Rick Warren: 'God Didn't Need Us, He Wanted Us'

In part one of a two-part interview, Rick Warren talks about his surprising relationship with God.

Continued from page 1

Once you really grasp that, you’ll never again have to deal with inferiority or insecurity. A lot of times we blame our problems - I talk to a lot of believers who say, “You know I just don’t love God enough.” And I say "No, that isn’t your problem. You just don’t understand how much He loves you." Because if you did you couldn’t help but love Him because you were made to be loved by God.

Rick Warren on God's love
God is love. He didn’t need us. But he wanted us. And that is the most amazing thing. God wasn’t lonely. God has always been in a love relationship with himself: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But we were made simply so he could love us.

I remember when I was sick a couple of years ago I had to pray every day for the strength to receive the love of those around me. I found a line from [William] Blake that said we are here to learn to “endure the beams of love.” It is a staggering truth.

You have arguably sold more hardcover books than anyone apart from God. You have had your own health problems and so has your wife. You could pack things up, have a nice life, have a house in several cities in a private jet. But you are giving your life and everything you have to serve the poor. Why?

Rick Warren on changing priorities
Well, it is the Jesus thing to do. Living in the light of eternity changes your priorities. This is the warmup act. This is the get-ready stage. This is the dress rehearsal before the real act begins. The Bible is very clear that life on Earth is preparation for eternity.

"One day God is going to ask you two questions..."

God’s goal in life isn’t to make me comfortable. He isn’t interested in my comfort as he is in my character. This is the grow-up stage. The comfort, the joy, the relief from suffering and pain and all of that is going to come later in eternity, which we are going to enjoy for trillions of years.

Rick Warren on God's first question
One day we’re gonna stand before God and he is going to ask two questions. The first question is, "What did you do with my Son Jesus Christ?" Not "What religion were you?" Not what denomination, not what background, where did you go to church. We were created for a relationship, not a religion - not rituals, not rules, not regulations.

I hope that most people know the answer to that: that I have accepted God’s grace; I have accepted what Jesus Christ has done for me.

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