"What is the purpose of life?"
(From: An interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, author of "Purpose Driven Life " and pastor of Saddleback Church in California.)

9-7-2006 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #407
******************************************************

Please Freely Share any of our Church Within Services with Any and All whom you feel might Appreciate them. If you have received this Service from a friend and would like to subscribe to our Weekly On-Line Services, send an e-mail with your request to: seewithin@churchwithin.org Thank You! ...and Please Visit our Church Within Web-Site at http://www.churchwithin.org

Visit our SOW Seeds Archives at the Church Within Web-Site! http://www.churchwithin.org/sowarchive.html

Welcome
**********
Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

Today's SOW Seeds Story is actually an Interview with Rick Warren, the author of "Purpose Driven Life" but, in fact it Is a story because it is a part of His Story. With his overall Premise here I am in close alignment, though personally I would substitute the word “difficult” for his use of the word “bad” but then… maybe that's just me.

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Patije

*******************************************
Story of the Week
*****************
What is the purpose of life?
(From: An interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, author of "Purpose Driven Life " and pastor of Saddleback Church in California.)

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:


People ask me, What is the purpose of life?  And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity.  We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity.  This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.

God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life.  The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.


This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth.  I don't believe that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.

And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems.

If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is like "my problem, my issues, my pain."

But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her.

It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.

Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder.  For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before.  I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence.  He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit.  We made no major purchases.

Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back.  It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? 

Popularity?

Am I going to be driven by pressures?  Guilt?

Bitter ness? 

Materialism?  Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better.  God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list.  He's more interested in what I am than what I do.

That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.  Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.  Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.  Painful moments, TRUST GOD.

Every moment, THANK GOD.

*******************************************
Pastor's Quote of the Week
************************

May he judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with justice! Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness! May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor! May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations! May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth! In his days may righteousness flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more! May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth!

(From: The RSV Bible - Psalm 72:2-8)

*******************************************
The Prayer
***********
Dear God,        
        Thank You for being there for me whenever I think that I need You to be… and Thank You Most Especially for being there for me in those times when I'm ignorantly feeling like I can handle it all on my Own.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

Previous Story                       Next Story


Back to the Story of the Week Archive Page

Back to the Story of the Week Main Page

Back to the Church Within Home Page