(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Day 38 & Day 39 of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Please know that what we all learn from a study is usually different. Therefore, we encourage you to share your thoughts and what you've learned in the comments section below each post. We're sure you'll lift someone's spirit.)
"WHAT ON EARTH AM I HERE FOR?"
These words have been screaming at me from the front of The Purpose Driven Life book since we started this study in April. It's something I always wondered. What is my goal in life? After my son was diagnosed with autism five years ago I thought it was to help other mothers who don't know Jesus get to know him. After reading The Purpose Driven Life, I've realized it's so much bigger than that. Sure I need to reach out to other moms who have children with autism to show them how much Jesus can and will help us through this difficult time. However, it's so much bigger than autism. Autism is my platform. That's where I start. Where I go from there is up to me.
Day 38 & Day 39 really started to pull the whole book together for me. Day 38 taught me that I need to not only think about reaching out to my family and my friends and to local moms who have children on the spectrum, I also need to reach out to the entire world. That's a big job to put on someone's plate that already has a lot on it. But, stop and think about it. Who all are you in contact with that doesn't know the strength we have in Jesus? I have family members, friends, neighbors, teachers, therapists, doctors, friends on Facebook, friends on Yahoo groups, and so many more. We have been placed in their paths for a reason. How do we start? How can we make a difference in this world for God?
On Day 38, Rick Warren shares with us that one of the best things we can do is pray. On page 301, he says "The Bible tells us to pray for opportunities to witness, for courage to speak up, for those who will believe, for the the rapid spread of the message, and for more workers." He goes on "People may refuse our love or reject our message, but they are defenseless against our prayers." We need to start our mission by praying. God will lead us to our mission. Whether it's through the Internet or taking a journey across the world, it will happen. We just need to open ourselves up for it. I love how Rick Warren says on page 304 "There are over 6 billion people on earth, and Jesus wants all his lost children found." How can you do your part to help? Start by praying.
On Day 39, we learn about balancing our lives. The Purpose Driven Life has taught us the five most important things to living our lives for God's purpose. On page 310, Rick Warren reminds us of how Jesus used these five things to prepare his disciples to do the same. "He helped them to know and love God (worship), taught them to love each other (fellowship), gave them the Word so they could grow to maturity (discipleship), showed them how to serve (ministry), and sent them out to tell others (mission). Jesus modeled a purpose-driven life, and he taught others how to live it, too. That was the "work" that brought glory to God." After everything that Jesus has done for us and continues to do for us, why shouldn't we be living a purpose-driven life as well? It all starts with a prayer. Praying is easy. God will show us where we need to be and who we need to help as long as we let him in. How much easier our lives would be if we could remember this. Remember what Rick Warren said on page 299..."The only way we make this paradigm switch is by a moment-by-moment dependence on God."
Get into the habit right at this moment of praying. Yes, we can still pray to God when we need his help, need a miracle, etc...However, what most of us don't pray about is our mission and who we can help. I know it can be kind of intimidating teaching someone about Jesus. However, if you stop and think about it, that's just Satan playing with your mind. What if they ask you a question you don't know? What if they laugh at you? What if they....? It's Satan. You know Jesus. You know what he's done for you in your life and what he will continue to do for you. All you need to do is show them his love. God is so awesome that not only will he bring us our missions, he'll prepare us as well!
As a side note, if you are looking for a short book on ways to share your faith, I've found great comfort in "How to Share Your Faith" by Greg Laurie. It's an easy read that has helped me a great deal. You may be able to check it out at your local library!
Bible Verses from Day 38 & Day 39
Jesus said to his followers, "Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone." -Mark 16:15
Send us around the world with the news of your saving power and your eternal plan for all mankind. -Psalm 67:2
Live life with a due sense of responsibility, not as those who do not know the meaning of life but as those who do. -Ephesians 5:15
Don't let the errors of evil people lead you down the wrong path and make you lose your balance. -2 Peter 3:17