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Summary: Someone said, “There are two great days in a person’s life -- the day we are born and the day we discover why.”

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On August 22nd, US Olympian Matt Emmons fired his final shot in the 50-meter three-position rifle competition. Emmons was leading by three points and needed only to get near the bull’s-eye to win the gold medal.

He fired, but the automatic scoring system didn’t register any points. At first, Emmons thought it was an electronic error. Then he learned it was his error. He had fired at the wrong target! Emmons fired at the target in lane three while shooting in lane two. The mistake is called a cross-fire – an extremely rare and shocking mistake in elite competition.

Emmons was awarded him a score of zero for that last shot. His sure win turned into 8th place. His gold medal turned into no medal.

So much skill, so much effort, so much focus. But no medal!

God has planned us for His purposes. He has targets for us to hit with our lives. We can be skilled in this life. We can put forth great effort in this life. We can be very focused in this life. We can be successful in hitting a target in this life. But if it’s the wrong target, we don’t win.

That’s why this Purpose Driven Life series is so important. Do you know your purpose in life? Are you hitting the mark? We need to make sure we are aiming at the right targets. One definition of “failure” is “succeeding at something that doesn’t really matter.” So, ask yourself, “At what target am I really aiming? Is it the right target?

Someone said, “There are two great days in a person’s life -- the day we are born and the day we discover why.”

This morning, we continuing our look at God’s word to discover His purposes for our lives. Today, we’re looking at purpose number 1…

Before we go further, let’s stop and pray about some tragic deaths at BBHHS and IHS. (Talk about the service at 4:00 on Sunday at the Barn…)

Welcome to 40 days of purpose.

Last week we took a look at “what on earth am I here for?”

Next week, we’ll look closely a how we were formed for God’s family.

But today, planned for God’s pleasure…

It’s not too late to join a group. It’s not too late to buy a book. Join us by reading day 8 today.

I love the film “Chariots of Fire.” It’s the story of two British athletes who competed in the Olympics in Paris in 1924. Eric Liddel was a Scottish sprinter who later became a missionary to China. His sister wanted him to be a missionary sooner rather than later and tried to talk him out of running. Let’s take a look…

"When I run I feel God’s pleasure.” Do you feel God’s pleasure as you live your life? Your life – even your running or your shopping or your working – can be

pleasing to God.

Two weekends ago, I said, “Many of us grew up in religious traditions that gave us a view of God like this: He’s always ticked off; He’s always just a little mad at us.” I reminded us that God is a God of wrath. That He is angry with sin. But I encouraged us never to forget that He is a supremely happy, joyful Creator. And that He loves you.

The LORD takes pleasure in His people.

Psalm 149:4 (NASB)

God takes pleasure in watching you be you. Instead of seeing God as always ticked off because of you, why not see Him as a God who rejoices over you? God’s word says that He does.

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)

God is glad that He saved you. He rejoices over you. You put a song in His heart. He is love and He made you to love you. Now, what does He want back from you… and me? He wants us to love Him back.

Pastor Rick Warren says, “The most important thing to know in life is that God loves you.

And the most important thing to do in life is to love Him back.”

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.

Matthew 22:37-38 (NKJV)

If you can say at the end of each day, “Lord, I got to know You a little more today and I learned to love You a little better” then you had a successful day no matter how bad things might have been. But if you can’t say that at the end of the day, it wasn’t a successful day no matter how great things may have seemed.

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