God created everything out of his abundant and overflowing love. Because God is so great, so far beyond our comprehension, it is right that he love himself. He is perfect and so loves with a perfect love. This means, among other things, that he is zealous for what is due to him. We can think about this in terms of his will or his glory. God is perfectly glorified when his will is perfectly done. So the ultimate end or purpose of creation is the manifestation of God’s will in the created order, and his will is that he be fully glorified in that creation. We know both from God’s creative work as well as his redemptive work in Jesus Christ that the world matters to God. Every molecule matters, or else he wouldn’t have made it. And people especially matter to God. We are created in his image in a way that nothing else in the cosmos is. That’s in part why Jesus says that a person matters “more than many sparrows.” It isn’t because sparrows and trees and rocks are worthless. Not at all. God cares very much about all of these things. He has purposes for them and they, in their own way, manifest his glory. But humans are different, and so God has taken special interest and care in the lives of each person who has and who will ever live.
Jordan Ballor, born in Los Angeles, is a scholar at the Acton Institute. His favorite movie is Elf, he has a dog named Juno, his favorite smell is coffee, his first job was at at a golf club as a caddy, and when not engaged in academic rigor he enjoys watching and playing sports.