For some, the thought that we were put on earth to ‘make a contribution’ may be an exciting thought, fuelling their passion. Others may find it to be confronting and a bit overwhelming. Whatever your response, the excellent news is that if we were created to make a contribution, everything we need is within us.
The Purpose Driven Life says we were created to add to life on earth, not just take from it. God wants us to give something back. This is God’s fourth purpose for our life* and it is called ‘ministry’ or service. The bible gives us the details (abbreviated):
- You were created to serve God. “God has created us for a life of good deeds, which He has already prepared for us to do.” (Eph 20:10b) These “good deeds” are your service. “Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work” (Jer 1:5). YOU were placed on this planet for a special assignment.
- You were saved to serve God. God redeemed you so you could do His ‘holy work’. You’re not saved by service, but you are saved for service.
- You are called to serve God. Regardless of your job or career, you are called to full-time Christian service. A ‘non-serving Christian’ is a contradiction in terms.
- You are commanded to serve God. The old comparison between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea is still true. Galilee is a lake full of life because it takes in water but also gives it out. In contrast, nothing lives in the Dead Sea because, with no outflow, the lake has stagnated. “Your attitude must be like my own, for I, the Messiah, did not come to be served but to serve and to give my life” (Matt 20:28)
The challenge TPDL is giving today is this: If you’re not involved in any service or ministry, what excuse have you been using? Abraham was old, Jacob was insecure, Leah was unattractive, Joseph was abused, Moses stuttered, Gideom was poor, Samson was codependent, Rahab was immoral, David had an affair and all kinds of family problems, Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was reluctant, Naomi was a widow, John the Baptist was eccentric to say the least, Peter was impulsive and hot-temptered, Martha worried a lot, the Samaritan woman had several failed marriages, Zacchaeus was unpopular, Thomas had doubts, Paul had poor health, and Timothy was timid. That is quite a variety of misfits but God used each of them in His service. He will use you, too, if you stop making excuses.
How encouraging. I can tick myself off on so many of the ‘excuses’ listed above.. but apparently God already has the solution!
Have you been making excuses? Do you feel like you have nothing to give? What small step can you take today towards living a life of service?
If you want to share, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Have a great day!
*Purpose 1: Planned for God’s Pleasure/Purpose 2: Formed for God’s Family/Purpose 3: Created to Become Like Christ/ Purpose 4: Shaped for Serving God
PLEASE NOTE: Quotations in this and other posts relating to The Purpose Driven Life (usually entitled Day:?) are sourced from The Purpose Driven Life book by Rick Warren unless otherwise stated. This is an independant study and is based on my opinion and experience only. Copies of The Purpose Driven Life book are available for purchase from all good christian books stores, including Koorong. The first seven chapters of the book can be downloaded FREE from Rick Warren’s official site here.