YOU WERE MADE FOR A MISSION
Day 39: Balancing your life
“Live life with a due sense of responsibility, not as those who do not know the meaning of life but as those who do” (Ephesians 5:15)
“Don’t let the errors of evil people lead you down the wrong path and make you lose your balance” (2 Peter 3:17)
God’s five purposes for your life:
— Love God with all your heart: You were planned for God’s pleasure, so your purpose is to love God through worship.
— Love your neighbor as yourself: You were shaped for serving, so your purpose is to show love for others through ministry.
— Go and make disciples: You were made for a mission, so your purpose is to share God’s message through evangelism.
— Baptize them into…: You were formed for God’s family, so your purpose is to identify with his church through fellowship.
— Teach them to do all things…: You were created to become like Christ, so your purpose is to grow to maturity through discipleship.
A great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will make you a great Christian. Keeping these five purposes in balance is not easy. These are four important activities for purpose-driven living… If you are serious about staying on track, you will need to develop these habits:
1) Talk it through with a spiritual partner or small group: The best way to internalize the principles in this book is to discuss them with others in a small-group setting. We learn best in community. Our minds are sharpened and our convictions are deepened through conversation.
2) Give yourself a regular spiritual check-up: The best way to balance the five purposes in your life is to evaluate yourself periodically. God places a high value on the habit of self-evaluation. The Bible says, “Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups… Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
3) Write 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. Writing helps clarify what God is doing in your life. Don’t just write down the pleasant things. Whenever problems occur, remember that God uses them to fulfill all five purposes in your life: 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. You owe it to future generations to preserve the testimony of how God helped you fulfill his purposes on earth. It is a witness that will continue to speak long after you’re in heaven.
4) Pass on what you know to others: If you want to keep growing, the best way to learn more is to pass on what you have already learned. Proverbs tells us, “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” (Proverb 11:25)
Now that you understand the purposes of life, it is your responsibility to carry the message to others. God is calling you to be his messenger.
The more you know, the more God expects you to use that knowledge to help others. Knowledge increases responsibility. But passing along the purpose of life is more than an obligation; it’s one of life’s greatest privileges. Imagine how different the world would be if everyone knew their purposes. Paul said, “If you teach these things to other followers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 4:6)
IT’S ALL FOR GOD’S GLORY
The reason we pass on what we learn is for the glory of God and the growth of his kingdom. The night before he was crucified, Jesus reported to this Father, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4)
Jesus told his Father what he had been doing for the last three years: preparing his disciples to live for God’s purposes. He helped them to know and love God (worship), taught them to love each other (fellowship), gave them the Word so they could grow to maturity (discipleship), showed them how to serve (ministry), and sent them out to tell others (mission). Jesus modeled a purpose-driven life, and he taught others how to live it, too. That was the “work’ that brought glory to God.
Today God calls each of us to the same work. God wants us to introduce people to Christ, bring them into his fellowship, help them grow to maturity and discover their place of service, and then send them out to reach others, too.
This is what purpose-driven living is all about. Regardless of your age, the rest of your life can be the best of your life, and you can start living on purpose today.
Summarized from The Purpose Driven Life written by Rick Warren