Rick Warren shares with us his father’s mission. He was a minister for over 50 years, serving small, rural churches. Jimmy Warren was a simple preacher, but he was a man with a mission. His favorite activity was taking teams of volunteers overseas to build church buildings for small congregations. In his lifetime, Rick’s dad built over 150 churches around the world.
In 1999, he died of cancer. In the final week of his life, the disease kept him awake in a semi-conscious state nearly 24hrs a day. As he dreamed, he’d talk out loud about what he was dreaming. Sitting by his bedside, Rick Warren learned a lot about his dad just listening to his dreams. He relived one church building project after another.
One night near the end, his dad became very active and tried to get out of bed. Even though he was too weak, he persisted until Rick’s wife asked him what he was trying to do. He replied, “Got to save one more for Jesus!” repeating the phrase over & over.
During the next hour, he said the phrase probably a 100 times. “Got to save one more for Jesus!” As Rick sat by the bed with tears flowing down his cheeks, he bowed his head to thank God for his dad’s faith. At that moment, his dad reached out & placed his frail hand on Rick’ head & said, as if commissioning him, “Save one more for Jesus! Save one more for Jesus!”
Rick Warren tells us he intends for that to be the theme of the rest of his life. He invites us to consider it as a focus for our lives, too, because nothing will make a greater difference for eternity.
We are the messengers of God’s love & purposes to the world. Nothing else we do will ever matter as much as helping people establish an eternal relationship with God. “God uses us to persuade men & women to drop their differences & enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become Friends with God”.
Jesus calls us not only to come to him, but to go for him. There are people on this planet whom only you will be able to reach, because of where you live and what God has made you to be. If just one person will be in heaven because of you, your life will have made a difference for eternity. Start looking around and ask “God, who have you put in my life for me to tell about Jesus?”
Question to Consider: What fears have kept me from fulfilling the mission God made me to accomplish? Rick Warren’s story of his dad is very moving. In this chapter, I realise that fulfilling our mission on earth isn’t just tacking it on to all the other things I want to do with my life—its my first & sole responsibility.