Better Together Devotional: What On Earth Are We Here For?

Overview

Better Together Devotional Journal—part of the Living with Purpose series by Rick Warren—is a dynamic individual or small group devotional journal that will help you learn how to fulfill God's five purposes for your life. It includes the biblical support behind each purpose, the ways it applies to you and your circle of influence, and how you can use this knowledge to benefit God's kingdom.

From the beginning, God planned for Christians to fulfill his purposes in community with ...

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Overview

Better Together Devotional Journal—part of the Living with Purpose series by Rick Warren—is a dynamic individual or small group devotional journal that will help you learn how to fulfill God's five purposes for your life. It includes the biblical support behind each purpose, the ways it applies to you and your circle of influence, and how you can use this knowledge to benefit God's kingdom.

From the beginning, God planned for Christians to fulfill his purposes in community with each other in our church families, small groups, and in the world as a whole. Why did God plan it this way? Because we're better together!

Better Together will deepen your understanding of how God uses community for your own good and growth, as well as help you cultivate deeper relationships with those around you.

Learn to fulfill God's purposes ... discover how we are better together.

This devotional journal is designed for use with the Better Together DVD and Better Together Study Guide.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310326984
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 4/20/2010
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Better Together Devotional

What On Earth Are We Here For?
By Rick Warren

Zondervan

Copyright © 2010 Rick Warren
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-32698-4


Chapter One

Day 1 Theme: We're Compelled to Love God's Family

Because God Loves Us

"Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." 1 John 4:11 NIV

Life is about learning to love.

The purpose of your time on earth is not primarily about acquiring possessions, attaining status, achieving success, or even experiencing happiness. Those are secondary issues. Life is all about love and developing relationships -with God, and with other people. You may succeed in many areas, but if you fail to learn how to love God and love others, you'll have missed the reason God created you and placed you on this planet. Learning to love is life's most important lesson. Jesus called it the "greatest commandment" (Matthew 22:38 NIV). Nothing else comes close in importance.

Why? Because God is love, and God wants you to become more like him. God loves you deeply and unconditionally. Now he wants you to learn to love him back, and to love others, especially believers in God's family.

Here's the problem: Love is unnatural for us. It is human nature to think of ourselves first. We naturally do what is in our own best interest, often without any regard for how it affects others. Hopefully, as we grow we become more giving and less selfish; but we've all known people who never grew up and never considered anything but their own wishes, desires, and cravings. Self-centeredness is the root of practically every problem - both personally and globally.

Real love is placing the needs of others before your own. It is making your problem my problem. It is giving to another without any guarantee of getting anything back. It is giving others what they need, not what they deserve. Although love can create intense feelings, love is not a feeling. It is a choice, an action, a way of behaving, a commitment. Love is sacrificing for others.

Much of the world has no clue as to what real love is all about. Songs that say "I need you, I want you, I must have you" are not love songs, but lust songs. Real love focuses on how I can serve you, not how you can serve me. It's the opposite of our selfish tendencies.

That's why we must learn to love. It isn't easy. Real love takes knowledge, God's grace, and lots of practice. We must retrain ourselves to think and act in loving ways. During Better Together we're going to practice loving each other-in forty different ways. These ways are called the "one anothers" of the Bible. They are practical instructions for learning to love in real-life situations.

Like a diamond, love is multi-faceted. Each of these daily readings will help you understand and practice a different aspect of love. Take the time each day to seriously think about what you've read. Learning genuine love is not easy, but it will bless your life beyond imagination here on earth, and prepare you for eternity.

Of course, you can't learn to love by yourself. You must develop relationships with many different kinds of people in order to practice loving others. The Bible calls this being in "community," which is another word for fellowship. To practice the "one another" commands that God has given us, it is absolutely essential that you find a church family and get involved in some kind of weekly small group study. An effective small group is more than just a Bible study, although that is a major component. It also allows time for interacting, sharing, questioning, and praying for each other. Community is the context where we learn to love.

If all you do is read these daily devotionals, you'll only get a fraction of the potential benefits. But if you meet weekly in a small group setting, with six or eight other people, you'll have a practice lab where you can apply what you learn.

Now here's today's verse: "Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:11 NIV). This is the starting point for building real community: realize how much God loves us. He doesn't just love you; he loves everyone else just as much, and he wants his children to love each other. There are three foundations for living a life of love:

God's love for us gives us the reason to love others.

God's love in us gives us the ability to love others.

God's love through us gives us the way to love others.

Point to Ponder:

Life is about learning to love.

Verse to Remember:

"We love because God first loved us." 1 John 4:19 TEV

Question to Consider:

How comfortable are you with being in a Better Together small group?

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Better Together Devotional by Rick Warren Copyright © 2010 by Rick Warren. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction by Rick Warren....................7
Day 1 Because God Loves Us....................12
Day 2 Because God Commands It....................16
Day 3 Because It Is How We Love God....................20
Day 4 Because It Shows We're Saved....................24
Day 5 Because We're a Family....................28
Day 6 Because It Is Practice for Eternity....................32
Day 7 Because It Is a Witness to the World....................36
Day 8 By Being Intentional....................40
Day 9 By Using Our Small Group....................44
Day 10 By Offering Hospitality....................48
Day 11 By Showing Acceptance....................52
Day 12 By Building Friendships....................56
Day 13 By Giving Practical Help....................60
Day 14 By Representing Jesus....................64
Day 15 By Admitting Our Need for Each Other....................68
Day 16 By Committing to Each Other....................72
Day 17 By Respecting Each Other....................76
Day 18 By Supporting Each Other....................80
Day 19 By Getting Along with Each Other....................84
Day 20 By Being Patient with Each Other....................88
Day 21 By Being Honest with Each Other....................92
Day 22 By Being Examples to Each Other....................96
Day 23 By Encouraging Each Other....................100
Day 24 By Teaching Each Other....................104
Day 25 By Warning Each Other....................108
Day 26 By Giving Preference to Each Other....................112
Day 27 By Confessing to Each Other....................116
Day 28 By Forgiving Each Other....................120
Day 29 By Being Willing to Serve....................124
Day 30 By Helping Each Other....................128
Day 31 By Being Generous with Each Other....................132
Day 32 By Being Humble with Each Other....................136
Day 33 By Using Our Talents to Bless Each Other....................140
Day 34 By Sacrificing for Each Other....................144
Day 35 By Cooperating with Each Other....................148
Day 36 By Worshiping Weekly....................152
Day 37 By Preparing for Worship....................156
Day 38 By Praying Together....................160
Day 39 By Giving Our Offerings Together....................164
Day 40 By Celebrating Together....................168
Additional Resources....................173
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