BY RICK WARREN
“If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.” (Matthew 10:39 MSG)
Jesus was a man who was purpose driven. He knew his purpose, and he lived with priorities. The earliest statement we have from Jesus was when he was 12 years old and said, “I must be about my Father’s business.” At age 12, he already knew his life plan. He was focused. Then, at the end of his life, he said, “It is finished.” Those are the bookends of a successful life.
I want you to live a successful life. I want you to get to the end of your life and say, “I did it. I used my life the way God wanted me. I may have had a rocky start. But I used the rest of my life the way God wanted me to use it. And I put him first.”
Jesus said in Luke 12:30, “Only people who don’t know God are always worrying”(CEV). What does that mean? It means that when you worry, you’re acting like an atheist. Worry is practical atheism. It’s saying you don’t really believe God’s going to take care of you. It’s acting like an orphan.
Jesus also said in verse 31, “Your Father knows what you need. But put God’s work first, and these things will be yours as well.” All the other things in your life — your career, your education, your friendships, your romance, your finances — are all from God and are good. But if you’re a Christian, God comes first in your life. Everything else is second place. When you put him first, everything else will come into focus. God will help you with that.
Have you ever talked to people who say, “I'm just trying to find myself”? I hate to tell them, but they’re never going to find themselves — unless they do what Matthew 10:39 says: “If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me” (MSG).
The most counter-culture statement in today’s world is the first sentence of “The Purpose Driven Life”: “It’s not about you.” Everything in society says it’s all about you. All of the advertisements say it’s all about you: “Have it your way,” “We do it all for you,” “You deserve a break today,” “Obey your thirst,” “You’re worth it.”
Yet God says the only way you’re ever going to find yourself is by forgetting yourself and focusing on God. Then you’ll not only figure out God; you’ll also figure out you. That’s what it means to live like Jesus.
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Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox