Thursday, October 05, 2006

Purpose Driven life Chapter 3

So very busy. So very, very busy.

So very blessed. So very, very blessed

I am reading through the Purpose Driven Life with my best friend. Praise God.

Every day I write down my notes and send them to him. Most days they are just bullet points---yes, I know it's the third chapter and how could I say "most days" when this has only happened two other days...well, I've read through the book before...some of it...and I took notes before, but they weren't much more than the bullet points---but today as soon as I got to the initial Scripture (Eccleciastes 4:4) a big bomb went off in my head and I read and wrote for an over an hour. Here is the result.


Okay, this chapter really got me going. I read the first Bible reference (Ecc 4:4) and had a full page and a half written just from that before I even got into the chapter....I'm not sure which to start with, I'll start with what I noted from the chapter first I guess and then expound on Eccleciastes.

Chap 3

Everyone's life is driven by something.

Nothing matters more than knowing God's purposes for your life, and nothing can compensate for not knowing them.

Without a purpose life is:

Motion without meaning
Activity without direction
Events without reason.

Five benefits of having a purpose:

1. Knowing your purpose gives meaning to your life

a. We were made to have meaning.
b. When life has meaning, you can bear almost anything.
Without it, nothing is bearable. <--Me after Patty broke my heart at 21

No God = No purpose = No meaning = No hope

2. Knowing purpose simplifies life.

a. Purpose gives us a foundation to make decisions, allocate time and resources.
Otherwise, we're just spinning our wheels and making decisions on the fly...or...see
me in my early20's? (Well, part of the time)

3. Knowing purpose gives focus

a. This is the biggest benefit for me I think. Without purpose, I definitely live a life
of "aimless distraction."

p II pg 32 = me without purpose

b. When light is focused enough (laser) it can cut through steel

4. Knowing purpose gives us motivation.

a. Nothing energizes you like a clear purpose. Purpose produces passion

b. I am a passionate person by nature, but the only thing that has produces sustained
passion in my life is serving God.

5. Knowing purpose prepares us for eternity

a. We're not here to leave a legacy, but so many people think they are. We're here to
prepare for eternity, which so many aren't

Okay, that's all the notes I took out of the chapter. Some good stuff, but the thing that impacted me the most was that "Ecc 4:4" verse, specifically the "chasing after the wind" part. it reminds me of what you and I have talked about, about how people get so caught up in things that aren't important. How they get trapped by trying to get ahead, to do more, have more, get more, be the end, it's all's all chasing the wind.

So the verse caught me up because I had read through the first few chapters of Eccleciastes last fall in Sunday School and it inspired probably my first real "favorite" song of mine that I thought was musically and lyrically as good as what anyone else was singing about on the radio:

You can listen here

Holy is the Lord

All this vanity, All this pride, Never filling, the whole inside
Nothing new, Underneath the sun, You can chase the wind, as fast as you can run
You'll never find, the satisfaction that you seek, Never know, what is promised to the meek,
He counts the hairs, up upon your head, He knows your days, until the one when you'll lay dead

Holy Holy is the LORD
Holy Holy is the LORD
Holy Holy is the LORD
Holy Holy is the LORD

You know the truth, but you’re caught in a lie, obligated, to your foolish pride
You know the Word, that can save your soul, but you can't give up, this illusion of control,
Turn your ear, to the wisdom offered you, Apply your heart, to understanding what is true,
You'll find a treasure, worth more than all the gold, that you could count, in all the days until you grow old

Holy Holy is the LORD
Holy Holy is the LORD
Holy Holy is the LORD
Holy Holy is the LORD

You are so magnificent, Father
I consecrate this day to you,
Help me LORD, to be mindful of your ways,
In everything I say and do

So after that I went and read through all of Eccleciastes up until 4:4. I really like Eccleciastes because it was written by Solomon, the wisest of all men. I wrote it before in one of my first blogs that I thought given the choices Solomon had (money, power, wisdom) I would have chosen the wisdom as well. lol. I think I'm that wise. lol.

Anyway, I do aspire to be wise, not because of pride, just because I like to know the "answers" so that I can help.

So, i went back and read through and these are my notes from that.

----1:1-11, 2:14-16

Solomon points out that:

One generation comes, it goes, and another comes.
The sun rises, the sun sets, and the sun goes back around to rise again.
The wind goes South. the wind goes North. the wind completes its circuit and goes South again.
A river runs into the sea, but the sea never fills

And then he clarifies what he is saying with:

That which has been will be.
That which is done is what will be done
There is nothing new under the sun.

And I love that, because it proves that thousands of years ago there was a man that believed the same things we believe now; that people were wasting their time trying to accomplish things which could never be accomplished. People were consumed with filling their lives with things that ultimately just didn't matter at all. It points to something which I believe, which is that the people that think we are becoming more enlightened as a race are fools. We are not progressing, we are driven by the same things that have always driven us. Lust, greed, power...nothing has is man is man.

And when you combine that with what Solomon says further in, in Ecc 2:14-16

14 The wise man has eyes in his head,
while the fool walks in the darkness;
but I came to realize
that the same fate overtakes them both.

15 Then I thought in my heart,
"The fate of the fool will overtake me also.
What then do I gain by being wise?"
I said in my heart,
"This too is meaningless."

16 For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered;
in days to come both will be forgotten.
Like the fool, the wise man too must die!

It demonstrates that whether, as the book says, people are driven by; guilt, anger, fear, materialism or the need for approval, there is one thing that is's all pointless. It's all meaningles because it has all been done before and except for the exceptionally exceptional, the most wise of the wise (Solomon...Lincoln...Einstein...Edison) and the most foolish of the foolish, which to me means the most evil of evil because that is foolish to it's furthest degree, except for the most foolish of the foolish then (Hitler....Stalin....Nero.....Paris for these few people in all of history....NOBODY IS REMEMBERED AND NOTHING LASTS.

I know that was a giant run on sentence...but I'm writing as I would speak...I need to clean it up though.

Back to chapter one though, specifically 1:18, Solomon say he:

sought wisdom and found grief.

The notes in my Bible say:

"The very process of learning is an expansion of the awareness of our ignorance"

--- And that reminds me directly of what we were talking about when I pointed out that Paul said that he was the chief of sinners. That what Paul meant was that the longer he lived and the more days that he had to know God and how perfect and holy God is, the more Paul realized how little he deserved the mercy and grace that was given to us on the cross. Get it?

And then Solomon says that he sought happiness in wine and mirth (pleasure) and accomplishment amongst other things but he:

2:11 still had a sense that nothing lasting or enduring had been achieved

And I think this is where some people get caught up, because I know that there is something in me that says:

"Well, that sucks. That's not fair. You mean that there is nothing I can do here on this earth, there is nothing I can build or write or accomplish that is going to give me satisfaction?"

Well, first, that isn't what it means, but for my point about people getting caught up here and, specifically getting caught up and not being willing to turn their lives over to God, it's important to note that this is what I felt it was saying.

I think some people are selfish enough that they will turn away from God rather than having to find their pleasure in doing things for His pleasure rather than their own. What am I saying?! We're all that selfish, otherwise, once you became a Christian you would never sin out of pride again. And that just isn't the case. We forget Him in a heartbeat sometimes if we are presented the opportunity to claim a victory as our own!

The reason that 2:11 doesn't mean that we can never have a satisfaction in our accomplishments though is found in 2:24-26:

24 A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God,

25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

26 To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.

It's not that we can't have the sense of satisfaction or accomplishment, rather, think of it this way:

I think most people would agree that you get a better sense of accomplishment and happiness from that which you have done for others than that which you have done for yourself. Well, taken a step further, that means that the ultimate and lasting sense of accomplishment and joy comes from that which you have done for God, or in obedience to God.

And that also ties into the 5th benefit that Warren points out:

Knowing our purpose prepares us for eternity.

When we:

1. Know God
2. Know His purpose for our lives
3. Act in obedience to Him and fulfill that purpose

We are living life as we will live it for all eternity.

---So, then we come to the most famous bits of Eccleciastes, and this is where I wrote the ultimate run on sentence.

Ecc 3:1-8

A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

In my Bible notes it points out that some say that the Eccleciastes is actually a negative book, while others say that it shows that apart from God, life is utter emptiness. I don't believe either. I just believe that apart from God, life is nowhere near as joyful, focused and satisfying as life in his presence.

But, to sum up Ecc 1 all the way through 3:8, I think it shows that "it's all been done" and apart from:

a. the presence of God
b. the knowledge of His purpose for your life
c the knowledge that God is in control of all and that there is a time for everything
according to his purpose and His plan

apart from those three thing all that is left is one big cycle that:

a. may or may be satisfying
b. may or may not allow us to have some sense of peace in our lives (but not nearly the
sense one gets from knowing and trusting God)
c. may or may not allow you to have joy

Man, apart from those things, I'm sorry, but life sucks. Apart from those three things there must be hopelessness. What can you put your hope in other than God that you can always trust to bring you satisfaction, peace and joy?? NOTHING!!

Apart from those three things then, I believe Solomon is saying there is only madness.

And (here is where the run on sentence starts in my notes) it is okay, is acceptable to say that if you live apart from those three things that you are mad, that it is madness, because:

- to choose any other choice but to serve the GOD that made you is utter madness

- to choose any other choice but to love the God that loved you enough to GIVE YOU LIFE IN THE FIRST PLACE is madness

- to choose any other choice but to serve the God that loved you enough to pay the price for your transgressions, your sin, your willful choose any other choice than to choose to give your life over to the God that made you, and loved you and died for you on a CROSS after being BEATEN and HUMILIATED....

- to choose any other choice...

- to not choose the choice to serve Him, and instead choose to go it alone in the world where eveil lurks and waits to eat your life and soul

- to not choose to serve Him and instead choose eternity in Hell

- and to make such a bad choice and then act in varying degrees as if those people that have chosen to live their lives for the Creator of the Universe, the Creator of their very bodies and breath...

- to choose SO POORLY, and then act as if the people that have chosen so logically and act as if they are simple and foolish......

well....that IS madness.......

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found this truly inspiring! Thank you.