Summary: Part 1 in the series The Purpose-Driven Life. This message looks at what it means to waste your life and how to avoid it.

Don’t Waste Your Life

The Purpose Driven Life, part 1

David K. Flowers (Rick Warren)

Wildwind Community Church

October 14, 2007

I don’t know about you, but I hate wasting my time. I especially hate it when others waste my time. The older I get, the more this bothers me, maybe because the older I get the less time I have available to waste! What about you? By show of hands, did anyone get up this morning and come here because you are convinced we’re going to waste your time for 90 minutes? Was anyone just looking for a way to kill an hour or two so you figured this is as good a place as any?

How about the other way around. Did you come here this morning hoping, and maybe even believing, that it WOULDN’T be a waste of time? Did you come here expecting that the time would be time well-invested? I’ll bet most of you did. Church is a lousy place to waste time anyway, isn’t it? If you’re not really interested in the topic, then you have to sit there all that time in a room with a bunch of other people, try to stay awake or find a comfortable and non-obvious way of sleeping, sit on hard metal chairs (here at Wildwind), and just generally not have any fun at all. So you may not be a time-waster at church, but what about other areas of life? Are you using your time in the best way possible? Are you wasting time? What does it mean to use our time wisely? That question matters, because your time is your life. When you waste time, you waste your life. And when your time is done, so are you!

Ephesians, 5:15-17.

“Be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.”

Now notice, it says, “be careful how you live”. The opposite of careful is what?…careless. It says, don’t be careless. Literally in the Greek here it means “don’t stumble through life; don’t just drift through life”. Think it through, know what you’re here for, know your purpose and it says there, “make the most of every opportunity, be wise” and then it says, “try to understand what God wants you to do”. If I would ask you to be honest, how many of you would say, you really would like to know what God wants you to do with your life? How many would say it? I think most of us, if not all of us. Well, you’re in luck…because starting this week, we’re going to look intently for 40 Days at what God wants you to do with your life. It says “don’t be foolish, be wise. Know what God wants you to do with your life”. We’re going to look at the five purposes that God has created you for and it’s going to be quite a journey. In other words, we’re going to look at how you can avoid wasting your life. You only have one of them!

To get us started, I just want us to think about three important questions of life. What does God want? What does it take? Why should I do it? We’re going to look at these today.

First, what does God want from you? Well, when you read through the whole Bible, you can summarize it in a couple of words. He wants your whole life. He wants my entire life. There is not a single verse in the Bible, not one, that says you can be a Christian and live your life any old way you want to. It’s just not there. God wants all of you. He doesn’t want 10% of you, He doesn’t want 50% of you, He doesn’t want 99% of you – He wants all of you. C.S. Lewis once said, “The only thing Christianity cannot be is moderately important”. If it’s really true, then it deserves everything you’ve got. If it’s not true, you shouldn’t be here right now. It’s either true, and that should determine the rest of your life, or you should just chuck it and go do whatever you want to do.

There are always a lot of people sitting on the fence. Sometimes it’s because they say, “Well, I don’t know what God wants me to do”.

Deuteronomy 10:12 (NCV)

(12) …this is what the Lord your God wants you to do: Respect the Lord your God, and do what he has told you to do. Love him. Serve the Lord your God with your whole being…

A lot of people try to sit on the fence. They say, “Well, I’ll serve God in my spare time”. It’s like I have this pie – I have my social life, and I have my career and I have my sex life, you know I have my family life and over here I have my spiritual life - as if your spiritual life is one part of the pie. Wrong. God’s the whole pie. He wants the whole pie to be under His control. He wants your whole being. (We’ll discuss this more next week when we talk about worship.)

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