Bible Verse Of The Day

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Book Review: “The Prupose Driven Life” By: Rick Warren

This book helps me to discover my purpose here on earth. A 40-day spiritual journey that gives me understanding on God’s purpose for my life.

What on Earth Am I here for?

We are made by God and for God. People have a lot of dreams, goals and ambitions in life but focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life’s purpose. “A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; A God-shaped life is a flourishing tree” (Proverbs 11:28). If we really want to know our purpose, we must begin with God. “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eyes on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone” (Ephesians 1:11)

Come and join me on my journey discovering the Five Purposes of a Purpose – Driven Life.

Worship: You were planned for God’s pleasure

The moment we were born into the world, God was there as an unseen witness, smiling at our birth. God did not need to create us, but He chose to create us for His own enjoyment. Bringing enjoyment to God, living for His pleasure, is the first purpose of our life.

Bringing pleasure to God is called “Worship”. The Bible says, “The Lord is pleased only with those who worship Him and trust His love” (Psalm 147:11). Anything we do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship. Worship is far more than music; it is not for our benefit; and it is not a part of our life but it is our life. God wants passion and commitment in our worship. Every activity can be transformed into an act of worship when you do it for the praise, glory and pleasure of God.“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23

We worship God when we makes Him smile. God smiles when we love Him supremely, trust Him completely, obey Him wholeheartedly, and praise and thank Him continually. He also smiles when we use our abilities. Every human activity, except sin, can be done for God’s pleasure if you do it with an attitude of praise. God enjoy watching every details of our life.

The heart of worship is surrender. Surrender means admitting our limitations; it is best demonstrated in obedience and trust, and it is never just a one time event. The blessings we get when we fully surrender our life to God are peace, freedom and God’s power in our life. God deeply desires that we know Him intimately. Knowing and loving God is our greatest privilege, and being known and loved is God’s greatest pleasure. We can become a best friend of God through constant conversation with Him and through continual meditation on His Word. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). “I have treasured the words of God’s mouth more than my daily bread” (Job 23:12).

To have a deeper more intimate connection with God we must learn to honestly share our feelings with Him; we must trust Him when He asks to do something; we must learn to care about what He cares about; and we must desire friendship with God more than anything else. God-pleasing worship is deeply emotional and deeply doctrinal. We use both our hearts and our heads. God does not want a part of our life, He asks for all our hearts, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength. God is pleased when our worship is accurate, authentic, thoughtful and practical. The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during trial, trusting Him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving Him when He seems distant. God’s promise He will not leave us. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).

Fellowship: You were formed for God’s family

God wants a family, and He created us to be part of it. God build a family who will love Him, honor Him, and reign with Him forever. Our spiritual family is even more important than our physical family because it will last forever. Being included in God’s family is the highest honor and the greatest privilege we will ever receive. Life is all about Love. The most important lesson we need to learn on earth is how to love because God is love. Love should be our top priority, primary objective and greatest ambition. Life without love is really worthless. The best expression of love is time, it is not enough just to say relationship are important, we must prove it by investing time in them. “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love” (1 Corinthians 13:3). “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love which shows itself in action” (I John 3:18).

We are called to belong, not just believe. We are created for community, fashioned for fellowship, and formed for a family, and none of us can fulfill God’s purpose by ourselves. The church is God’s agenda for the world. We need our church family because it identifies us as a genuine believer, moves us out of self-centered isolation and helps us develop spiritual muscle. The body of Christ needs us. We are part of Christ’s missions in the world, we are accountable for one another and we must keep each other on track. The Christian life is more than just commitment to Christ, it includes a commitment to other Christians. God intends for us to experience life together. In real fellowship people experience authenticity, mutuality (the art of giving and receiving), sympathy and mercy. It happens when people get honest about who they are and what is happening in their lives. Every time you understand and affirm someone’s feelings, you build fellowship. Relationship are always worth restoring. God wants us to value relationships and make the effort to maintain them instead of discarding them whenever there is a rift, hurt, or a conflict. There are seven (7) Biblical steps to restore Fellowship:

1. Talk to God before talking to the person. (James 4:1-2)
2. Always take the initiative. (Matthew 5:23-24)
3. Sympathize with their feelings. (Romans 15:2)
4. Confess your part of the conflict. (Matthew 7:5/1 John 1:8)
5. Attack the problem, not the person. (Proverbs 15:1)
6. Cooperate as much as possible. (Matthew 5:9)
7. Emphasize reconciliation, not resolution. (1 Peter 3:11)

It is our job to protect the unity of church. Unity is the soul of fellowship. God deeply desires that we experience oneness and harmony with each other. The Bible give us practical advice.

1. Focus on what we have in common, not our differences. (Romans 14:19)
2. Be realistic in your expectations. (Ephesians 4:2)
3. Choose to encourage rather than criticize (Romans 14:4)
4. Refuse to listen to gossip. (Proverbs 17:4)
5. Practice God’s method for conflict resolution. (Matthew 18:15-17)
6. Support your Pastor and leaders. (Hebrews 13:7)

Discipleship: You were created to become like Christ

Discipleship the process of becoming like Christ always begin with a decision. From the very beginning, God’s plan has been to make us like His Son, Jesus and we are made “in God’s image”. The ultimate goal of God for our life here on earth is not comfort, but character development. He wants us to grow up spiritually and become like Christ. Christ likeness is all about transforming our character and not our personality. “As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Becoming like Christ is a long, slow process of growth. We have three (3) responsibilities in becoming like Christ.

1. We must choose to let go of old ways of acting. (Ephesians 4:22)
2. We must change the way we think. (Ephesians 4:23)
3. We must “put on” the character of Christ by developing new godly habits. (Ephesians 4:24)

To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with His word because it is the spiritual nourishment we must have to fulfill our purpose, and to be a healthy disciple of Jesus we must feed our spiritual lives by His word. Jesus said, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). The most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in our darkest days. God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to transformed us and to develop our character. During trouble, we must remember that our pain is temporary but our reward will be eternal. In the same way, God develops the fruit of the Spirit by allowing us to experience circumstances in which we are tempted to express the exact opposite quality. Every time we choose to do good instead of sin, we are growing in the character of Christ. When temptation comes, there is always a way out. God will not permit any temptation that we could not overcome. For us to be matured spiritually, we must go on process. There are no shortcuts to maturity. It takes years for us to grow, it takes a full season for fruit to mature and ripen. The same is true for the fruit of Spirit. There is not growth without change, no change without fear or loss, and no loss without pain. Do not get in a hurry, God is never in a hurry but He is always on time and His time is always perfect.

Ministry: You were shaped for serving God

We were put on earth to make contributions, we were created and saved to serve God not because we deserved it but because that was His plan. Spiritual maturity is never an end in itself. We grow up in order to give out. Service is the pathway to real significance and it is through ministry that we discover the meaning of our lives. “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Each of us was uniquely designed or “shaped” to do certain things. We are made for specific ministry, whenever God gives us an assignment He always equips us with what we need to accomplish it.

S – Spiritual gifts (Ephesians 4:11-12)

  • These are special God empowered abilities for serving Him that are given only to believers.
H – Heart (Proverbs 4:23)

  • Our heart represents the source of all motivations - what we love to do and what we care about most. Another word for heart is “Passion”. Consider how they might be used for God’s glory. There is a reason that you love to do these things.
A – Abilities (Romans 12:6)

  • Our abilities are the natural talents we were born with. Let us used it for God’s glory and in a way God wants us to do.
P – Personality (1 Corinthians 12:6)

  • God created each of us with a unique combination of personality traits. There is no “right” or “wrong” temperament for ministry. We need all kinds of personalities to balance the church and give it favor.
E – Experiences (2 Corinthians 1:4)

  • We have been shaped by our experiences in life, most of which were beyond our control. God allowed them for His purpose of molding us.
God deserves our best. He shaped us for a purpose and He expects us to make the most of what we have been given. Keep developing our shape. We are to cultivate our gifts and abilities, keep our hearts aflame, grow our character and personality, and broaden our experiences so we will be increasingly more effective in your service. We serve God by serving others. Being a servant means giving up the right to control our schedule and allowing God to interrupt it whenever He needs to. Our shape reveals our ministry, but our servant’s heart will reveal our maturity. Service starts in our mind, A real servants serve God with a mindset of Five Attitudes.

1. Servants think more about others than about themselves. (Philippians 2:4)
2. Servants think like stewards, not owners. (Luke 16:13)
3. Servants think about their work, not what others are doing. (Galatians 5:26)
4. Servants based their identity in Christ. (John 13:3-5)
5. Servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation. (Hebrew 6:10)

Our most effective ministry will come out of our deepest hurts. God loves to use weak people so let us allow Him to work on our weaknesses.

Evangelism: You were made for a Mission

God is at work in the world and He wants us to join Him. Being a Christian includes being sent into the world as a representative of Jesus Christ. Fulfilling our life mission on earth is an essential part of living for God’s glory. If we want to be used by God, we must care about what God cares about; what He cares about most is the redemption of the people He made. He wants His lost children found. We are God’s messenger and He wants us to share the Life Message he has given us through our testimony, our life lessons, our Godly passions, and the Good News of salvation. The Great Commission is our commission and doing our part is the secret to living a life of significance. We have a choice to make, we can be either World – Class Christians or Worldly Christians. Worldly Christians look to God primarily for personal fulfillment, they are self – centered and focus only on their own needs, blessings, and happiness. In contrast, World – Class Christians know they were saved to serve and made for a mission; they are eager to receive a personal assignment and excited about the privilege of being used by God. The most important tool for our mission is PRAYER.

Blessed are the balanced; they shall outlast everyone. Our life is a pentathlon of five purposes which we must keep in balance. They are summarized in two verses.
  • The Great Commandments:Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)

  • The Greatest Commissions:Jesus said, “All the authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptize them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Living on purpose is the only way to really live. Let us focus on God’s purposes for our life, not our plans, since that is what will last forever. When fulfilling our purposes seems tough, don’t give into discouragement, remember our reward which will last forever. “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that reveals.” (Proverbs 19:21)

One day, all of us will stand before the throne of God presenting our lives in deep gratitude and praise to Christ and together we will say : “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelations 4:11)

Now, I know what is my purpose why am I here on earth. Living my life in a way God intended to be and not on my own will. I was so blessed to have a privilege to fulfill God’s purpose in my life and to continue His missions here on earth.

This post is by my girlfriend Jo Anne Hipolito.

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