Purpose Driven Life ó 40 Days of Purpose ó Summary

Week 1: Purpose

Week 2: Worship

Week 3: Fellowship

Week 4: Discipleship

Week 5: Ministry

Week 6: Evangelism

Conclusion


Week 1: Purpose

Rick Warren says most of the time we Christians are answering the wrong questions. Bottom line, the central question for ourselves and the world should be, "What on earth am I here for?" In other words, what is the purpose for my life?

The writer of Ecclesiastes describes three negative effects of not knowing the purpose of your life:

We have two options. We can make up our own purpose to life, perhaps by throwing ourselves into our work or a hobby. Or we can seek to discover what God created us for. To do so, we must begin with God. When we know God's purpose for us:

Pastor Warren says, when our time on earth is over, God will ask us two questions:

  1. "What did you do with my son Jesus Christ?"
  2. "What did you do with your life?"

 


Week 2: Worship

Let's face it, God did not need to create us. He chose to create you and me and everyone else for His own pleasure. Warren says, "You exist for His benefit, His glory, His purpose, and His delight."

Everything starts with God, not with us. Therefore, to find our purpose in life we must begin with worship. Many misunderstand worship, thinking only in terms of Sunday services or their favorite church music. While worship may include these things, God expects a lot more. He created us for a relationship, not a religion.

When asked about this, Jesus said that the first and greatest commandment is, "Love God with your entire being." Real worship consists of a lifestyle of loving God in every way possible.

In the first 11 chapters of Romans, Paul describes the depth of God's love for us. "Therefore," Paul says at the beginning of Romans 12, "I urge you ... to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform ... to the pattern of this world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Live like God wants you to live, not as the culture around you wants.

  1. To worship, we must dedicate ourselves to God, recognizing that worship is voluntary - like all acts of love -- but nonetheless complete only when we are committed fully to God's purposes;
  2. To worship, we must learn the principle of insulation from the world even while we are moving into it to spread the Gospel. We are not meant to isolate ourselves from the world.
  3. Worship applies the principal of metamorphosis. Worship has the power to transform us from ugly to beautiful. Seeing God's greatness shrinks our problems and allows us to soar.

 


Week 3: Fellowship

Pastor Warren used Romans 12:9-16 to point out five building blocks for fellowship:

  1. Authenticity - dropping our masks and being sincere as God's Word "exposes us for what we really are" (Hebrews 4:12)
  2. Courtesy - we are all different and may disagree, but believers should not be disagreeable (Titus 3:2)
  3. Mutuality - "If one person falls, the other can reach out and help" (Ecclesiastes 4:10) as we provide mutual encouragement, honor and accountability
  4. Hospitality - the early 1st century church "met in small groups in homes for communion and shared their meals with great joy" (Acts 2:46)
  5. Unity - "be of one mind, united in thought and purpose" (1 Corinthians 1:10), humbly accepting our own imperfections and others, as well, so we can grow in grace.

Today's busyness makes it difficult for a family or a church group to sit down and eat together. But close relations don't happen just because people are in the same room together - it takes intention to share ourselves and listen to others. It is significant that the early church spent time in meals together.

It's easy to discuss these ideas. The hard part comes when we try to get together to practice "fellowship." There may not be one time perfect for everyone to practice authenticity, courtesy, mutuality, hospitality and unity, but finding a time is well worth the effort. Our diverse groups (young/old, male/female, single/married, black/white) are unified by our being part of God's family, wanting to understand our purpose on earth, and wanting to love one another as He has loved us.

 


Week 4: Discipleship

To be a disciple is to be a student. Jesus Christ serves as our teacher and role model. Once we are born again, God wants us to grow up spiritually to become like Jesus. Philippians 2:12-13 says, "Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to ...act according to his good purpose."

The Christian life is a partnership. We work out, like an athlete develops the body God has given him or her; God works in us, energizing us and enabling us to achieve His good purposes.

God uses three tools to help us become more like Jesus:

  1. The Bible - God's will for your life never contradicts his word in the Bible. "It is God's way of making us well prepared...." 2 Timothy 3:17
  2. Holy Spirit - God does not leave us powerless. "...as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him." 2 Corinthians 3:18
  3. Circumstances - No matter what the cause of our problems. "...God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them." Romans 8:28

We also make three choices that determine whether we become more like Jesus:

  1. What we choose to think about - "I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You." Psalm 119:11
  2. Whether we depend on God's Spirit - "Take care to live in Me and let Me live in you...I am the vine; you are the branches." John 15:4-5
  3. How we respond to circumstances - "When all kinds of trials crowd into your lives ... welcome them as friends. Realize that they come to test your faith and produce in you...people of mature character." James 1:2-4

Tension develops when you try to act like a Christian without thinking God's thoughts. Are you trying to produce good fruit without God's power flowing through you? Use God's three tools and focus on the choices you can make about the way you live your life. Stay in Scripture, depend on the Spirit, and remember Who is in control!

 


Week 5: Ministry

You were put on earth to serve others, the fourth purpose for which you were created. When asked to explain, Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan. The story illustrates three attitudes people can have toward people in need. The first is to keep a distance, to not be bothered, to avoid relationships. The second is to be curious, but not involved like those that slow down when passing an auto accident. The third is to treat others how you would want to be treated if you were in the same situation. That is what the Samaritan did, and that is what Christians should do.

Rick Warren gives four guidelines for us to follow:

Kindness and service always cost. The good Samaritan received nothing in exchange for putting himself at risk, for using his wine and oil, for walking when he could have ridden, and for paying the bill at the inn. He did it, Jesus implies, because his heart was right and he loved.

Both believers and unbelievers have needs. Service to believers is called ministry. Service to unbelievers is called evangelism. In either case, our ministry is based upon the SHAPE God has given us:

No matter what SHAPE you're in, you should be looking for ways to help those in need.

 


Week 6: Evangelism

You were made for a mission. John 17:18 says, "In the same way that you gave Me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world." "Evangelism" is just the Greek word that means "good news." Once you know Godís other four purposes for your life, God wants you to share the good news with others.

Four Keys to Fulfilling Godís Mission in the World from Luke 5:17-26:

  1. They became concerned for their hurting friend. Compassion is love in action. Love opens the door for you to share Christ. Romans 15:2. Think of outreach ideas to show love to outsiders and actively bring them in. Start with prayer (Colossians 4:3) and ask God to soften your heart, give you opportunities, and soften their hearts.
  2. They believed Jesus would save their friend. Hebrews 7:25. No one is beyond the reach of Godís love. God specializes in doing the impossible. Donít give up on anyone; have faith.
  3. They didnít just pray for their friend; they brought Him to Jesus. They had a plan and put it into action. Colossians 4:5. Do you look for opportunities to share your faith and invite people to church or Sunday School? It is really arrogant to say, "My life is my witness." God wants you to walk the walk and talk the talk. Luke 14:23. Nothing in the world compares with the thrill of helping a friend settle his or her eternal destiny.
  4. They didnít let difficulties discourage them. They didnít give up. They found a way. It was risky, bold, unusual, and costly, but it was worth it. 2 Peter 3:9.

So who are you going to tell? Is anyone going to be in heaven because of you? Just as someone brought the Good News of Jesus to you, God now wants you to share it with others. You donít have to be perfect, spiritually mature, or a Bible scholar. All you have to know is that Jesus has made a difference in your life. You were made for the mission of reaching others for Jesus Christ. Get to it.

 


Godís Five Purposes for Your LifeóConclusion:

Purpose

Misperception

Truth

Worship

More than music & sermons.

Living to bring pleasure to God.

Fellowship

More than coffee & casual conversation.

Sharing our lives together.

Discipleship

More than going to church.

Becoming like Jesus in the way I think, feel, and act.

Ministry

Not just for pastors & missionaries.

Every Christian is called to serve and minister to other believers.

Evangelism

Not preaching with a bullhorn.

Sharing the Good News with unbelievers.

 


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Teacher's Email: carlton.arnold@comcast.net

Your webservant: agapeeric@aim.com