Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Purpose Driven Life

I have once again, with great determination, pulled The Purpose Driven Life from my bookcase. I have started on this journey 2 or 3 times before, failing to cross the finish line once I missed a daily devotional. That perfectionism is very binding and weighs heavy on me. Maybe it wasn't the right time before. Something is telling me this time is different.

If you'd like to join me in the discovery of life's most important question: "What on earth am I here for?", leave a comment and look for posts titled "TPDL-Day #". This time around my approach to reading the book is not hyper-focused on completing it in 40 days, although that may be the case. I'm forcing myself to believe that it is better to complete the journey on my timeline, than forgo the transformation possible when not completed exactly as intended.

From the book's acknowledgement -

"Before you were born, God planned this moment in your life. It is no accident that you are holding this book. God longs for you to discover the life he created you to live - here on earth, and forever in eternity."

It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ ... he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
Ephesians I:II (Msg)

Wikipedia article on the book:

The Purpose Driven Life (2002) is a devotional book written by Christian author Rick Warren and published by Zondervan. The book has been on the New York Times Best Seller list for advice books for one of the longest periods in history, while also topping the Wall Street Journal best seller charts as well as Publishers Weekly charts with over 30 million copies sold by 2007.

The book offers readers a 40-day personal spiritual journey, and presents what Warren says are God's five purposes for human life on Earth and describes itself as "a blueprint for Christian living in the 21st Century ... using over 1200 Biblical verses and quotes to challenge the conventional definitions of Christian Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Christian Ministry and Evangelism."

The book is intended to be read as a daily inspiration, with each of the 40 short chapters read on consecutive days. Each chapter contains a personal application section at the end with a "point to ponder," a verse to remember, and a question to consider over the course of that day. Rick Warren described his book as an "anti-self-help book." The first sentence of the book reads, "It's not about you," and the remainder of the chapter goes on to explain how the quest for personal fulfillment, satisfaction, and meaning can only be found in understanding and doing what God placed you on Earth to do. The book's 40 chapters are divided into six major sections, with the following titles:

What on Earth Am I Here For?
Purpose #1: You Were Planned for God's Pleasure (Worship)
Purpose #2: You Were Formed for God's Family (Fellowship)
Purpose #3: You Were Created to Become Like Christ (Discipleship)
Purpose #4: You Were Shaped for Serving God (Ministry)
Purpose #5: You Were Made for a Mission (Mission)

Will you join me? The first seven chapters are posted online here to help get you started.

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