Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 7

If God designed me, and my purpose is to live a life that brings glory to God, then I need to continuously be learning who He is. How? previous chapters of this study, it mentions prayer and reading the Bible. But, today's lesson gives a couple of more tangible and specific examples:

1. Creation reveals our Creator. "The heavens declare the glory of God." (Psalm 19:1)
In nature we can see that God is powerful, enjoys variety, loves beauty, is organized, wise and creative.

2. Jesus Christ illuminates God's nature. So, when reading the Bible, focusing on Jesus is a good way to discover God and how to live a life that brings Him glory.

3. Jesus honored God by fulfilling his purpose on earth. (John 17:4) Therefore, we can honor God by fulfilling His purpose for us.

4. As we journey through life seeking and fulfilling God's purpose for us, we can be assured that our path will include following the commandments of Jesus. John records one of Jesus' commandments in chapter 13, verses 34-35, "As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this alll men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

Spiritual maturity is becoming like Jesus in the way we think, feel, and act.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Days 5 & 6

How can we know God's will?
Let God change the way you think through prayer and studying the Bible...Then, you will be able to know the will of God. (Romans 12:2)

1. Start seeing life from God's point of view.

2. Know that God wants you to pass the tests of life, and "He will not allow you to be tested beyond your ability to handle it." (I Corinthians 10:13)

3. God has entrusted his creation to us, and part of our purpose is to manage and take care of it. If we borrow something from a friend, we take special care of it, because it is not ours and we want to return it in the same condition. When we look at all that we are entrusted with as borrowed, we begin to look at it differently.

4. We are ambassadors for Christ; this is our temporary assignment. If we were U.S. ambassadors to another country, we would have to learn the language, adapt to customs, and learn cultural nuances in order to accomplish our mission. In the same way, we are to live in this world, but not forget where our loyalty lies. (2 Corinthians 5:20)

So, as the words of a current Carrie Underwood song states, "This is our temporary home...."

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 4

Today's theme was that we were made to last forever. One verse stood out for me today, Ecclesiastes 3:11, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has put eternity in their hearts..." I have heard the first part of this verse many times, but the second part has escaped my notice until today. I think this is one of my favorite realizations, we yearn to immortalize ourselves because we were wired that way. We fear or resist death because we were made to live eternally. Fortunately, God provided. Death is not the end.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 3

1. Everyone's life is driven by something, be it guilt, anger, fear, materialism, the need for approval, etc.

2. But the greatest peace and happiness comes from a purpose driven life. Knowing God's purpose for your life gives meaning to it.

3. People who don't know their purpose try to do too much, causing unnecessary stress. Rick Warren warns to never confuse activity with productivity.

4. Focusing your activities on your purpose simplifies your life and provides motivation and passion.

So, I am going to claim God's promise, recorded by His prophet Isaiah, "You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you." (Isaiah 26:3) 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 2

Here are the top 3 insights for today from Rick Warren's, The Purpose Driven Life:

1. You are not an accident. If there was no God, we would all be accidents, a result of random chance in the universe.

2. God created the world to be inhabited, (Isaiah 45:18) and it is uniquely suited for our existence.
Dr. Michael Denton, senior research fellow in human molecular genetics at the University of Otago in New Zealand confirms this statement, "...the cosmos is a specially designed whole with life and mankind as its fundamental goal and purpose."

3. God's motive for creating us is LOVE. God is love (1 John 4:8). Love is the essence of God's character.

So...if we were created on purpose, we can find that purpose by focusing on the creator.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Today, I started Rick Warren's 40 day challenge in his book, The Purpose Driven Life. I really enjoyed reading and studying and reflecting on what my purpose is in this life. I was able to spend about 45 minutes on it this morning, and I thought, "How in the world would I be able to fit this in if I was working?" It made me very thankful that I am able to be a stay-at-home mom with the flexibility and time to commit to studies such as this. And I thought, "You know, if I share a brief snippet of what I came away with each day on my blog, maybe someone out there who is a lot busier than me, can also benefit." So, if you feel so inclined, feel free to check in. My posts will just be the top 5 or so things that stood out to me. Here's what I took away today (and remember, I am speaking to myself):

1. It's not about you.

2. You were created BY God and FOR God's purpose. (Colossians 1:16)

3. You must DENY yourself to live for Jesus. Self-sacrifice, as opposed to self-help, is the answer. (Matthew 16:24)

4. God clearly reveals His purpose for us in His word and through His Spirit. Our relationship with Jesus allows His Holy Spirit to dwell in us and reveal to us the things of the Spirit, which those who are not followers of Jesus see as foolishness. (1 Corinthians 2:10,14)

5. God's purpose is designed for eternity.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I absolutely love Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers! It is a fabulous 19th century version of the story of Gomer and Hosea. It is vivid and heart-wrenching and gut-wrenching, non-stop action throughout. Towards the end of the story, I found myself thinking, "She's leaving him again?! After all the unconditional love he has shown?! How much more will it take to convince her?" And then I realized that that is one of the aspects of this novel that makes it so perfect...Rivers expertly reveals the same message that God tells through the prophetic life of Homer and his relationship with Gomer: God is always waiting with unconditional love, to receive Isreal (and us) back into His arms again, and again, and again.

Friday, September 9, 2011

This sweet, sweet children's book by Sheila Walsh gives life and a visual interpretation to Psalm 91:11. Gabby is a guardian angel in training on her first assignment. She is sent to help protect a little girl named Sophie who is a fearless, spontaneous little girl after Gabby's own heart. Gabby takes her job to protect the one's that the Lord loves very seriously and she rises to the challenge.
Little girls will love the glittering, bright, and colorful illustrations throughout this story. They exude the sweetness and innocence of children and portray funloving children with angels watching over them. What a wonderful story to bring God's promise in Psalm 91:11 to life for little ones!
Thanks to for a copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review.