|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Great thoughts from great Christians”
Our Bible verse for today: “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “God created you for Himself”
Just as a reminder, all this month we’re exploring “great thoughts from great Christians.” The reason we’re doing so is because we can learn a lot about God from the experience and insights of others. Quoting Leighton Ford, “I surround myself with the thoughts of those who have thought much about God.” So, this morning let’s consider another deep and profound insight from a great Christian of a different era.
Augustine of Hippo, also known as Saint Augustine, was a theologian, philosopher, and the bishop of Hippo in Roman North Africa around 400 A.D. He was one of the great thinkers in early Christianity. Commenting on Ecclesiastes 3:11 Augustine once wrote, “You have created us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless, searching, until we find our rest in you.”
What Augustine meant is that in the human heart there’s a deep and innate understanding that we were created for more than just this lifetime. God created us with a little bit of eternity in our hearts. Each person is in reality a spirit-being who will live forever. Although our spirit currently inhabits this physical body, and although this physical body will one day die, our spirit will exist for eternity, and the spirit knows it. The spirit longs for eternity, and for the God of eternity.
That’s why virtually every culture that has ever existed in the history of the human race has had a belief in the spirit world and an afterlife. It’s because God created humans with a sense of eternity in our hearts. Deep down we all know that there must be more than just this lifetime.
This is the great truth Augustine was striving to help us understand. The human heart is restless, searching, until it finds its rest in God. The French philosopher Blaise Pascal once expressed the same truth in a slightly different way, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the human heart that can only be filled by God.”
God created human beings to be in relationship with Him. Therefore, nothing in all creation will fill that place in our hearts. This is such an important understanding that we will continue to consider it tomorrow. This time we will consider the words of another great Christian, a man who lived more than 1600 years after Augustine and 400 years after Pascal. His name is Jim Peterson.
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