The Purpose Driven Life Book is writtern by Evangelical pastor Richard Duane "Rick" Warren was born in San Jose, California on January 28, 1954 and grew up in Ukiah, California. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from California Baptist University, a Master of Divinity degree in 1979 from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Warren worked at the Texas Ranch for Christ before founding the megachurch Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California in 1980. He has written or co-written several Christian books, including the bestselling guide to church ministry and evangelism, The Purpose Driven Church, and The Purpose Driven Life. Warren has lectured as a theologian at many noted universities and seminaries and was chosen in 2008 by President-elect Obama to give the invocation at his inauguration ceremony.
1. It All Starts With God
· The search for the purpose of life has puzzled people because we typically begin at the wrong starting point (ourselves)
· “it is God who directs the lives of his creatures; everyone’s life is in his power”
· Life is about letting God use you for his purposes, not you using him for your own purpose.
· Becoming what God created you to be by focusing on what matters most
· There are two ways to discover the purpose you were created for
Speculation (Guessing, Philosophy, ….)
Revelation (Just ask him)
· There are 3 insights into your purpose
1. Discover your identity & purpose through a relationship with God
2. You may choose your career, spouse, hobbies, but you don’t get to choose your purpose
3. The purpose of your life fits into a much larger cosmic purpose designed for eternity
2. You Are Not An Accident
· God left no detail for your life to chance. He planned it all for his purpose. Nothing in your life is arbitrary. It is all for a purpose
· God’s motive for creating you was his love
· God loves you and values you
· God didn’t need to create you. He wasn’t lonely. But he wanted to make you in order to express his love
3. What Drives Your Life?
· There are hundreds of circumstances, values and emotions that can drive your life. The five most common ones are: Guilt, Resentment & Anger, Fear, Materialism, Need for Approval. There are other forces that can drive your life, but all lead to the same dead end: unused potential, unnecessary stress, and unfulfilled life.
· There are five benefits of living a purpose driven life
It gives a meaning to your life (hope)
It simplifies your life (you have a clear purpose, a foundation on which you base your decisions)
It focuses your life (without a clear purpose you will keep changing directions, jobs, relationships, churches or other externals)
It motivates your life (purpose produces passion)
It prepares you for eternity [God wants you to pass the test: (two questions for eternity) 1. did you accept what Jesus did for you? & did you learn to love and trust him? 2. What did you do with your life - All the gifts, Talents, energy, opportunities, relationships & resources God gave you]
4. Made To Last Forever
· God designed you to live for eternity
· Your relationship to God on earth will determine your relationship to him in eternity
· The closer you live to God, the smaller everything else appears (your values change, you use time & money more wisely, your priorities are reordered)
· If you have a relationship with God you don’t need to fear death
5. Seeing Life From God’s View
· The way you use your life shapes your life
· The bible offers us three metaphors that teach us God’s view of life
Life is a test (God continually tests people’s character, faith, obedience, love, integrity & loyalty)
Life is a trust (we are stewards of whatever God gives us. How you handled what God entrusted to you?)
Life is a Temporary Assignment (next chapter)
6. Life is a Temporary Assignment
· You won’t be here long, so don’t get too attached
7. The Reason For Everything
· We Bring God Glory by:
1. Loving other believers
2. Becoming like Christ
3. serving others with our gifts
4. telling others about him
· Believe that no matter what you’ve done, God wants to forgive you
· Receive his forgiveness, & his spirit (power)
Purpose #1: You Were Planned for God’s Pleasure
8. You Were Planned For God’s Pleasure
· Bringing enjoyment to God, living for his pleasure, is the first purpose of your life
· He wants you to enjoy your life, not just endure it
· We often forget that God has emotions too. He feels things very deeply
· WORSHIP is doing everything as if you’re doing it for Jesus
9. What Makes God Smile?
· The Smile of God is the goal of your life
· God Smiles When: - we love him supremely
- we trust him completely
- we obey him whole-heartedly
- we praise and thank him continually
- we use our abilities
10. The Heart of Worship
· Surrender our lives to God – Give yourself completely to God, by:
1. Trusting God
2. Admitting your limitations (no pride)
11. Becoming Best Friends with God
· “He’s a God who is passionate about his relationship with you”
· Know him intimately... How??
1. Through constant conversation
2. Through continual meditation
12. Developing Your Friendship with God
· You are as close to God as you choose to be. Like any friendship, you must work at developing your friendship with God. It takes desire, time & energy.
· - Be honest with God
- Obey God in faith
- Desire friendship with God more than anything else
- Value what God values
13. Worship That Pleases God
· God wants all of you (heart, soul, mind & strength)
· The kind of worship that pleases God is:
14. When God Seems Distant
· In your friendship with God, you can’t always feel close to him. There are times of closeness and times of distance.
· It is easy to worship God when things are going great in your life, but the deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain
· To mature your relationship, God will test it with periods of seeming separation
· How do you praise God when you don’t understand what’s happening in your life& God is silent?
- Tell God exactly how you feel
- Focus on what God is – his unchanging nature regardless of circumstances (he’s good, he loves me, he’s with me, he knows what I’m going through, he cares, and he has a good plan for my life)
- Trust God to keep his promises
- Remember what God has already done for you
PURPOSE #2: You Were Formed for God’s Family
15. You Were Formed For God’s Family
· When we place our faith in God, God becomes our father, we become his children, other believers become our brothers and sisters, and the church becomes our spiritual family.
· You should value believers relationship more than any other people
16. What Matters Most
· Life is all about love
· Learning to love unselfishly is not an easy task. It runs counter to our self-centered nature. That’s why we’re given a lifetime to learn it.
· God wants you to be in regular, close fellowship with other believers so you can develop the skill of loving. Love cannot be learned in isolation. You have to be around people – irritating, imperfect, frustrating people.
· Through fellowship we learn 3 important truths
The best use of life is love
- life without love is really worthless
- love will last forever
- we will be evaluated on our love
The best expression of love is time
- The importance of things can be measured by how much time we are willing to invest in them
- We must invest time in relationships (words alone are worthless)
- The most desired gift of live is focused attention
- You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving
The best time to love is now – circumstances always change
17. A Place to Belong
· You are called to belong, not just to believe
· While your relationship to Christ is personal, God never intends it to be private. You have to be a part of God’s family (church)
· WHY DO YOU NEED A CHURCH FAMILY??
- a church family helps you develop a spiritual muscle
- The Body of Christ needs you (God has a unique role for you to play in his family)
- You will share in Christ’s mission in the world
- A church family will help keep you from back sliding
18. Experiencing Life Together
· Life is meant to be shared
· God intends for us to experience life together. The bible calls this shared experience “Fellowship”
· When it comes to fellowship size matters (smaller is better) Once a group becomes larger than 10 people, someone will stop participating & few people will dominate the group.
In real Fellowship people experience authenticity (genuine, sharing, heart to heart)
In real fellowship, people experience mutuality (The art of giving & receiving). You are not responsible for everyone in the body of Christ, but you are responsible to them. God expects you to do anything you can do to help them.
In real fellowship people experience sympathy (entering in & sharing the pain of others)
The different levels of fellowship
- The fellowship of sharing
- The fellowship of studying God’s world
- The fellowship of serving
- The fellowship of suffering (carry each other’s burdens)
In a real fellowship people experience mercy (forgiveness)
19. Cultivating Community
· Community requires commitment
- Honesty – real fellowship (marriage, friendship, or church) depends on frankness
- Humility – self importance, smugness, & stubborn pride destroy fellowship
- Courtesy – respecting our differences, being considerate for each other’s feelings & patience with those who irritate us
- Frequency – frequent regular contact with the group builds genuine fellowship
20. Restoring Broken Fellowships
· Relationships are always worth restoring
· Because life is all about love, God wants us to value relationships and make the effort to maintain them instead of discarding them whenever there’s a rift, a hurt, or a conflict
· HOW TO RESTORE A RELATIONSHIP??
1. Talk to God before talking to the person
2. Always take the initiative
3. Sympathize with their feelings
4. Confess your part
5. Attack the problem, not the person
6. Cooperate as much as possible
7. Emphasize reconciliation, not resolution (focus on the relationship rather than the problem)
21. Protecting Your Church
· Focus on what we have in common, not our differences
· Be realistic in your expectations
· Choose to encourage rather than criticize
· Refuse to listen to gossip
· Practice God’s method for conflict resolution
· Support your pastors and leaders
PURPOSE # 3: You Were Created To Become Like Christ
22. You Were Created To Become Like Christ
· God wants you to take his values, attitude & character
23. How We Grow
· God wants you to grow up
· Spiritual growth is not automatic. It takes an intentional commitment – it always begins with a decision
· God’s part & your part
Making Christ-like choices and depending on his spirit to help you fulfill those choices. God “works in” and you “work out” (use what you already have)
· Changing you autopilot
To change your life you must change the way you think
Will power (fast changes) can produce short-term change, but it creates constant internal stress because you haven’t dealt with the root cause
There’s a better & easier way: change your autopilot – the way you think, change always starts first in your mind.
The way you think determines the way you feel and the way you feel influences the way you act.
Start thinking maturely, focus on others, not yourself.
24. Transformed By Truth
· Spiritual growth is the process of replacing lies with truth. God’s word is alive
· Abiding in God’s word
Accept his authority (the compass I rely on for direction)
Assimilate its truth (fill your mind with it so that the Holy Spirit can transform me with the truth) receive it, read it, research it, remember it& reflect on it.
Apply its principles
Receiving, reading, researching, remembering, & reflecting on the word are all useless if we fail to put them into practice
The best way to become a “doer of the word” is to always write out an action step as a result of your reading or studying or reflecting on God’s word. Develop the habit of writing down exactly what you intend to do. This action should be personal (involving you), practical (something you can do), and provable (with a deadline to do it). Every application will involve either your relationship to God, your relationship to others, or your personal character.
25. Transformed By Trouble
· God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character (he depends on circumstances to change us more than the bible)
· Problems force us to look to God & depend on him instead of ourselves. None of your problems could happen without God’s permission, & he intends to use it far good even when Satan & others mean it for bad.
· Understanding Romans 8: 28-29
“We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose”
“We know” – be sure that he’s in complete control
“That God causes” – a grand designer behind everything
“Everything” – all that happens to you, including your mistakes, sins, and hurts
“To work together” – everything builds up on the other, events in your life work together in God’s plan
“For the good” – God specializes in bringing good out of it all
“Of those who love God and are called” – This promise is only for God’s children, it’s not for everyone.
· Building a Christ-like character
Every problem is a character building opportunity, & the more difficult it is, the greater the potential for building spiritual muscle & moral fiber
· Responding to problems as Jesus would
Problems don’t automatically produce what God intends. Many people become bitter rather than better and never grow up – so
Remember that God’s plan is good
Rejoice & give thanks
Refuse to give up
26. Growing Through Temptation
· ”When the holy spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fruitfulness, gentleness, and self-control”
· God develops the fruit of the spirit in your life by allowing you to experience circumstances in which you’re tempted to express the exact opposite quality
Example: God teaches us love by putting some unlovely people around us. Or we learn real peace by choosing to trust God in circumstances in which we are tempted to worry or be afraid.
· Steps Satan use for Temptation
Satan identifies a desire inside of you (temptation begins within us not lies around us)
Doubt – Satan tries to get you to doubt what God has said about the sin (is it really wrong?)
Deception – Satan is “the father of lies”
Disobedience – you believe Satan’s lies and fall into the trap
· How to overcome temptation?
Refuse to be intimidates – although you’re never beyond temptation, yet you can consider temptation a compliment (Satan does not have to tempt those who are already doing his evil will)
Recognize your pattern of temptation & be prepared for it – there are certain situations that make you more vulnerable than others. These situations are unique to your weaknesses, and you need to identify them because Satan knows your weak points & uses them
Request God’s help – Heaven has a twenty-four-hour emergency hotline. God wants you to ask him for assistance in overcoming temptation
27. Defeating Temptation
· There’s always a way out
· 4 ways to defeating temptation
Refocus your attention on something else – the more you fight a feeling, the more it consumes and controls you. You strengthen it every time you think it. So don’t fight the thought, just change the channel of your mind & get interested in another idea. Ignoring a temptation is far more effective than fighting it.
Reveal your struggle to a godly friend or support group – don’t repress it, but confess it. Revealing your feelings is the beginning of healing
Resist the devil – believe in Christ & use the word of God as your weapon
Realize your vulnerability – never get over confident, just avoid tempting situations
28. It Takes Time
· There’s no shortcuts to maturity, spiritual growth, like physical growth, takes time
· Why does it take so long?
- We are slow learners (the story of Israel shows us how quickly we forget the lessons God teaches us
- We have a lot to unlearn (old habits, patterns, and practices that need to be removed and replaced)
- We are afraid to humbly face the truth about ourselves (we’re living in denial, we cannot grow without a humble teachable attitude)
- Growth is often painful & scary (every change involves a loss of some kind: you must let go of old ways in order to experience the new)
- Habits take time to develop (one way to develop the habits of Christ-like character: you must practice them & that takes time)
· Don’t get in a hurry
Believe that God is working in your life even when you don’t feel it
Keep a notebook or a journal of lessons learned
Be patient with God & with yourself
Don’t get discouraged
PURPOSE # 4: You Were Shaped For Serving God
29. Accepting Your Assignment
· You were put on earth to make a contribution. God designed you to make a difference with your life. You were created to add to life on earth. This is called “ministry” or “service”
You were created to serve God – “God has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do”
You were saved to serve God – “He saved us and chose us for his holy work, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan”
You are called to serve God – “He saved us and he called us to be his own people, not because of what we have done, but because of his own purpose”. “You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God who called you”
You are commanded to serve God – “Your attitude must be like my own, for I, the Messiah, did not come to be served, but to serve and to give my life”
· For Christians, service is not optional, something to be tacked into schedules if we can spare the time. It is the heart of the Christian life
· There are no insignificant ministries in the church. Some are visible & some are behind the scenes, but all are valuable
· Jesus taught that spiritual maturity is never an end in itself. Maturity is for ministry! We grow up in order to give out. It’s not enough to keep learning more & more. We must act on what we know and practice what we claim to believe.
“Impression without expression causes depression” (study without service leads to spiritual stagnation)
· Preparing for Eternity
At the end of your life you will stand before God & he’s going to evaluate how well you served others with your life
At that point, all our excuses for self-centeredness will sound hallow. Jesus said, “If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it, only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the good news will ever know what it really means to really live”
· Service and Significance
You are going to give your life for something, what will it be – a career, a sport, a hobby, fame, wealth? None of these will have a lasting significance.
Service is the pathway to real significance. It is through ministry that we discover the meaning of our lives.
God wants to use you to make a difference in his world. He wants to work through you. What matters is not the duration of your life, but the donation of it.
30. Shaped For Serving God
· God formed every creature on this planet with a special area of expertise. Each of us was uniquely designed to do certain things
· Not only God shaped you before your birth, he planned every day of your life to support the shaping process. This means that nothing that happens in your life is insignificant. God uses all of it to mold you for your ministry to others, and shape you for your service to him.
· How God Shapes you for your Ministry??
Whenever God gives you an assignment, he always equips us with what we need to accomplish it. This custom combination of capabilities is called SHAPE
1. Unwrapping Your Spiritual Gifts
· God gives every believer spiritual gifts to be used in ministry, these are given only to believers.
· You can’t earn your spiritual gifts or deserve them. Neither do you get to choose which gifts you’d like to have
· Because God loves variety and he wants us to be special, no single gift is given to everyone. Also, no individual receives all the gifts. If you had them all, you’d have no need of anyone else, and that would defeat one of God’s purposes (to teach us to love & depend on each other)
· An unopened gift is worthless. Have you taken the time to discover your spiritual gifts?
· There are two common problems
- Gift Envy – When we compare our gifts with others’, feel dissatisfied with what God gave us and become resentful or jealous of how God uses others
- Gift Projection – when we expect everyone else to have our gifts, do what we are called to do & feel as passionate about it as we do
2. Listening to Your Heart
· The bible uses the term heart to describe the bundle of desires, hopes, interests, ambitions, dreams, and affections you have. Your heart represents the source of all your motivations. Your heart reveals the real you, what you truly are, not what others think you are or what circumstances force you to be.
· Don’t ignore your interests, consider how they might be used for God’s glory. There’s a reason that you love to do these things. Don’t waste your time in a job that doesn’t express your heart.
· How do you know you’re serving God from your heart?
2. Effectiveness (you get good at it)
31. Understanding Your Shape
· Only you can be you. No body else can do what you were shaped to do, so if you don’t make your unique contribution to the body of Christ, it won’t be made
3. Applying Your Abilities
· All of your abilities come from God. Realize that your ability came from God and give him the credit
· Every ability can be used for God’s Glory. Use your business to serve a need of others and to share your faith with unbelievers
· What I’m able to do, God wants me to do
4. Using Your Personality
· God uses all types of personalities: the introvert & the extrovert, the thinker & the feeler.
· There is no right or wrong temperament for ministry. We need all kinds of personalities to balance the church and give it a flavor.
· Your personality will affect how and where you use your spiritual gifts and abilities
· Today you can easily understand your personality using personality tests, so you can use it to serve God
5. Employing Your Experience
· You have been shaped by your experience in life, most of which were beyond your control. God allowed them for his purpose of molding you. In determining your shape for serving God, you should examine at least six kinds of experienced from your past
- Family Experiences – what did you learn growing up in your family?
- Educational experiences – what were your favorite subjects in school?
- Vocational experiences – what jobs have you been most effective in & enjoyed most?
- Spiritual experiences – what have been your most meaningful times with God?
- Ministry experiences – how have you served God in the past?
- Painful experiences – what problems, hurts, thorns, & trials have you learned from?
It is painful experiences that God uses the most to prepare you for your ministry
· If you really desire to be used by God, you must understand a powerful truth: the very experiences that you have resented or regretted most in life are the experiences God wants you to use to help others.
· For God to use your painful experiences, you must be willing to share them. You have to stop covering them up and you must honestly admit your faults, failures and fears.
► Using your shape is the secret of both fruitfulness and fulfillment in ministry. You will be most effective when you use your spiritual gifts & abilities in the area of your heart’s desire, and in a way that best express your personality and experiences. The better the fit, the more successful you will be.
32. Using What God Gave You
· God deserves your best
· He shaped you for a purpose, and he expects you to make the most of what you have been given. He doesn’t want you to worry about abilities you don’t have. Instead, he wants you to focus on talents he has given you to use. The best use of your life is to serve God out of your shape.
1. Discover your shape
· Begin by assessing your gifts and abilities
· Consider your heart and your personality
· Examine your experiences and extract the lessons you have learned
2. Accept and enjoy your shape
· Since God knows what’s best for you, you should gratefully accept the way he has fashioned you
· Instead of trying to reshape yourself to be like someone else, you should celebrate the shape God has given only to you
· Part of accepting your shape is recognizing your limitations (nobody’s good at everything, and nobody is called to be everything)
· The bible warns us never to compare ourselves with others for two reasons:
1. You’ll always be able to find someone who seems to be doing a better job than you and you’ll become discouraged
2. You’ll always be able to find someone who doesn’t seem as effective as you and you’ll get full of pride
· Each attitude will take you out of service and rob you of your joy
· You’ll find that people who do not understand your shape for ministry will criticize you and try to get you to conform to what they think you should be doing. Ignore them, as Paul said, ”avoid comparisons, resist exaggerations, and seek only God’s commendation” John Bunyan: “if my life is fruitless, it doesn’t matter who praises me, and if my life is fruitful, if doesn’t matter who criticizes me”
3. Keep developing your shape
· God expects us to make the most of what he gives us
· We are to cultivate our gifts and abilities and keep our hearts aflame, grow our character and personality, and broaden our experiences so we will be increasingly more effective in our service
· Whatever gifts you have been given can be enlarged and developed through practice
33. How Real Servants Act
· We serve God by serving others
· The world defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige, and position. In our self-serving culture, acting like a servant is not a popular concept. God determines your greatness by how many people you serve, not how many people serve you
· Thousands of books have been written on leadership, but few on servant hood
· While knowing your shape, having the heart of a servant is even more important
· God often tests our hearts by asking us to serve in ways we’re not shaped. While you may not be gifted for a particular task, you may be called to do it if no one gifted at it is around. Your primary ministry should be in the area of your shape, but your secondary service is whatever you’re needed at the moment.
· Your shape reveals your ministry, but your servant’s heart will reveal your maturity
· How do you know if you have the heart of a servant??
Real servants make themselves available to serve – they don’t fill up their time with other pursuits that could limit their availability
Real servants pay attention to needs – they are always on the look out for ways to help others
Real servants do their best with what they have – they don’t make excuses, procrastinate, or wait for better circumstances
Real servants do everything with equal dedication – do everything with all their heart. The size of the task is irrelevant, the only issue is: does it need to be done??
Real servants are faithful to their ministry. They finish their tasks, fulfill their responsibilities keep their promises and complete their commitments. They don’t leave a job half undone, and they don’t quit when they get discouraged. They are trustworthy & dependable.
Real servants maintain a low profile. They don’t promote to call attention to themselves. Instead of acting to impress and dressing for success, they put on the apron of humility to serve one another. If recognized for their service, they humbly accept it, but don’t allow notoriety to distract them from their work.
34. Thinking Like a Servant
· Service starts in your mind
· God is always more interested in why we do something than in what we do. Attitudes count more than achievements
· Real servants serve God with a mindset of 5 attitudes
Servants think more about each others than about themselves – this is true humility when we stop focusing on our own needs, we become aware of the needs around us
Servants serve like stewards, not owners – they remember that God owns it all
Servants think about their work, not what others are doing – they don’t compare, criticize, or compete with other servants or ministries. They are too busy doing the work God has given them
Servants base their identity in Christ – they don’t have to prove their worth (only secure people can serve. Insecure people are always worrying about how they appear to others. They fear exposure of their weaknesses & hide beneath pretensions. The more insecure you are, the more you will want people to serve you and you will need their approval)
Servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation – they enjoy helping people, meeting needs, and doing ministry. They serve with gladness because they love the lord
35. God’s Power in Your Weakness
· God loves to use weak people
· Everyone has weaknesses. In fact, you have a bundle of flaws and imperfections: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. You may also have uncontrollable circumstances that weaken you, such as financial or relational limitations. Usually we deny our weaknesses, defend them, excuse them, hide them, and resent them. This prevents God from using them the way he desires.
· God has a different perspective on your weaknesses, so he often acts in ways that are the exact opposite of what we expect
· God is never limited by your limitations
· To allow him to work through our weaknesses,
Admit your weaknesses – stop pretending to have it all together and be honest about yourself. Instead of living in denial or making excuses, take the time to identify your personal weaknesses.
Be content with your weaknesses – at first this doesn’t make sense, we want to be freed from our weaknesses, not be content with them!! But contentment is an expression of faith in the goodness of God. It says, “God, I believe you love me and know what’s best for me”
Why to be content with our weaknesses?
1. They cause us to depend on God
2. They prevent arrogance. They keep us humble
3. they encourage fellowship between believers, while strength breeds on an independent spirit, our limitations show how much we need each other
4. They increase our capacity for sympathy and ministry (other people are going to find healing in your wounds)
Honestly share your weaknesses – ministry begins with vulnerability, the more you let down your guard, take off your mask, and share your struggles, the more God will be able to use you in serving others. So openly share your failures, feelings frustrations, and fears. Vulnerability is emotionally vibrating. Opening up relieves stress, defuses your fears, and is the first step to freedom
Humility is not putting yourself down, or denying your strengths; rather, it’s being honest about your weaknesses.
Vulnerability is an enduring quality; we are naturally drawn to humble people. Pretentiousness repels, but authenticity attracts & vulnerability is the pathway to intimacy.
At some point in your life, you must decide whether you want to impress people or influence people. You can impress people from a distance, but you must get close to influence them, & when you do that, they will be able to see your flaws. That’s Okay, the most essential quality of leadership is not perfection, but credibility. People must be able to trust you, or they won’t follow you.
How to build credibility? Not by pretending to be perfect, but by being honest.
Glory in your weaknesses – Instead of posing as self-confident and invincible, see yourself as a trophy of grace.
Purpose #5: You Were Made For A Mission
36. Made For A Mission
· God wants you to have both a ministry in the body of Christ and a mission in the world. Your ministry is your service to believers, and your mission is your service to unbelievers.
· The Importance of your mission
Your mission is the continuation of Jesus’ mission on earth
Your mission is a wonderful privilege (it is a responsibility, but a great honor to be used by God)
Telling others how they can have eternal life is the greatest thing you can do for them
Your mission has eternal significance, it will impact the eternal destiny of other people
Your mission gives your life meaning
God’s time table for history’s conclusion is connected to the completion of our commission
· To fulfill your mission will require that you abandon your agenda and accept God’s agenda for your life
· If you will commit to fulfilling your mission in life no matter what it costs, you will experience the blessing of God in ways that few people ever experience.
37. Sharing Your Life Message
· God has given you a life message to share. It has four parts
1. Your Testimony – the story of how you began a relationship with Jesus
2. Your Life Lessons – The most important lessons God has taught you
3. Your Godly Passions – the issues God shaped you to care about most
4. The Good News – the message of salvation
38. Becoming A World Class Christian
· You will either be a world class Christian, or a Worldly Christian
· How to think like a world-class Christian?
1. Shift from self-centered thinking to other-centered thinking
2. Shift from local thinking to social thinking
3. Shift from here and now thinking to eternal thinking
4. Shift from thinking of excuses to thinking of creative ways to fulfill your commission.
39. Balancing Your Life
· Blessed are the balanced; they shall outlast everyone
· Your life is a pentathlon of five purposes, which you must keep in balance
· God’s five purposes for your life are:
1. “Love God with all your heart” – you were planned for God’s pleasure, so your purpose in to love God through WORSHIP
2. “Love your neighbor as yourself” – you were shaped for serving, so your purpose is to show love for others through MINISTRY
3. “Go and make disciples” – you were made for a mission. So your purpose is to share God’s message through EVANGELISM
4. “baptize them into…” – you were formed for God’s family, so your purpose is to identify with his church through FELLOWSHIP
5. “Teach them to do all things …” – you were created to become like Christ so your purpose is to grow to maturity through DESCIPLESHIP
· How to keep these five purposes in balance??
1. Talk it through with a spiritual partner or small group. The best way to internalize the principles in this book is to discuss them with others in a small group setting and also with personal bible study.
2. Give yourself a regular spiritual checkup. Evaluate yourself periodically
3. Write down your progress in a journal. This is not a diary of events, but a record of the life lessons you don’t want to forget. Writing helps clarify what God is doing in your life
4. Pass on what you know to others. The best way to learn more is to pass on what you have already learned. Imagine how different the world can be if everyone knew their purpose.
40. Living With Purpose
· Most people struggle with three basic issues
- Identity: who am I?
- Importance: do I matter?
- Impact: what is my place in life
· It’s easy to drift from what matters most and slowly get off course. To prevent this, you should develop a purpose statement for your life and the review it regularly
· What is the life purpose statement?
- It’s a statement that summarizes God’s purpose for you
- It’s a statement that points the direction of your life
- It’s a statement that defines “success” for you
- It’s a statement that clarifies your roles
- It’s a statement that expresses your shape
· Life’s five greatest Questions
1. What will be the center of my life
2. What will be the character of my life
3. What will be the contribution of my life?
4. What will be the commission of my life?
5. What will be the community of my life?
· You may wonder, “what about God’s will for my job or marriage or where I’m supposed to live or go to school?”
Honestly, these are secondary issues in your life, and there may be multiple possibilities that would all be in God’s will for you. What matters most is that you fulfill God’s eternal purposes, regardless of where you live or work or whom you marry. Those decisions should support your purposes.