Sunday, April 7, 2013

Purpose Driven Life Day 12 - Developing Your Friendship with God

When I first started reading this chapter, I was struck with the thought that this is not only the way to develop a friendship with God, but with people as well. It was easy for me to compare how to build a relationship with God with how I have built great relationships with others.

Warren first sentence in the chapter is "You are as close to God as you choose to be." Whoa! What'cha talking about Willis? If you really think about it, I am the reason I am not close to God. I decided not to make time in my schedule to pray, meditate, and focus on Him. The more I spend time with Him, I have no choice but to form a closer, tighter relationship.

Warren gives us four more ways to develop a relationship with God:
1. Choose to be honest with God
2. Choose to obey God in faith
3. Choose to value what God values
4. Desire His friendship over everything else

I love how Warren shows examples in the Bible with Job and Moses were candid with God and themselves about their feelings. God does not want us to give Him rehearsed or fake prayers and conversations. He wants us to be honest on how we truly feel. He wants us to express our anger, hurt, bewilderment just like we express our gratitude, happiness, and joy. Think about your best relationships. Don't you express all of your feelings and emotions to that person? Then why not God?

Key notes from Warren on honesty:

  • Genuine friendship is built on disclosure
  • It is likely that you need to confess some hidden anger and resentment at God for certain areas of your life where you have felt cheated or disappointed. 
  • Expressing doubt is sometimes the next step to intimacy with God
Choosing to obey God is not something you would think about doing with your friends, but if you dig deeper, you can find examples of it. When we choose to obey God, we are choosing to trust He has our best interest at heart. Isn't that what we do with our friends. We obey (or follow) what they say because we think they know what is best for us? Then we can definitely do it for/to God. God is not expecting us to go out and do great things all the time. What he expects us to do is great in the little things that is around us everyday! Hearing and obeying what He is requesting from us. That little small voice whispering in your ear. That is God giving you instructions. 

Choosing to value what God values reminds me of the saying, "a man (woman) after God's own heart." Isn't that the goal?  Now how do one do that? It's simple, we must genuinely care about God's people. We must be a witness for God and share His goodness with others. 

Desiring God's friendship over everything else is a eternity friendship. It is a choice all of us are able to make. God does not want a passive lukewarm relationship with us. He does not want us to just go through the motions. He wants us to be passionate about Him. God will find a way to get our attention. Many people think God is punishing them BUT he is not. He is trying to get your attention. He wants/desires to have a relationship with you.....a deep friendship. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Purpose Driven Life Day 8 - Planned for God's Pleasure

I highlighted so much in this chapter. I was planned for his pleasure! That is the greatest purpose ever. Now what do I do with that? The best answer I have right now is to live for Him and not for man(family, friends, husband/man, coworkers, bosses, etc). 

Pleasing God is worshiping Him in all that we do. Many people (I am guilty of it too) reserve worship to Sunday morning service and Bible study. Worship is more than just singing and/or moving to our favorite worship music. If we are truly living our purpose, we are acknowledging Him in everything we do. I love the analogy Warren gave about falling in love with his wife. That is how we are suppose to fall in love with Jesus...thinking about him constantly. 

Keys from Planned for God's Pleasure:

-Bringing pleasure to God is called "worship". Worship is far more than ceremonies, candles, healings, miracles, prayer, music. It is a lifestyle.

- Worship is far more than music. Every part of the service is worship. Anything that is offeredd to God in spirit and truth is an act of worship.

- Worship is not for your benefit but for God's. Our motive is to bring glory and pleasure to Him. God is not pleased or glorified when we do it out of tradition instead of passion and commitment.

-Worship is not PART of your life; it IS your life. Praise should be the 1st and last thing we do EVERY DAY. Every activity we perform should be an act of worship.*****This is where I was really convicted*****

Question to Consider: What common task could I start doing as if I were doing it directly to Jesus?

The first thing that came to my mind (and it was immediate) is my job. If I can change my focus to teaching for Jesus, I can be a more effective teacher. Now I know this change is easier said than done, but I am going to sincerely apply this mindset change.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Purpose Drive Life Day 7 - The Reason for Everything

The question of the day is "where in my daily routine can I become more aware of God's glory?" To me the REAL question for me was found on the page before, "Who are you going to live for - yourself or God?" I think we all have in some point in our lives lived for ourselves. Since I agreed to be completely honest, I feel I have lived 99.9% of my life for me, my goals, my desires, my wants, etc. If they happen to lined up with God's desires, then that made it better. I know it should be the other way around. Unfortunately, I don't know how to make that happen. How do I pray and know when God answers that prayer? How do I know when God is directing to go in a certain direction versus it being me wanting to go in that direction? 

This chapter starts off its all for Him. Spiritually, I know that is true. How do I order my steps to do it? How do I do it? I guess I have more questions than answers, which is definitely a hard place for me to be in. I always have an answer! LOL!

This chapter is about glory to God. It explains what it is (the expression of His goodness and all His other intrinsic, eternal qualities) and where it is (everywhere). We are commanded to RECOGNIZE, HONOR, DECLARE, PRAISE, REFLECT, and LIVE His glory.

I(we) can bring glory to God by doing the following: worshiping Him, loving other believers, becoming like Christ, serving others with our gifts, and telling others about Him. I was familiar with all these areas. What really stuck out to me is what is true worship. I thought I was doing something by really participating in praise and worship on Sundays mornings and playing my Gospel music in the morning. However, I am convicted to know it is so much more. Its a LIFESTYLE. That includes enjoying Him, loving Him, and giving ourselves to be used for his purposes.

QOTD: Where in my daily routine can I become more aware of God's glory? The short answer is everywhere! I can acknowledge him in everything I do, every decision I make, and thank Him for the good and the bad. When I am able to put God first in EVERYTHING, then I will truly walk with a purpose and truly honor God.

Purpose Driven Life Day 6 - Life is a Temporary Assignment

I have a short post. Therefore, I am including what we use to create our posts. They are located at the end of each chapter. 

This world is not my home.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

How should the fact that life on earth is just a temporary assignment change the way I am living right now?

Day 6 Key Take Aways
- 2 truths:compared to eternity life is extremely brief and earth is only a temporary residence

- Abundant life has nothing to do with material abundance and faithfulness to God does not guarantee success in a career or ministry 

- In order to keep us from becoming too attached to earth, God allows us to feel a significant amount of discontent and dissatisfaction in life longings that will never be fulfilled on this side of eternity.

Reflections: I love the way analogies were used in this chapter.
- Spiritual green cards are compared to a foreigner receiving a green card to work in the US.
- Ambassadors to a enemy country
- Fish trying to live on land

How should the fact that life on earth is just a temporary assignment change the way I am living right now?

One change I can/should make is truly living with the end in mind, returning back home. Listening and learning what God's will is versus my own will and DOING His will. Spending more time with Him to know what I should be doing.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Purpose Driven Life 4 - Made to Last Forever

Some days I did not post a lot. Here is one of my shorter posts. For the purposes of the blog, I have added more commentary to each of the statements that stood out.  

Day 4: Made to Last Forever

Statements that stood out:
- Life on earth is just the dress rehearsal before the real production. We all know we are not here forever. We need to remember that piece of information and start to live right. Our actions here dictate our eternity. 

- Tragically, many people will have to endure eternity without God because they chose to live without Him here on earth. Doesn't that seem fair? IF we are too busy on Earth for Him, why should He make time for us there.

- Suddenly, many activities, goals, and problems that seemed so important is trivial and unworthy of attention. What trivial things can we remove from our lives? What activities, goals, problems are hindering us from walking in our purpose? 

-THE MOST DAMAGING ASPECT OF CONTEMPORARY LIVING IS SHORT TERM THINKING.  I don't know how many times I complain about the microwave society. Everything is about right now. There is no wonder why so many of us think we suffer from ADD. 

- The deeds of this life are the destiny of the next. Again we need to make sure we are about handling our business the short time we are here on Earth. Tomorrow is not promised and we have to make sure we are ordering our steps for our eternal life. 

Question to consider: Since I was made to last forever, what is the one thing I should stop doing and the one thing I should start doing. I should probably stop cussing like a sailor. I should start praying more. Scratch that. I should learn how to pray so I will feel comfortable praying more.

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