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Life Questions

August 30, 2008
By The Rev. Marvin L. Parli, First Baptist Church in Elkins

Is there really meaning in life? Is there a purpose for my life? If God is loving, why are there so many tragic bad things that happen? There are many important life questions to consider.

In spite of all of the advances of this technological age there remains a persistent and unconscious anxiety that something is missing, some ingredient that makes life worth living is absent. One of the questions of our age is, will I have time to discover why I was born before I die? Many of us have not been able to answer that question, and there is the obvious danger of waiting too late to pursue this answer. Truth is, our country is full of people who have all the material comforts they could desire, and yet live lives of quiet desperation. There is an emptiness inside of us that cannot be filled with food or drink, no mater how much we pour inside, no matter how many cars we drive or toys we own, we still feel incomplete, we still ache.

Where do we go to consider such things, to hear possible answers? Sadly, there are times when people go to church, only to be bored or depressed. I can remember the author Oliver Wendell Holmes who once wrote, "I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers. My impressions of the Christian faith was dreary and uninspiring."

Jesus dared to say he was somehow different. He said, "I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly." He said that he was the way, the truth and the life. In essence, Christ is saying that he can be the power that will fill that void in your life. He claims to be the truth. Is he the truth? There is ample evidence to support that he came and was part of life. There is ample evidence that Christianity is true. However, this truth is meant to be more than intellectual truth. There is more to being a Christian than intellectual acceptance of the truth, and that is the knowledge of Jesus Christ who is the truth.

Suppose for example that before I met my wife, Dottie, I had read a biography about her. I might have said, she sounds like a nice person. Now that I have lived with her for several years I can say from experience and conviction, I know she is a nice person. I can tell you how she is a nice person. When a Christian says he has experienced Jesus as the truth, he is saying, I have come into a relationship with the one who is truth, and our experiences of the world changes. We begin to understand the truth of the world around us. He offers to answer life's questions for you in a personal and meaningful way.

Jesus says I am the way, the truth, the life. He offers to make life meaningful for you. Christ can be a powerful and meaningful force in your life, giving life direction and meaning.

In September, we will begin in worship considering some of life's questions. It is my hope and prayer that you know the Savior, who is the way, the truth, the life. We invite you to come and join us as we look at life's questions together.

(The opinions of this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Inter-Mountain, the Randolph County Ministerial Association or the author's church affiliation.)



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