40 Days of Purpose – Day 4

This is Wednesday, May 3, 2006 which is Day 4 of our 40 Days of Purpose. For these 40 days we will be posting daily devotions based on the material in Rick Warren’s best selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life. We invite you to get a copy of the book and read daily one of the 40 chapters of the book along with us. This podcast contains material from the book as well as supplemental material


This life is not all there is!

“God has…planted eternity in the human heart.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

Life on earth is just the dress rehearsal before the real production. You will spend far more time on the other side of death—in eternity—than you will here. This life is preparation for the next.

You have an inborn instinct that longs for immortality. This is because God designed you, in his image, to live for eternity. Even though we know everyone eventually dies, death always seems unnatural and unfair. The reason we feel we should live forever is that God wired our brains with that desire!

Matthew Henry said, “It ought to be the business of every day to prepare for our final day.”

So, spend some time today preparing for eternity!


  1. Pastor Bill said,

    May 3, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    If everything I do has eternal consequences, if every moment has eternal impact, I need to focus my time and effort on activities with eternal benefits and avoid activities that have no eternal value. The old question, “Will this matter 100 years from now?” or “Will this matter in the light of eternity?” may help me decide what to focus on and what to avoid.

    What changes will that make in my life? What changes would that make in yours?

  2. spence said,

    February 21, 2007 at 5:43 am

    I can’t believe that god would make the earth so beautiful if it were just a dress rehersal – it annoys me that life on earth is described in this way – as if it is insignificant.

    This is a subject close to my heart, as my wife is terminally ill with Cancer.

  3. Bill said,

    February 23, 2007 at 9:59 am

    Spence, thanks for your comments.

    I know it is hard to imagine heaven being more beautiful than places like Cameron Lake in Waterton National Park, Alberta, Canada. It’s amazingly beautiful. But the Bible’s picture of heaven describes a place beyond our ability to even imagine! I would respond, “If you think the dress rehearsal is beautiful, just wait until the main event!”

    I would guess that Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life, would say that this life being a dress rehearsal does not make it insignificant. In fact, if you’ve ever been in a stage production, you will know how very important it is! In the original entry above, he says that our life here is incredibly short, compared to our existence in eternity. I read from this that our life is a dress rehearsal, not because it is insignificant, but because it is not the ultimate destination…eternity is.

    My mother has had a bout with cancer and is going back for more tests in a few days. It is a comfort to me to know that this life is not all there is. I believe that because there is eternity, our lives have meaning! If there were no life after death, our lives here would be meaningless. As it is, the choices we make here have eternal consequences! This makes our time here very significant.

    If you haven’t read the full text of Rick Warren’s book, I would encourage you to buy a copy and read it. The book explains his point in greater detail.

    I will be in prayer for you and your wife during this incredibly difficult time. Please feel free to contact us if there is anything we can do.

  4. spence said,

    February 28, 2007 at 4:25 am

    Hi Bill – thank you for your kind words and your prayers.

    Our church here in the UK is just starting the 40 days of purpose, and I am reading through the purpose driven life. Somedays I just struggle more than others.

    I will pray for your mother – hopefully God still has a plan for her too.

    Thanks for all the hard work you do with this site – I find it inspirational and keep revisiting.

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