Friday, November 21, 2008

Purpose Driven Life Part 6

34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[b] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[c] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Matthew 22:34-40

18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and 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

The Purpose Driven Life is about fulfilling all five purposes that God created us for: worship, fellowship, evangelism, ministry, and discipleship. In chapters 39 and 40, Warren talks about balancing these five aspects. The two pieces of scripture above list all five purposes. Warren dissects them this way:

1. 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart’: You were planned for God’s pleasure, so your purpose is to love God through worship.

2. 'Love your neighbor as yourself.': You were shaped for serving, so your purpose is to show love for others through ministry.

3. ‘Therefore go and make disciples’: You were made for a mission, so your purpose is to share God’s message through evangelism.

4. ‘baptizing them’: You were formed for God’s family, so your purpose is to identify with his church through fellowship.

5. ‘teaching them to obey everything’ : You were created to become like Christ, so your purpose is to grow to maturity through discipleship.

We need to do all five of these things well, not just one or two. This isn’t easy. I think we are naturally given to doing one or two of these things, and letting the rest fall by the side of the road, but that isn’t how we’re to live our lives. Warren says in order to do all five things well, we need to have balance. There are two things we can do to achieve balance in the five areas. The first is to evaluate how we’re doing through journaling, an accountability partner, or the support of a small group. The other way is to craft a purpose statement for our lives.

It is good to write out your purpose. By writing something down, instead of just keeping it crammed in your brain, you can read it every day. This reinforces what you need to know. It’s sort of like taking notes from a book or lecture. Yes, you can probably remember some of the stuff you read or hear, but by taking notes, you have something to look back on. The details will be clear, not fuzzy. Sure, your purpose might be in your head, but it’s not clear until you write it down.

Writing it down also allows you to see where you’re going. It allows you to do the things you need to do and say no to the things that aren’t necessary. From my own perspective, it means I can freely involve myself in mission trips and buying food for the poor, and I can freely say no to teaching a Sunday School class or singing in choir.

This is my last post of Purpose Driven life. I’ll be moving on to another book next time.

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