Theme for 2024: The Great I AM
There is no more fundamental question than “Is there a God?” How we answer that question has implications for us beyond this life. When we consider this question, there are two basic options: (1) Is there a supreme being that exists outside the physical realm who is responsible for the physical realm and our existence, and (2) Is there nothing other than what we can see and experience? Some might ask if contemplating the existence of God is even a relevant question worthy of our consideration. However, ignoring the question postpones the inevitable conundrum of searching for the purpose and meaning of life apart from answering fundament question, “Is there a God?”
Genesis 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning, God…” The Bible does not provide a philosophical argument for the existence of God. It simply states it as a matter of fact. Evidence for the existence of God includes the complexity of the material world, but it goes beyond what can be seen to include the acknowledgment of an “uncaused cause.” God brought everything we see into being by His spoken word, and everything we observe in this world points to a beginning. In the account of Creation, we read how God put order into the universe that supports the life we enjoy on earth today. With each new generation, we learn more about the universe and its complexity. How one views each new discovery about the universe is informed by how they answer the fundamental question. Beyond the account of Creation, the Bible tells us about God – who He is, what His character traits are, and how He has communicated with man and provided for his salvation.
In Genesis 3, the first temptation was not to deny the existence of God. Instead, it was a temptation to not do what God said. The great temptation documented through time is not to deny the existence of God, but to question the character of God:
- To question the goodness of God (Exodus 16:2-8)
- To question the fairness of God (Job 9:14-24; Ezekiel 18:25-29)
- To question the power of God (Daniel 3:14-15; I Kings 20:23; Isaiah 36:18-20)
When man questions the God of the Bible in such ways, he comes up with alternative theories.
- Deism: There is a God, but He is not engaged and we cannot know Him.
- Pantheism: God is in the creation and seen in nature.
- Atheism: There is no God (includes a hostile attitude toward God or a desire for a different explanation).
Such alternatives do not fully answer the fundamental question, and failing to answer the fundamental question comes with consequences. If there is no God, then
- Morality is arbitrary.
- Mankind has no transcendent purpose or meaning.
- Everything came from nothing.
- There is no explanation for the order of the universe.
- There is no possibility for an eternal future – there is no existence beyond the grave.
God has put eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This is what causes us to ask the fundamental question.
In 2024, we will study the existence of God – the Great I AM: How we can be certain of His existence, how we can know Him, and how we can have a connection with Him. In doing so, our goals are to strengthen our faith in Him, to live lives that honor Him, and to increase our desire to serve Him. There is nothing more worthy of our worship in 2024.