The Purpose Driven Life; What On Earth Am I Here For? (c) 2002 Zondervan, Grand Rapids. pp.34 price. 29.95.
Rick Warren- Pastor of Saddleback Church.
A Journey With Purpose; Getting The Most From This Book.
The format of the book is explained. The suggestion is made to read this book in 40 days, (one chaper each day). A feature of each day (chapter) is, A point to ponder, A verse to remember, and A question to consider. Readers are asked to make a "Covenant"p.13, that spells out the purpose for reading this book.
WHAT ON EARTH AM I HERE FOR?
Day 1. It All Starts With God.
To discover the purpose of life you begin with God. Self-help books are not the answer. Purpose is not discovered through speculation but through revelation. i.e. God’s Word.
Day 2. You Are Not An Accident.
"You’re parents may not have planned you, but God did." p.22. Everything (everyone) created has the stamp of God on it (him/her). He was motivated by love.
Day 3. What Drives Your Life?
The most common things that drive us are guilt, resentment and anger, fear, materialism, and need for approval. Knowing your purpose for living gives meaning to your life, simplifies your life, motivates your life, and prepares you for eternity.
Day 4. Made To Last Forever.
Ecc. 3:11. Eternity planted in the heart. There are only two choices as to where you will spend eternity. The purpose for this life is to prepare for eternity.
Day 5. Seeing Life From God’s View.
"We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin. We all have unspoken metaphors for life by which we are influenced. We are being tested continually. That makes everything that happens significant. "Life... is a trust." p.44. God owns it, we look after it.
Day 6. Life Is A Temporary Assignment.
As Christ’s ambassadors we don’t have the option of living as if this (world) is our home. Our life-styles often strongly attest to our commitment. We have it too good here.
Day 7. The Reason For Everything.
Its all about God’s glory. Only demons and humans can refuse to give God glory. There are five specific things mentioned as to how we can bring God glory They involve believing, receiving, and doing.
Purpose #1. You Were Planned For God’s Pleasure.
Day 8. Planned For God’s Pleasure.
Rev. 4:11, Ps. 149: 9a. We are created to be able to enjoy pleasure. When we bring pleasure to God we call it worship. Ps. 147:11. Worship in its many forms is not for us it is for God. "Worship... is your life.p.66.
Day 9. What Makes God Smile?
God’s smile needs to be the goal of our life. There are many things that make him smile, our love, trust, obedience, praise, and thanksgiving. Using our God-given gifts makes him smile. As a child brings a smile to to parent so we bring a smile to God because we are his.
Day 10. The Heart Of Worship.
It is surrender to God. It involves the concept of an offering. God is totally trustworthy. Pride is a barrier to worship. Surrender is not passive when it involves sacrifice, obedience, and trust. There are benefits in surrender. It is an event and a process.
Day 11. Becoming Best Friends With God.
There are many aspects to a relationship with God. Friendship is one of them. e.g. Adam and Eve, Abraham, etc. It happens through continual conversing with God. "Practicing the Presence of God". Brother Andrew.
Day 12. Developing Your Friendship With God.
The choice is ours. We must be honest, obedient in faith, and value what God values. There is nothing that we should desire more than our friendship with God.
Day 13. Worship That Pleases God.
"Worship must be based on the truth of Scripture." p.101. Then it will be authentic, accurate, thoughtful, and practical. Worship that pleases God is a heart thing.
Day 14. When God Seems Distant.
Friendships experience times of closeness and times of distance. Beware of unreliable feelings. Focus on what you know (about God).
Purpose #2. You Were Formed For God’s Family.
Day 15. Formed For God’s Family.
By faith we become members of God’s family. This is a permanent relationship. Baptism is one way we identify with that family. In Matt. 12:49-50 Jesus identifies his family as those who do the Father’s will.
Day 16. What Matters Most?
Love for God and fellow man. It is the most important. Love is the best thing we can do with life. It lasts forever. Love is time. It needs to happen now.
Day 17. A Place To Belong.
Our relationship to Christ is personal but it is not private. We are part of one body with many members. Being part of a healthy church is basic to a healthy spiritual life. We are committed to others just as we are committed to Christ.
Day 18. Experiencing Life Together.
This is called fellowship. It is characterized by authenticity, mutuality, sympathy, and mercy.
Day 19. Cultivating Community.
Genuine community does not happen without honesty. With honesty there must be love, humility, courtesy, and confidentiality. Doing community takes time.
Day 20. Restoring Broken Fellowship.
Restoration is based on peace-making. It involves communication first with God then with those who are a part of the broken relationship. Confession and forgiveness must happen. The goal is reconciliation not resolution.
Day 21. Protecting Your Church.
There are three things key to the church, unity, fellowship, and harmony. We need to do what we can to contribute to these.
Purpose #3 You Were Created To Become Like Christ.
Day 22. Created To Become Like Christ.
We are made in Christ’s image. Christlikeness is accomplished through the Holy Spirit. Our part is co-operation. It is a process.
Day 23. How To Grow.
This happens when we choose to make commitments. God does his part through the Spirit. Our goal should be maturity.
24. Transformed By Truth.
This is all about being in the Word. The truth from the Word must be assimilated and applied.
25. Transformed By Trouble.
"Problems force us to look to God and depend on him instead of ourselves."p.194. They build character. Patience and persistence are developed in times of difficulty.
Day 26. Growing Through Temptation.
Temptations are tests that provide opportunity for growth and strengthening. We need to be alert and prepared for temptation.
Day 27. Defeating Temptation.
2Tim. 2:22. Run! As thoughts of temptation enter your mind deliberately refocus to something wholesome and godly. Seek support from others (believers). Be realistic. Resist Satan.
Day 28. It Takes Time.
Natural and spiritual fruit develops according to a schedule. Get on schedule. Unlearning is often a prerequisite to learning. Have faith first then feelings.
Purpose #4. You Were Shaped For Serving God.
Day 29. Accepting Your Assignment.
Our assignment is to serve God. It is a calling and a command. It is service that gives us significance before God.
Day 30. Shaped For Serving God.
Everything God created was created for a purpose, a function. In each life this will involve, "spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experience". p.236. These elements shape us for service.
Day 31. Understanding Your Shape.
The abilities we were born with came from God. Each personality is unique and affects gifts and abilities. We are also shaped by our experiences.
Day 32. Using What God Gave You.
"The best use of your life is to serve God out of your shape."p.249. (see p.236). The shape we have been given is to be used as a trust and we have responsibilities of stewardship for that shape.
Day 33. How Real Servants Act.
God measures greatness according to the level of service not status we have achieved. It Begins with a right heart. Real servants are available, sensitive, dedicated, and faithful.
Day 34. Thinking Like A Servant.
The focus for servants is others. They think like stewards not owners. Their identity is in Christ. Ministry is an opportunity not an obligation.
Day 35. God’s Power In Your Weakness.
Weaknesses (limitations) need to be accepted, understood, and shared. Because of God’s greatness he can use our weaknesses in such a way that we can actually glory in them. 2Cor. 12:9.
Purpose # 5. You Were Made For A Mission.
Day 36. Made For A Mission.
What God wants us to do is our mission. That is really a continuation of the work and mission of Christ. It is a privilege of eternal value. It comes with costs and rewards.
Day 37. Sharing Your Life Message.
That message is the truth of God as it has been revealed to us. It involves our testimony (life story), our life lessons, our passions. In our own way we share God’s truth which is the good news.
Day 38. Becoming A World Christian.
The focus is on others not self, "global thinking" p.300. There will be creativity in accomplishing our God-given mission. World class Christians are committed to the Great Commission.
Day 39. Balancing Your Life.
God has five purposes for our life. "1. Love God with all your heart. 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. 3. Go make disciples. 4. Baptize them. 5. Teach them." p.306. These are to be kept in balance. Some practical suggestions are made to help accomplish this. The bottom line is- God’s Glory.
Day 40. Living With Purpose.
This involves having a "Life purpose statement"p.313, that identifies what we are all about and will be a guide for our life. Five basic questions are raised about one’s life purpose. Our purpose is to please God. 2Thess. 2:4.
When I read Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Church, I felt he should write a sequel, i.e. A Purpose Driven Individual. This is the book. He has used an interesting format for the book. The devotional style makes it an easy read. As I was reading the book I learned of a church in our community that was doing the book as a group project over a period of 40 days. Awesome! The book answers the question, What on earth am I doing? The target audience is large. Put into a video, it could become a great discipleship tool.