Summary: 40 Days of Purpose (Rick Warren) The question “What on earth am I here for” can be broken down into three questions. These are some of the ultimate questions people ask: [1] The question of existence: why am I alive? [2] The question of signi

What on Earth Am I Here For?

40 Days of Purpose

Ecclesiastes 8:1, 15


As we begin our 40 Days of Purpose we want to consider “What on Earth Am I Here For?”

Video Clip: Everybody Loves Raymond

So do you ever feel like your only purpose is to open a jar of pickles, or kill a spider? Are you looking for meaning and purpose in your life? You have come to the right place!

People from all walks of life are looking for meaning and purpose. Most people have no idea why they are alive on planet Earth. What is the meaning of life?

Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived asked the same kind of questions. He wrote down what he discovered in the book of Ecclesiastes. Initially Solomon sees that life is “meaningless, a chasing after the wind—God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race” (Ecclesiastes 1:13: NIV/NLT). However, Solomon continued to apply himself to the study of life; he gained understanding and truth for us to consider today.

Ecclesiastes 8:1 (MsgB)

There’s nothing better than being wise, Knowing how to interpret the meaning of life. Wisdom puts light in the eyes.

There’s something for you to think about! The happiest people—those who have “light in their eyes,” those who have a spring in their step, those with a reason to get out of bed in the morning—these are the people who have discovered the meaning of life.

Still Solomon knew some of life’s questions would never be answered.

Ecclesiastes 8:15 (MsgB)

So, I’m all for just going ahead and having a good time—the best possible. The only earthly good men and women can look forward to is to eat and drink well and have a good time—compensation for the struggle for survival these few years God gives us on earth.

How many people do you know living their lives like that? The only pleasure many people know is to “eat drink and be merry for tomorrow they may die.”

Is life nothing more than a struggle for survival? What on earth are we here for? Solomon searched high and low to find an answer to the meaning of life. What did he learn—what can he teach us? Here is the conclusion of Solomon’s wisdom.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (MsgB)

[13] The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you. [14] And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.

Solomon discovered that when all is said and done, we are made to live our lives for God—now that flies in the face of the conventional wisdom of our day. Most of people today just want to live for themselves—if it feels good do it.

Could Solomon be right? Is there a higher purpose for living our lives? Should we seek to live not for ourselves, but for God? Everyone wants to live life with “light in their eyes”—to do more than just survive.

This morning we are going to examine three of the great questions of life. Through the next 40 days we want to like Solomon apply our hearts to gain wisdom and understanding—to discover the meaning of life.

The question “What on earth am I here for” can be broken down into three questions. These are some of the ultimate questions people ask:

[1] The question of existence: why am I alive?

[2] The question of significance: does my life matter?

[3] The question of persistence: what is my purpose?


Why am I alive? This isn’t a new question; people have been asking it for thousands of years.

Jeremiah 20:18 (Today’s English Version)

Why was I born? Was it only to have trouble and sorrow, to end my life in disgrace?

We have all felt like that at one time or another haven’t we? Could I just stay in bed today? Is life nothing more than one problem after another? Was I put on this planet just to have heartache, grief and stress?

o Arthur Ashley Brilliant says “My life has a superb cast, but I can’t figure out the plot.”

o Jack Hanley wrote, “I hope life isn’t a joke, because I don’t get it.”

What on earth am I here for? Why am I alive?

Let’s just be honest for a moment. Without God in the equation, there are no answers to satisfy these questions. Probably the greatest, atheist philosopher of the last century, Bertrand Russell said, “Unless you assume the existence of God, the question of life’s meaning and purpose is irrelevant.” Well for an atheist at least he was intellectually honest. Only God can show us the answers to the ultimate questions of life.

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