by Rick Warren
“Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us …. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us” (Ephesians 1:4-5a TLB).
If you’re going to get ready to be used by God, the first thing you need to do is understand the purpose of your life.
The Bible makes it very clear in Ephesians 1:4-5: “Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us …. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us” (TLB).
God made you to be a part of his family. He made you to have a relationship with you. He made you to love you and to be loved in return. But there’s only one way to get to be a part of God’s family: faith in Jesus Christ. When you put your faith and trust in Jesus, you become a part of God’s family.
Not only does God want you to be a part of his family but he also wants you to spend eternity with him.
Ephesians 1:10 says, “This was his purpose: that when the time is ripe he will gather us all together … to be with him in Christ forever.” God’s purpose is first that you become a part of his family, that you get to know him, and then you spend all of eternity with him.
History is moving toward a climax. One day, God’s going to take everybody who’s put their faith in him and bring them all together to spend eternity with him in Heaven.
Life is preparation for eternity. The Bible says that God has “set eternity in the human heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11a NIV). That means you were made to last forever. You were made for eternity. You are going to live forever. Every human being is going to live forever in one of two places: with God in Heaven or apart from God in Hell.
God didn’t just create you for the 80 or 90 or however many years you have on this planet. God has long-range plans for your life. So what is life here about? It is preparation for eternity. That means that God is more interested in preparing you for eternity than he is in simply making you happy here and now. Of course he loves you and wants you to be happy, but not at the expense of having you ill-prepared for eternity.
Life is dress rehearsal. This is the warm-up act for the big event. You need to get prepared for eternity by getting to know God, becoming more like Jesus, and letting God use you to fulfill his purpose on Earth.
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Talk It Over
Have you taken the step of becoming a member of the family of God? What do you understand about your purpose since becoming a believer?
In what ways does God use your time on Earth to prepare you for eternity?
Do you value your character over your happiness? How do you respond when God chooses to build your character through a difficult situation rather than make you happy?