can for my fellow men;

Verily, life is not worth having if it be not improved for this noble purpose.

Yet, Lord, how little is this the thought of mankind!

Most men seem to live for themselves, without much of any regard for thy glory, or for the good of others;

They earnestly desire and eagerly pursue, the riches, honours, pleasures of this life, as if they supposed that wealth, greatness, merriment, could make their immortal souls happy;

But, alas, what false delusive dreams are these!

And how miserable ere long will those be that sleep in them, for all our happiness consists in loving thee, and being holy as thou art holy.

O may I never fall into the tempers and vanities, the sensuality and folly of the present world!

It is a place of inexpressible sorrow, a vast empty nothenness;

Time is a moment, a vapour, and all its enjoyments are empty bubbles, fleeting blasts of wind, from which nothing satisfactory can be derived;

Give me grace always to keep in covenant with thee, and to reject as delusion a great name here or hereafter, together with all sinful pleasures or profits.

Help me to show continually that there can be no true happiness, no fulfilling of thy purpose for me, apart from a life lived in and for the Son of thy love.

From The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions pgs 22-23 editor Arthur Bennett

(Note: HIGHLY RECOMMEND this little book … spend a few extra dollars and get the leather-bound edition … it could be a part of your personal library for a long time.)

Perhaps you are familiar with The Westminster Shorter Catechism of 1647. It poses and answers the question …

What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

Which in one way or another seems to be the point of the devotional above … A few supporting Scripture references always help me validate what I’ve read apart from the Bible …

Interestingly enough the scripture references for the question above in the Westminster Shorter Catechism do not mention this passage from Isaiah …

“Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. Isaiah 43:5-7 (ESV)

Whatever you do, do ALL to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. James 2:8 (ESV)

Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. James 4:13-15 (KJV)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (ESV)

IN him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth IN Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things IN him, things in heaven and things on earth. IN him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope IN Christ might be to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:7-12 (ESV)

May it be for the praise of His glory indeed!

Bernie

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About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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