I originally read this book several months ago, and it was recently returned to me. I have went through this book and put together everything that I highlighted when I went through it the first time. The time spent putting this together has refreshed the many points I meant to put into practice before. I will continue to use the book to refresh myself every so often so I will know that my life has lasting eternal meaning.Therefore, if you take 40 days to read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, the book might be able to provide you with some insight about the purpose of your life and why you never feel completely content or at peace with yourself. Take 40 of your 2,550,000 days on earth to make each of those days have some real lasting meaning.
WHAT ON EARTH AM I HERE FOR?
Day 1 It All Starts with God
Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless. ~Bertrand Russell, atheist
The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness.
In spite of all the advertising around me, how can I remind myself that life is really about living for God, not myself?
Day 2 You Are Not an Accident
I know that God uniquely created me. What areas of my personality, background, and physical appearance am I struggling to accept?
Day 3 What Drives Your Life?
Those who have hurt you in the past cannot continue to hurt you now unless you hold on to the pain through resentment.
Self-worth and net work are not the same.
One key to failure is to try to please everyone.
What would my family and friends say is the driving force of my life? What do I want it to be?
Day 4 Made to Last Forever
Only a fool would go through life unprepared for what we all know will eventually happen.
Since I was made to last forever, what is the one thing I should stop doing and the one thing I should start doing today?
Day 5 Seeing Life from God’s View
What has happened to me recently that I now realize was a test from God? What are the greatest matters God has entrusted to me?
Day 6 Life Is a Temporary Assignment
God is very blunt about the danger of living for the ‘here and now’ and adopting the values, priorities, and lifestyles of the world around us.
It’s easy to forget that the pursuit of happiness is not what life is about.
All that is not eternal is eternally useless. ~ C.S. Lewis
You will not be in heaven two seconds before you cry out, “Why did I place so much important on things that were so temporary? What was I thinking? Why did I waste so much time, energy, and concern on what wasn’t going to last?”
How should the fact that life on earth is just a temporary assignment change the way I am living right now?
Day 7 The Reason for Everything
We bring God glory by worshiping him.
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. ~ John Piper
We bring God glory by loving other believers.
We bring God glory by becoming like Christ.
We bring God glory by serving others with our gifts.
We bring God glory by telling others about him.
Where in my daily routine can I become more aware of God’s glory?
PURPOSE #1: You Were Planned for God’s Pleasure
Day 8 Planned for God’s Pleasure
Worship is not for your benefit.
What common task could I start doing as if I were doing it directly for Jesus?
Day 9 What Makes God Smile?
“I don’t want your sacrifices – I want your love; I don’t want your offerings – I want you to know me.”
God smiles when we trust him completely.
Every parent knows that delayed obedience is really disobedience.
Anytime you reject any part of yourself, you are rejecting God’s wisdom and sovereignty in creating you.
Since God knows what is best, in what areas of my life do I need to trust him most?
Day 10 The Heart of Worship
There are three barriers that block our totally surrender to God: fear, pride, and confusion.
That desire – to have complete control – is the cause of so much stress in our lives.
When faced with out own limitations, we react with irritation, anger, and resentment.
Surrendered people obey God’s word, even if it doesn’t make sense.
You know you’re surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda, and control the situation. You let God work. You don’t have to always be “in charge.” The Bible says, “Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” Instead of trying harder, you trust more. You also know you’re surrendered when you don’t react to criticism and rush to defend yourself.
If not to God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to fear, or to your own pride, lusts, or ego.
What are of my life am I holding back from God?
Day 11 Becoming Best Friends with God
They key to friendship with god, he said, is not changing what you do, but changing your attitude toward what you do.
What can I do to remind myself to think about God and talk to him more often throughout the day?
Day 12 Developing Your Friendship with God
God doesn’t expect you to be perfect, but he does insist on complete honestly.
Friends of God tell their friends about God.
What practical choices will I make today in order to grow closer to God?
Day 13 Worship That Pleases God
Which is more please to God right now – my public worship or my private worship? What will I do about this?
Day 14 When God Seems Distant
Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light. ~ V. Raymond Edman
A friendship based on emotion is shallow indeed.
Remember what God has already done for you. If God never did anything else for you, he would still deserve your continual praise for the rest of your life because of what Jesus did for you on the cross. God’s Son dies for you! This is the greatest reason for worship.
Unfortunately, we forget the cruel details of the agonizing sacrifice God made on our behalf. Familiarity breeds complacency. Even before his crucifixion, the Son of God was stripped naked, beaten until almost unrecognizable, whipped, scorned and mocked, crowned with thorns, and spit on contemptuously. Abused and ridiculed by heartless men, he was treated worse than an animal.
Then, nearly unconscious from blood loss, he was forced to draw a cumbersome cross up a hill, was nailed to it, and was left to die the slow, excruciating torture of death by crucifixion. While his lifeblood drained out, hecklers stood by and shouted insults, making fun of his pain and challenging his claim to be God.
Next, as Jesus took all of mankind’s sin and guilt on himself, God looked away from that ugly sight, and Jesus cried out in total desperation, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus could have saved himself – but then he could not have saved you.
Words cannot describe the darkness of the moment. Why did God allow and endure such ghastly, evil mistreatment? Why? So you could be spared from eternity in hell, and so you could share in his glory forever! The Bible says, “Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him a share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the righteousness of God.”
Jesus gave up everything so that you could have everything. He died so that you could live forever. That alone is worthy of your continual thanks and praise. Never again should you wonder what you have to be thankful for.
How can I stay focused on God’s presence, especially when he feels distant?
PURPOSE #2: You Were Formed for God’s Family
Day 15 Formed for God’s Family
How can I start treating other believes like members of my own family?
Day 16 What Matters Most
The Best Use of Life Is Love
Relationships must have priority in your life above everything else.
Life without love is really worthless.
Often we act as if relationships are something to be squeezed into our schedule. We talk about finding time for people in our lives. That gives the impression that relationships are just a part of our lives along with many other tasks. But God says relationships are what life is all about.
Relations, not achievements or the acquisition of things, are what matters most in life.
Busyness is a great enemy of relationships.
Love leaves a legacy. How you treated other people, not your wealth or accomplishments, is the most enduring impact you can leave on earth.
In our final moments we all realize that relationships are what life is all about. Wisdom is learning that truth sooner rather than later.
One of the ways God measures spiritual maturity is by the quality of your relationships.
“God, whether I get anything else done today, I want to make sure that I spend time loving you and loving other people – because that’s what life is all about. I don’t want to waste this day.”
The Best Expression of Love Is Time
The importance of things can be measured by how much time we are willing to invest in them. The more time you give to something, the more you reveal its importance and value to you. If you want to know a person’s priorities, just look at how they use their time.
Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love it “T-I-M-E.”
The essence of love is not what we think or do or provide for others, but how much we give of ourselves. Men, in particular, often don’t understand this.
You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. Love means giving up – yielding my preferences, comfort, goals, security, money, energy, or time for the benefit of someone else.
The Best Time to Love Is Now
“Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good toe everyone.” “Use every chance you have for doing good.” “Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it. Never tell your neighbor to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now.”
How will you explain those times when projects or things were more important to you than people? What do you need to cut out of your schedule to make that possible? What sacrifices do you need to make?
The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now.
Honestly, are relationships my first priority? How can I ensure that they are?
Day 17 A Place to Belong
“I love you, but I dislike your wife.” Or “I accept you, but I reject your body.”
Satan loves detached believers, unplugged from the life of the Body, isolated from God’s family, and unaccountable to spiritual leaders, because he knows they are defenseless and powerless against his tactics.
Does my level of involvement in my local church demonstrate that I love and am committed to God’s family?
Day 18 Experiencing Life Together
They share their hurts, reveal their feelings, confess their failures, disclose their doubts, admit their fears, acknowledge their weaknesses, and ask for help and prayer.
The world think intimacy occurs in the dark, but God says it happens in the light. Darkness is used to hide our hurts, faults, fears, failures, and flaws. But in the light, we bring them all out into the open and admit who we really are.
It is the only way to grow spiritually and be emotionally healthy. We only grow by taking risks, and the most difficult risk of all is to be honest with ourselves and with others.
Sympathy is not giving advice or offering quick, cosmetic help; sympathy is entering in and sharing the pain of others. Sympathy says, “I understand what you’re going though, and what you feel is neither strange nor crazy.” Today some call this “empathy.”
Sympathy meets two fundamental human needs: the need to be understood and the need to have your feelings validated. Every time you understand and affirm someone’s feelings, you build fellowship. The problem is that we are often in so much of a hurry to fix things that we don’t have time to sympathize with people. Or we’re preoccupied with our own hurts. Self-pity dries up sympathy for others.
You can’t have fellowship without forgiveness. “Never hold grudges.” “You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
Forgiveness is letting go of the past. Trust has to do with future behavior.
Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record.
What one step can I take today to connect with another believer at a more genuine, heart-to-heart level?
Day 19 Cultivating Community
Real fellowship, whether in a marriage, a friendship, or your church, depends on frankness.
You can develop humility in very practical ways: by admitting your weaknesses, be being patient with others’ weaknesses, by being open to correction, and by pointing the spotlight on others.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.
Another part of courtesy is not downplaying other people’s doubts.
We will share our true feelings (authenticity), encourage each other (mutuality), support each other (sympathy), admit our weaknesses (humility), respect our differences (courtesy), not gossip (confidentiality), and make group a priority (frequency).
How can I help cultivate today the characteristics of real community in my small group and my church?
Day 20 Restoring Broken Fellowship
Relationships are always worth restoring.
It doesn’t matter whether you are the offender or the offended: God expects you to make the first move.
Use your ears more than your mouth. Before attempting to solve any disagreement you must first listen to people’s feelings. Focus on their feelings, not the facts. Begin with sympathy, not solutions.
Don’t try to talk people out of how they feel at first. Just listen and let them unload emotionally without being defensive. Nod that you understand even when you don’t agree. Feelings are not always true or logical. In fact, resentment makes us act and think in foolish ways.
If you are serious about restoring a relationship, you should begin with admitting your own mistakes or sin.
Who do I need to restore a broken relationship with today?
Day 21 Protecting Your Church
What am I personally doing to protect unity in my church family right now?
PURPOSE #3: You Were Created to Become Like Christ
Day 22 Created to Become Like Christ
Christlikeness is all about transforming your character, not your personality.
God if far more interested in what you are then in what you do.
In what area of my life do I need to ask for the Spirit’s power to be like Christ today?
Day 23 How We Grow
Spiritual growth is not automatic. TI takes an intentional commitment. You must want to grow, decide to grow, make an effort to grow, and persist in growing.
Nothing shapes your life more than the commitments you choose to make.
Many are afraid to commit to anything and just drift through life. Others make half-hearted commitments to competing values, which leads to frustration and mediocrity.
You will need to let go of some old routines, develop some new habits, and intentionally change the way you think.
To change your life, you must change the way you think. Behind everything you do is a thought. Every behavior is motivated be a belief, and every action is prompted by an attitude.
Change always starts first in your mind. The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel influences the way you act.
What is one area where I need to stop thinking my way and start thinking God’s way?
Day 24 Transformed by Truth
Many of our troubles occur because we base our choices on unreliable authorities: culture (“everyone is doing it”), tradition (“we’ve always done it”), reason (“it seemed logical”), or emotion (“it just felt right”).
Determine to first ask, “What does the Bible say?” when making decisions.
The Bible says, “Truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what the heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy.”
If you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate. Worry is focused thinking on something negative. Meditation is doing the same thing, only focusing on God’s Word instead of you problem.
The truth will set you free, but first it may make you miserable!
What has God already told me in his Word that I haven’t started doing yet?
Day 25 Transformed by Trouble
God has a purpose behind every problem.
You most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days and you turn to God alone.
Problems force us to look to God and depend on him instead of ourselves.
“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest!”
You know you are maturing when you begin to see the hand of God in random, baffling, and seemingly pointless circumstances of life.
If you are facing trouble right now, don’t ask, “Why me?” instead ask, “What do you want me to learn?”
What problem in my life has caused the greatest growth in me?
Day 26 Growing through Temptation
Happy is the man who doesn’t give in and do wrong when he is tempted… ~ James 1:12
Every temptation is an opportunity to do good.
Happiness depends on external circumstances, but joy is based on your relationship to God.
God develops real peace within us, not by making things got the way we planned, but by allowing times of chaos and confusion. We learn real peace by choosing to trust God in circumstances in which we are tempted to worry or be afraid. Patience is developed in circumstances in which we’re forced to wait and are tempted to be angry or have a short fuse.
Always beware of shortcuts. They are often temptations! Satan whispers, “You deserve it! You should have it now! It will be exciting…comforting…or make you feel better.”
Step two is doubt. Satan tries to get you to doubt what God has said about the sin: Is it really wrong? Did God really say not to do it? Didn’t God mean this prohibition for someone else or some other time? Doesn’t God want me to be happy?
Step three is deception. But a little sin is like being a little pregnant: It will eventually show itself.
You give in to whatever got your attention.
It is not a sin to be tempted. You can’t keep the Devil from suggesting thoughts, but you can choose not to dwell or act on them.
For example, many people don’t know the difference between physical attraction or sexual arousal, and lust. They are not the same. God made every one of us a sexual being, and that is good. Attraction and arousal are the natural, spontaneous, God-given response to physical beauty, while lust is a deliberate act of the will. Lust is a choice to commit in your mind what you’d like to do with your body. You can be attracted or even aroused without choosing to sin by lusting. Many people, especially Christ men, feel guilty that their God-given hormones are working. When they automatically notice an attractive woman, they assume it is lust and feel ashamed and condemned. But attraction is not lust until you being to dwell on it.
Recognize your pattern of temptation and be prepared for it. There are certain situations that make you more vulnerable to temptation than others.
“When am I tempted?”
“Who is with me when I am tempted?” “How do I usually feel when I am most tempted?”
You should identify your typical pattern of temptation and then prepare to avoid those situations as much as possible.
Request God’s help. “Call on me in times of trouble. I will rescue you, and you will honor me.”
If God is waiting to help us defeat temptation, why don’t we turn to him more often? Honestly, sometimes we don’t want to be helped! We want to give in to temptation even though we know it’s wrong. At that moment we think we know what’s best for us more than God does.
At other times we’re embarrassed to ask God for help because we keep giving in to the same temptation over and over. But God never gets irritated, bored, or impatient when we keep coming back to him.
Ask him for the power to do the right thing and then expect him to provide it.
Every temptation is an opportunity to do good.
What Christlike character quality can I develop be defeating the most common temptation I face?
Day 27 Defeating Temptation
There is always a way out.
Refocus your attention on something else.
Every time you try to bock a thought out of your mind, you drive it deeper into your memory. Be resisting it, you actually reinforce it.
Since temptation always begins with a thought, the quickest way to neutralize its allure is to turn your attention to something else.
The battle for sin is won or list in your mind. Whatever gets your attention will get you.
Ignoring a temptation is far more effective than fighting it. Once your mind is on something else, the temptation loses its power. So when temptation calls you on the phone, don’t argue with it, just hang up!
Sometimes this means physically leaving a tempting situation.
“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”
Reveal your struggle to a godly friend or support group. You don’t have to broadcast it to the whole world, but you need at least one person you can honestly share your struggles with.
Do you really want to be healed of that persistent temptation that keeps defeating you over and over? God’s solution is plain: Don’t repress it; confess it! Don’t’ conceal it; reveal it. Revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing.
Satan wants you to think that your sin and temptation are unique so you must keep them a secret. The truth is, we’re all in the same boat. We all fight the same temptations.
The reason we hide our faults is pride. We want others to think we have everything “under control.” The truth is, whatever you can’t talk about is already out of control in your life: problems with your finances, marriage, kids, thoughts, sexuality, secret habits, or anything else. If you could handle it on your own, you would have already done so. But you can’t. Willpower and personal resolutions aren’t enough.
What are you pretending isn’t a problem in your life? What are you afraid to talk about? You’re not going to solve it on your own. Yes, it is humbling to admit our weaknesses to others, but lack of humility is the very think that is keeping you from getting better.
Resist the Devil.
Don’t ever try to argue with the Devil. He’s better at arguing than you are, having had thousands of years to practice. You can’t bluff Satan with logic or your opinion, but you can use the weapon that makes him tremble – the truth of God.
Realize your vulnerability. God warns us never to get cocky and overconfident that is the recipe for disaster. Given the right circumstances, any of us are capable of any sin.
Don’t carelessly place yourself in tempting situations. Avoid them. Remember that it is easier to stay out of temptation than to get out of it.
Who could I ask to be a spiritual partner to help me defeat a persistent temptation by praying for me?
Day 28 It Takes Time
There are no shortcuts to maturity.
We are afraid to humbly face the truth about ourselves. I have already pointed out that the truth will set us free but it often makes us miserable first. The fear of what we might discover if we honestly faced our character keeps us living in the prison of denial.
Growth is often painful and scary. There is no growth without change; there is no change without fear or loss; and there is no loss without pain. We fear these losses, even if our old ways were self-defeating, because, like a worn out pain of shoes, they were at least comfortable and familiar.
People often build their identity around their defects. What say, “It’s just like me to be…” and “It’s just the way I am.” The unconscious worry is that if I let go of my habit, my hurt, or my hang-up, who will I be?
Keep a notebook or journal of lessons learned. This is not a diary of events, but a record of what you are learning. Write down the insights and life lessons God teaches you about him, about yourself, about life, relationship, and everything else. The reason we must relearn lessons is that we forget them. Reviewing your spiritual journal regularly can spare you a lot of unnecessary pain and heartache.
Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go.. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be. “Please Be Patient, God Is Not Finished With Me Yet.”
In what area of my spiritual growth do I need to be more patient and persistent?
PURPOSE #4: You Were Shaped for Serving God
Day 29 Accepting Your Assignment
If I have no love for others, no desire to serve others, and I’m on concerned about my needs, I should question whether Christ is really in my life. A saved heart is one that wants to serve.
Anytime you use your God-given abilities to help others, you are fulfilling your calling.
What is holding me back from accepting God’s call to serve him?
Day 30 Shaped for Serving God
In what way can I see myself passionately serving others and loving it?
Day 31 Understanding Your Shape
To discover god’ will for your life, you should seriously examine what you are good at doing and what you’re not good at.
It feels good to do what God made you to do. When you minister in a manner consistent with the personality God gave you, you experience fulfillment, satisfaction, and fruitfulness.
God never wastes a hurt! In fact, your greatest ministry will most likely come out of your greatest hurt.
God intentionally allows you to go through painful experiences to equip you for ministry to others.
The very experiences that you have resented or regretted most in life – the ones you’ve wanted to hide and forget – are the experiences God wants to use to help others. They are your ministry!
For God to use your painful experiences, you must be willing to share them. You have to stop covering them up, and you must honestly admit your faults, failures, and fears.
What God-given ability or personal experience can I offer to my church?
Day 32 Using What God Gave You
You have dozens of hidden abilities and gifts you don’t know you’ve got because you’ve never tried them out. So I encourage you to try doing some things you’ve never done before.
You will never know what you’re good at until you try. When it doesn’t work out, call it an “experiment,” not a failure.
Part of accepting your shape is recognizing your limitations.
“…You won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.” Satan will try to steal the joy of service from you in a couple of ways: by tempting you to compare your ministry with others, and be tempting you to conform your ministry to the expectations of others.
“Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others.” There are two reasons why you should never compare your shape, ministry, or the results of your ministry with anyone else. First, you will always be able to find someone who seems to be doing a better job than you and you will become discouraged. Or you will always be able to find someone who doesn’t seem as effective as you and you will get full of pride.
If my life is fruitless, it doesn’t matter who praises me, and if my life is fruitful, it doesn’t matter who criticizes me. ~ John Bunyan
If you don’t’ utilize the abilities and skills God has given you, you will lose them.
How can I make the best use of what God has given me?
Day 33 How Real Servants Act
We miss many occasions for serving because we lack sensitivity and spontaneity.
Servants don’t make excuses, procrastinate, or wait for better circumstances. “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”
Small tasks often show a big heart. Your servant’s heart is revealed in the little acts that others don’t think of doing.
Great opportunities often disguise themselves in small tasks.
Servants finish their tasks, fulfill their responsibilities, keep their promises, and complete their commitments.
“Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”
Real servants maintain a low profile. Servants don’t promote or call attention to themselves. If recognized for their service, they humbly accept it but don’t allow notoriety to distract them from their work.
Which of the six characteristics of real servants offers the greatest challenge to me?
Day 34 Thinking Like a Servant
God is always more interested in why we do something than in what we do. Attitudes count more than achievements.
Servants think more about others than about themselves. This is true humility: not thinking loss of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less.
“If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life.”
Servants think like stewards, not owners.
Servants think about their work, not what others are doing. They don’t compare, criticize, or compare with other servants or ministries. They’re too busy doing the work God has given them.
Real servants don’t complain of unfairness, don’t have pity-parties, and don’t resent those not serving. They just trust God and keep serving.
Servants base their identity in Christ. Because they remember they are loved and accepted by grace, servants don’t have to prove their worth.
If you’re going to be a servant, you must settle your identity in Christ. Only secure people can serve. Insecure people are always worrying about how they appear to others. They fear exposure of their weaknesses and hid beneath layers of protective pride and pretensions. The more insecure you are, the more you will want people to server you, and the more you will need their approval.
Servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation.
Am I usually more concerned about being served or finding ways to serve others?
Day 35 God’s Power in Your Weakness
Admit your weaknesses. Own up to your imperfections. Stop pretending to have it all together, and be honest about yourself. Instead of living in denial or making excuses, take the time to identify your personal weaknesses.
We’re only human! If it takes a crisis to get you to admit this, God won’t hesitate to allow it, because he loves you.
Be content with your weaknesses. But contentment is an expression of faith in the goodness of God.
Our weaknesses also prevent arrogance. They keep us humble.
Our weaknesses also encourage fellowship between believers. While strength breeds an independent spirit (“I don’t’ need anyone else”), our limitations show how much we need each other.
Our weaknesses increase our capacity for sympathy and ministry. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts. The things you’re most embarrassed about, most ashamed of, and more reluctant to share are the very tools God can use most powerfully to heal others.
Honestly share your weaknesses. Ministry begins with vulnerability. The more you let down your guard, take off your mask, and share your struggles, the more God will be able to use you in serving others.
Of course, vulnerability is risky. It can be scary to lower you defenses and open up your life to others. When you reveal your failures, feelings, frustrations, and fears, you risk rejection. But the benefits are worth the risk. Vulnerability is emotionally liberating. Opening up relieves stress, defuses your fears, and is the first step to freedom.
Humility is not putting yourself down or denying your strengths; rather, it is being honest about your weaknesses. The more honest you are, the more of God’s grace you get. Vulnerability is an endearing quality; we are naturally drawn to humble people. Pretentiousness repels but authenticity attracts, and vulnerability is the pathway to intimacy.
God works best when I admit my weaknesses.
Am I limiting God’s power in my life by trying to hide my weaknesses? What do I need to be honest about in order to help others?
PURPOSE #5: You Were Made for a Mission
Day 36 Made for a Mission
“Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the Kingdom of God .”
One More for Jesus (story: p.287)
What fears have kept me from fulfilling the mission God made me to accomplish? What keeps me from telling others the Good News?
Day 37 Sharing Your Life Message
God has given you a Life Message to share.
Your Life Message has four parts to it:
- Your testimony: the story of how you began a relationship with Jesus
- Your life lessons: the most important lessons God has taught you
- Your godly passions: the issues God shaped you to care about most
- The Good News: the message of salvation
The best way to “be read” is to write out your testimony and then memorize the main points. Divide it into four parts:
- What my life was like before I met Jesus
- How I realized I needed Jesus
- How I committed my life to Jesus
- The difference Jesus has made in my life
While it is wise to learn from experience, it is wiser to learn from the experiences of others. There isn’t enough time to learn everything in life by trial and error. We must learn from the life lesions of one another.
Mature people develop the habit of extracting lessons from everyday experiences.
- What has God taught me from failure?
- What has God taught me from a lack of money
- What has God taught me from pain or sorrow or depression
- What has God taught me through waiting?
- What has God taught me through illness?
- What has God taught me from disappointment?
- What have I learned from my family, my church, my relationships, my small groups, and my critics?
“Make the most of your chances to tell others the Good News. Be wise in all your contacts with them.”
In this book you have learned God’s five purposes for you life on earth: He made you to be a member of his family, a model of his character, a magnifier of his glory, a minister of his grace, and a messenger of his Good News to others. Of these five purposes, the fifth can only be done on earth. The other four you will keep doing in eternity in some way. That’s why spreading the Good News is so important; you only have a short time to share your life message and fulfill your mission.
As I reflect on my personal story, who does God want me to share it with?
Day 38 Becoming a World-Class Christian
Shift from self-centered thinking to other-centered thinking. “Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too.”
Your goal is to figure out where others are in their spiritual journey and then do whatever will bring them to a step closer to knowing Christ.
Prayer is the most important tool for your mission in the world. People may refuse our love or reject our message, but they are defenseless against our prayers.
The Bible tells us to pray for opportunities to witness, for courage to speak up, for those who will believe, for the rapid spread of the message, and for more workers.
I urge you to save and do whatever it takes to participate in a short-term mission trip overseas as soon as possible. Nearly every mission agency can help you do this. It will enlarge your heart, expand your vision, stretch your faith, deepen your compassion, and fill you with a kind of joy you have never experienced. It could be the turning point in your life.
Shirt from “here and now” thinking to eternal thinking.
So much of what we waste our energy on will not matter even a year from now, much less for eternity.
Shift from thinking of excuses to thinking of creative ways to fulfill your commission.
Maybe you have believed that you needed a special “call” from God, and you’ve been waiting for some supernatural feeling of experience. But God has already stated his call repeatedly. We are all called to fulfill God’s five purposes for our lives; to worship, to fellowship, to grow like Christ, to serve, and to be on mission with God in the world.
What steps can I take to prepare to go on a short-term missions experience in the next year?
Day 39 Balancing Your Life
Talk it through with a spiritual partner or small group.
What down your progress in a journal. The best way to reinforce your progress in fulfilling God’s purposes for your life is to keep a spiritual journal. This is not a diary of events, but a record of the life lessons you don’t want to forget.
Problems force you to focus on God, draw you closer to others in fellowship, build Christlike character, provide you with a ministry, and give you a testimony. Every problem is purpose-driven.
Which of the four activities will I begin in order to stay on track and balance God’s five purposes for my life?
Day 40 Living with Purpose
Most people struggle with three basic issues in life. The first is identity: “Who am I?” The second is importance: “Do I really matter?” The third is impact: “What is my place in life?” The answers to all three questions are found in God’s five purposes for you.
How do you know when God is at the center for your life? When God’s at the center, you worship. When he’s not you worry. The moment you put him back at the center, you will have peace.
Don’t get discouraged and give up when you stumble.
You may wonder, “What about God’s will for my job or marriage or where I’m supposed to live or go to school?” Honestly, these are secondary issues in your life, and there may be multiple possibilities that would all be in God’s will for you.
When will I take the time to write down my answers to life’s five great questions? When will I put my purpose on paper?