Monday, February 5, 2018

A Purpose Driven Life - Chapter 1

A Purpose Driven Life Chapter 1 - Its Not About Me

Chapter overview:  God has a purpose for my life.  I need to figure out what His purpose is for my life to find true fulfillment.

Finding true fulfillment

2011 (40 years old)

I just find this so hard for many reasons.
  • I don't necessarily trust my ability to hear from God
  • I'm afraid my expectation of an answer for 'What God's purpose for my life is' will not be what I'm looking for.  (I would love a full life/job description after I hear from God.  I'm almost sure I'm not going to get an answer like this.  Yet it seems that what happened with most of the 'big' people in the Bible. I really have problems with that difference).
  • I see inklings, ideas, pieces, parts of potentially what God has gifted me to do.  How does that align with His purpose for me?
  • If my expectation of realizing what God's purpose for my life is met, I'm concerned with how it will impact my marriage and family, my finances, and my work.

2016 (45 years old)

Reading this again.  Richard Graham is preaching about the Supremacy of Christ in church so this chapter fits nicely into that.  I am seeing a new image of God lately - full of grace, love, freedom and acceptance.  My mind goes several different directions in thinking of an answer to the question at the end of the chapter.

  • The first direction is 'works' related.  ...I remind myself that life is really about living for God, not myself...  I think, 'Ok, so then what I can do for God?'  I don't think that is the right tact for me right now.  It is all about him, but its not about 'doing' things for him.  I need to be a human being, not a 'human doing'.  Its about focusing on him and understanding my position and standing with him.  
  • The second direction is 'If I am to do anything of benefit for God, I desperately need His help, because I can't seem to do anything meaningful, influential, or impactful without his help.  I was thinking in church yesterday that I need to be filled with the spirit as I have nothing valuable to say without his help

2022 (51 years old)

The question at the end of the chapter was: 'In spite of all the advertising around me, how can I remind myself that life is really about living for God, not myself?'  The verse that went along with that was: 'Everything got started with Him and finds its purpose in Him' Col 1:16b

Two answers come to my mind currently for this question:
  1. Be thankful.  Advertising is all about 'what I need or want.'  If I'm thankful that God is my shepherd and I shall not want because He's looking after me, advertising doesn't have the same influence.  And being thankful has other great benefits:  I know I'm in God's will when I'm thankful in all things (1 Thess. 5:18), and I'm not nearly as anxious or concerned (Phil 4:6-7)
  2. Learn to love better.  I've been meditating on 1 Cor 13 lately (the love chapter).  The Message version says 'Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.'  If I'm learning to receive and embrace God's love for me, and then extend that love and acceptance to others, what they have, or what I don't have doesn't bother me as much.  Whatever I do, say, think...  if it isn't done in love, its pointless and meaningless.  It ultimately has no purpose.  Love and purpose are closely connected, according to 1 Cor. 13.  

For background on what these 'Purpose Driven Life' posts are about, click this link.
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 2 - You Are Not an Accident
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 3 - What Drives You?
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 4 - Eternity In Our Hearts
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 5 - What is Life?
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 6 - Life on Earth is a Temporary Assignment
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 7 - The Reason for Everything
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 8 - You Were Planned for God's Pleasure
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 9 - What Makes God Smile?
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 10 - The Surrendered Life
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 11 - Friend of God
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 12 - Friend of God II
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 13 - Worship That Pleases God
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 14 - When God Isn't There
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 15 - Part of God's Family
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 16 - What Matters Most
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 17 - You Belong
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 18 - Life is Meant to be Shared
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 19 - Made for Community
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 20 - Restoring Broken Fellowship
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 21 - Unity of the Church
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 22 - Transformed to be Like Christ
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 23 - Transformed by Thought
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 24 - Transformed By Truth
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 25 - Transformed by Trouble
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 26 - Transformed by Temptation
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 27 - Defeating Temptation
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 28 - It Takes Time
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 29 - Shaped for Serving God
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 30 - Our Place in Serving
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 31 - Finding Your Specific Purpose
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 32 - Using What God Gave You
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 33 - How Real Servants Act
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 34 - Thinking Like a Servant
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 35 - God Uses Our Weaknesses
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 36 - You Were Made for a Mission
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 37 - Sharing Your Life Message
  • My Appendix to Chapter 37
  • My Testimony Based on Chapter 37
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 38 - Becoming a World-Class Christian
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 39 - Balance
  • Purpose Driven Life Chapter 40 - Living With Purpose
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