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The Purpose-Driven Life

Charlie Boyd - 11/11/2018

Back in 2002, Rick Warren wrote a book entitled, The Purpose-Driven Life. He began like this: It’s not about you. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born b y his purpose and f or his purpose. … You were made b y God and f or God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense. It is only in God that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny. Every other path leads to a dead end. He says: You were made for God, not vice versa, and life is about letting God use you for h is purposes, not you using him for your own purpose. As I see it, that’s what Romans 15:14-33 is about—What it looks like to live a purpose-driven life. 

Now Paul didn’t plant or start the church in Rome. He had never been there, but he had heard good things about the church and he very much wanted to visit them. Read 1:8-13 and compare to 15:14-22. What’s interesting is that Romans 15:14-33 is Paul’s absence excuse. Basically, he says the reason he hasn’t been able to visit Rome is b/c his purpose has determined his plans. That’s his “absence excuse”—I haven’t been able to visit you because my purpose has determined my plans.

So, what is Paul’s purpose? Paul is passionately pursuing life and mission with Jesus. He sees his life as a continuation of Jesus’ ministry of connecting people to God by preaching the Gospel of the grace of God. Your purpose in life is also a continuation of Jesus’ purpose (cf Lk 19:10 and Matt 28:19-20). God is at work in the world and he wants you to join him in his work. Following Jesus means your life purpose must be in line with God’s great purpose of drawing people to himself by living out grace and telling others about God’s grace. 

Seven things that give shape to who you are. (1) Your personality; (2) Your gift mix; (3) Your relationships; (4) Your work; (5) Your resources; (6) Your arena for service; (7) Your purpose. The first six will be different from other believers, but all believers share a common purpose. The first six will “color”/shape how you live a God’s purpose-driven life. A purpose-driven life is a life that is a continuation of Jesus’ life. You let Jesus continue to live his life and do his work through you. Your purpose in life is a continuation of Jesus’ purpose.

Now in this “absence excuse,” Paul moves from his purpose to his plans (Read 14:22-33). Paul’s plan was to go to Rome after he had taken an offering to the poverty-stricken Jewish believers in Jerusalem. After Jerusalem, he planned to stop off in Rome and then head on to Spain with their help and support. But 2 of 2 after Romans 15 and before chapter 16, write in Acts 21-28. Paul’s plans did not happen like he planned. His prayers were not answered the way he prayed. His plans changed, but his purpose didn’t. If you stay focused on God’s purpose for your life, when “storms” change your plans, you will stay on course. 

Paul’s purpose—and this is our purpose statement here at FG —Paul’s purpose was to passionately pursue life and mission with Jesus —to continue and to finish the work Jesus gave him to do. He made plans in line with that purpose and when his plans changed he stayed on course because his plans took 2 nd place to God’s purpose for his life. Here are three things to think on “by way of reminder”

First : Make God’s purpose ______________ purpose. See your life as a continuation of Jesus’ life and work.

Second : Look for where God is working and _______________ him there. Remember, you will experience God working in the storms, the detours, the interruptions if you are looking for him. 

Third , hold your plans with ___________ _____________