Summary: The two greatest days in your life: When you were born and when you discovered what you were born for.
The Two Greatest Days in Your Life
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.
17 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets.
20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
WITHOUT A DOUBT, THE BOOK that has had the greatest impact upon the church in recent years is The Purpose Driven Life, by Pastor Rick Warren. You may have seen it indirectly promoted by the woman in Georgia who talked a wanted man into surrendering himself after he had killed some police officers in a courtroom.
She had shared the book with him in her apartment. And when interviewed on national TV, she unashamedly talked of the book’s influence on her own life. That was followed by several interviews of the author.
Then recently, the father of Natalie Holloway told reporters that he gave a copy of “The Purpose Driven Life” to the father of the boy who is incarcerated as a suspect in Natalie’s disappearance.
Why all the interest in this book? I think in part, the answer lies in the fact that God has placed this quest within us.
I read recently an article by Dr. Jeffery E. Greenway, president of Asbury Theological Seminary in which he told of an incident that occurred at his inauguration. A pastor friend took him aside and said, “Jeff, there are two great days in a person’s life–the day you were born and the day you discovered what you were born for. You were born for this.”
And I believe that there are two great days in your life as well. The day you were born and the day you discover what you were born for.
❏ What were you born for?
❏ Why did God choose to knit you together inside of your mother’s womb?
❏ Why has God graced you with life?
❏ Why are you here?
Several years ago, Time magazine did a survey in which they tried to discover what the number one expressed need in America was. Do you know what the vast majority of Americans said? They said that it was the need for meaning and purpose–to know what we were born for. What are we to do with our lives?
A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder
A cheerful old man used to ask the same question of just about every new acquaintance he fell into conversation with: "What have you done that you believe in and you are proud of?"
He never asked conventional questions such as "What do you do for a living?" It was always, "What have you done that you believe in and are proud of?"
There is a story involving Yogi Berra, the well-known catcher for the New York Yankees, and Hank Aaron, who at that time was the chief power hitter for the Milwaukee Braves. The teams were playng in the World Series, and as usual Yogi was keeping up his ceaseless chatter, intended to pep up his teammates on the one hand, and distract the Milwaukee batters on the other. As Aaron came to the plate, Yogi tried to distract him by saying, "Henry, you’re holding the bat wrong. You’re supposed to hold it so you can read the trademark." Aaron didn’t say anything, but when the next pitch came he hit it into the left-field bleachers. After rounding the bases and tagging up at home plate, Aaron looked at Yogi Berra and said, "I didn’t come up here to read.J. M. Boice, Learning to Lead, Revell, 1990, p. 38.
I can tell you from personal experience that those who have answered the question about their purpose in life are the happiest and most fulfilled. As I reflect upon my own life, it is astounding the path that God has taken me on. It has been an exciting adventure. I know without a doubt that God has directed my path and brought me places that I could have never dreamed of.
And I am not unique. God has a call upon each one of our lives. In fact, I can see at least four distinct calls that are given to a Christian.
1. THE CALL TO FOLLOW JESUS
This what we read about in our Scripture today. Jesus calls four fishermen and tells them they will be fishing for men. So they leave their nets and do just that. They leave their former way of life and start walking with Him in a different direction. But that’s not the end of the story. Its just the beginning.