Day twenty nine of The Purpose Driven Life begins the section on my fourth purpose which is serving God. I was put on this earth to make a contribution and to make a difference with my life. This purpose is my “ministry” or service.
- I was created to serve God. I was placed on this earth for a special assignment of serving God.
- I was saved to serve God. God saved me so I could do his holy work. I have been given a special ministry on this earth which will help fulfill His purposes.
- I am called to serve God. Every Christian is called to full-time Christian service. Anytime I use my God-given abilities to serve others I am fulfilling my ministry.
- I am commanded to serve God. Service is not optional; it is a critical part of the Christian life. As we mature in our Christian life our focus should more and more move from serving ourselves to serving others. Unfortunately Warren chooses to quote Mother Teresa here since the Christian world naively deems her to be the ultimate example of Christian service.
When we die God is going to compare how much time and energy we have focused on ourselves to how much we have focused on others. There will be no excuses for being self-centered. We can only find our real purpose and significance in serving and ministering to others.
Warren quotes the Bible nineteen times using eight translations and paraphrases. Other than a very poor translation of 1 Corinthians 12:14, he generally quotes with accuracy and within the proper context.
Point to Ponder
Today’s point to ponder is “service is not optional.” I guess I find it hard to believe that some Christians actually hold this view. The Bible speaks time and again of the importance of serving others and of counting others better than yourself. We are to find joy in serving and ministering to others. I don’t think many believers would actually argue that they are not called to serve others, yet their lives may prove that deep down they do hold this view.
There are times and there are situations when I love to serve others. And then there are other times and situations when it is much more difficult. When I can do things in my time and the way I like to, I am always happy to be of service. What I find more difficult is to have the flexibility (and love) to love and serve others in the way they want or need. I think a mark of true service is being able to meet people where they are at, rather than making them meet you in the situations you are comfortable with. Christians are far better at ministering to others when they walk through the doors of a church than we are at ministering to people when we are not in the comforts of our Christian contexts.
Tomorrow’s topic is Shaped For Serving God