It’s funny how God places things in your life to open your eyes and make you sit up and take notice. A book was published in 2002 called “The Purpose Driven Life” by Pastor Rick Warren. A book that was so successful over 54 million copies were sold. I totally missed this book until this week. It took me 17 years to hear about this treasure.
Earlier this week I was preparing for our monthly inspiration meeting when I saw a video in my church sermon archives teaching about your life’s purpose. I watched the ten minute video with our senior pastor speaking on our purpose in life. He mentioned a book that Rick Warren had written several years back that focused just on this topic.
I immediately went to Amazon to get more information on this book. Let me preface this a little by saying for the last three weeks I have been looking for a spiritual book on growth to read. Every time I searched for recommendations I came up empty. None of the book titles I searched touched me as a book my soul craved for or needed. That is until I looked at this book.
The first words I read were “It all starts with God. It’s not about you.” These nine little words had me hook, line and sinker. I feel these two statements and preach them often. I had to look further into this book. I had to see why God put this book in my path now and not seventeen years ago.
The first thing I loved about this book was it had very short chapters. I have a very short attention span with difficult reading comprehension so short chapters are music to my ears. I also noticed there were daily videos and outlines to follow. Okay so I could read a short chapter then move to an teaching video focused only on that chapter and email myself an outline to remind me of the daily teaching. I swear God knew how many reinforcements I needed to comprehend and He provided them all to me.
The message does take 40-60 minutes to listen to but I have been enthralled in the words and the time flies by. Rick Warren is a great storyteller that uses simple words and many bible translations to help make learning easy.
The outlines are outstanding for me because again they are short sentences and supported by beautiful bible verses that apply to that day’s learning. These have a box that you can enter your email address and have them delivered to your inbox or push print and have them print for you. Here is an example.
As I move through this book I will be blogging about the journey. I will be telling you how the book impacts my life and relationship with God towards finding my purpose and path. I am committing time each day for 40 days to work on me. As Rick Warren states, “This process takes about 48 hours in total. That is 2 days of your life in hours to learn how to live a purposeful life.” That is a very small commitment when you think on average a person living to age 75 roughly lives 657,000 hours. 48 hours is a tiny amount of that time to live a better life.
I have learned so much already on Day 1. The first thing I learned was that God wanted me to connect to Him. He wants me to center my life around Him and become comfortable putting Him first in my life. This of course is something I have done. I do turn to God with all my concerns and problems trusting only in His answers. I also thank Him for all my blessings. I know this is very difficult for many people so just reading the first chapter will help you.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart …and soul and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” Mt. 22:37-38
I know this is the first commandment and we constantly need to be reminded to put God first. Basic but critical.
Next God wants me to connect to other believers. The bible says we are to congregate with other believers. Church attendance is of high importance. It is a place we can all come together to worship, be encouraged, and learn from God’s words for spiritual growth. This means actually go to church and walking among other faithful people regularly.
“Let us not give up the habit of meeting together… instead let us encourage one another.”Heb. 10:25
Next God wants me to cultivate my spirituality. I need to learn and understand God’s words so I can teach others and lift them up when they need lifted. This means reading the bible daily to constantly gain knowledge and understanding. To hear and feel the stories in the bible is imperative to growth.
“Let us go on… and become mature in our understanding, as strong Christians ought to be.”Heb. 6:1
God gave me this beautiful life to give back. We all have special talents that God designed for us to use here on this earth for good. I am a good problem solver and have a compassionate heart. This leads me to give others assistance with their problem but I recognize that God is beginning to show me His designed talent for me may be different. I am quietly waiting and listening for Him to show me fully what I am to do in service for His purpose. I feel He will reveal that talent to me soon.
“God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other.”1 Peter 4:10
The last thing I learned on day one is that God wants me to communicate His love to others. This is our mission. We need to reach out to others to show them the peace they can receive by accepting God’s love for us. I have felt this peace and continue to feel it daily. A heart at peace leads to a life at peace. Peace can only come from God. This peace can only come from knowing God sent His only son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us for forgiveness of our sins.
“Through Christ, God has made peace between us and Himself, and He gave us the work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with Him… So we have been sent to speak for Christ!”2 Cor. 5:18, 20
If you feel in this New Year you need refreshing or to come back to God or need to feel God’s love more deeply I encourage you to read this book. Rediscover your faith, strengthen your faith or just come to know God more deeply with this 40 day journey. I have been touched by just reading and absorbing one day of this book. I am looking for God’s help in locating the purpose He designed and put within me for His purposes. I am remembering those first words. It all starts with God. It is not about me.
I pray you grow in God daily and feel peace in your heart with God’s love for you. This picture below is so touching and I feel the hug depicted in the picture. I hope you do too. My love and gratitude for you, LoLo