Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren [Summary]

Main Summary: Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren is one of the most comprehensively written books on man’s mission on earth. It portrays the difference between success and fulfillment. In the book you’ll find the only way to God’s plan for you. You’ll also learn how God relates with man, and how you can respond appropriately. It also describes the repercussions for not living a purpose driven life.

Book cover_Purpose driven life by Rick Warren

3 Things To Know About Living A Purpose Driven Life

i. You can only discover God’s purpose for your life through a relationship with Christ

ii. God’s purpose for your life pre-dates when you were born.

iii. Your purpose in life fits into a much larger cosmic purpose, God has designed for eternity.

Two ladies walking in a lonely path_in the post_purpose driven life by Rick Warren

Benefits of Living a Purpose Driven Life

i. It will give your life meaning
ii. It will prepare you for eternity
iii. It will define and simplify your life
iv. It will motivate you to go on in life
v. It will give you focus in life

The way you define life will determine what you invest yourtime in. If you define life as a Party, you will take life as fun.

The Bible offers 3 ways God views life, which is as follows:

i. As a Test

The Bible shows how God tested the faith and obedience of Abraham. Everything about you will be tested. Your character, love, integrity, just to mention a few.

ii. As a Trust

Life is a trust. God gives you the earth to have dominion over. He keeps blessing you as you manage His resources well. Everything you have, you received by grace.

You don’t own anything. It is best to see yourself as just a steward, who must give account of his stewardship, when your time is done.

Our time, energy, intelligence, talent, relationships, etc.

You must realize that for everything you received by grace you will be accountable for. Have you been using the grace the Lord offered you for granted?

iii. As a Temporary Assignment

Life compared with eternity is extremely brief. It is important you don’t get so comfortable, and forget you are supposed to be on the go. The mission is to, “occupy till He comes.”

God has a defined assignment for you. Don’t just go by life, only seeking your satisfaction. God has much more awaiting you to engage.

34 Things To Know About Living A Purpose Driven Life

Before I begin, the author of this book took us on a 40 days journey. Each day with a different focus and prayer strategy.

When I began to read this book, it seemed at first, that I was overwhelmed until I got to day 7.

I have read a good number of books, but if there’s any I’ll highly recommend you must read–then it’s this one.

1. You were made to give God Glory

Everything was created to reflect the glory of God. So at the root of all of man’s sin, is the failure to give God glory. And pride is at the top of this list.

There are only two creations of God who are Champions at not giving God glory. They are Falling angels and Men.

We fail to give God glory with our life’s, when we refuse to worship Him. Worship goes beyond singing. It is a life sold out to God’s will, interests, and purposes.

“We give God glory, when we serve others with our gifts.”

2. Your worship is God’s Pleasure

Worship means to bring pleasure to God. It is beyond a meeting–its rather a lifestyle. Whatever gives God pleasure worships Him.

So it’s not really about what you feel in God’s presence. Worship isn’t just for your benefit–but rather God’s. It is not a part of your life, rather it is your life.

Everything you do can be done to worship God. Your work becomes true worship when it is dedicated to God and performed with an awareness of his presence.

“Every action can be turned into worship when it’s done for the glory of God”

3. Your life was meant to make God Smile

What God wants is a relationship, not a hangout. He smiles when you love Him completely.

God smiles when you obey Him wholeheartedly. When you delay obedience, to God that’s disobedience. You should not wait to understand before you obey. Obedience itself will unlock your heart of understanding.

The proof that you love God is to the degree you obey Him. God also smiles when your heart and mouth are filled with His praise.

God smiles when you use your abilities–He enjoys watching every aspect of your life. The truth is, there are no unspiritual or carnal abilities–just misused ones.

“Instant obedience will teach you more about God than a lifetime of Bible discussions.”

A man kneel with hands raised to heaven worshipping from the post_purpose driven life by Rick Warren

4. The Heart (Core) of Worship

If all we are meant to do is worship, what then is the center of true worship? Your heart is God’s landing ground. And the heart of worship is surrender. A word many never like to hear.

The core of worship is offering yourself to God. God doesn’t want many things you give Him. He wants ALL of you.

Three things that keep us from living a surrendered life towards God are fear, pride, and confusion.

You can’t surrender all to God until you trust Him. And the degree to which you can trust God depends on how much you know Him.

“The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become, because He made us.”

C.S Lewis

Surrender is best demonstrated in obedience. You trust God more when you live a surrendered life.

God isn’t looking for the smartest individuals. He is attracted by a surrendered life.

Everyone eventually surrenders to something or someone. You are at liberty to choose who you surrender to. However, you aren’t free from the consequences of the choice you make.

Living a surrendered life is not the best way to live–its the only way to live. You can’t live a purpose driven life when you are so bent on driving your own life.

You don’t come into Christ fully surrendered. It is a moment by moment action. Your journey or growth in God can be traced back to the last time you let God have His way over yours.

“Life is a struggle because we struggle with God. We want to play the god role–and we can’t win this struggle.”

5. You can walk into Close Friendship with God

Just like it is with friends–they talk regularly. You become best friends with God through constant conversations with Him.

Praying without ceasing is another way of saying keep talking with God all the time.

You can make it a habit of praying with simple phrased sentences. Eg; I receive your grace, or You are with Me, or I belong to you, or Help me trust you, and so on.

Or you can pray short scriptures. Eg; The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. Or greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world. And fear not, for I will be with you, I will not forsake you, and so on.

Now, because God is with you all the time, there’s no place is any closer to God than the place where you are right now.

You can also walk in constant friendship with God through meditation. Thinking about God’s word all day. What He has done or those things He has said.

If you know how to worry, you know how to meditate. Worrying is thinking about a problem over and over again–meditation is just the opposite.

“Prayer lets you speak to God–meditation lets God speak to you.”

6. Consolidating On Your Friendship With God

God loves you and wants you to know Him. He wants you to speak to Him and wants to do the same to you too. That’s really what a relationship is.

God wants you to be completely honest with Him. But you have to choose to do that. Remember He already knows all that you have to say. Telling Him what He already knows shows you trust Him enough to lay all down at His feet.

Obedience to God is another way of strengthening our friendship with God. The proof of your love for God is in obeying Him. True obedience is active, not passive. You choose to–willingly.

What you value, will get most of your attention. Placing a high value on what God values consolidates your friendship with Him. God values souls. Friends of God will value what He loves.

“You are as close to God as you desire Him.”

7. The Kind of Worship That Pleases God

Your worship must be based on the truths of scripture. God doesn’t bless haphazard commitment. He looks beyond what you say–into your heart.

In worship, sincerity isn’t enough either. You can be sincerely wrong. Thus why worship is in spirit & truth. Your mind and your spirit all combined to bring God pleasure

Real worship is when our spirit responds to God. There are many forms of praise. The best of them is that which helps you communicate your love to God. Based on your background and the personality God gave you.

“Worship will cost you your self-centeredness. If worship is mindless, it is meaningless. You must engage your mind.”

8. When God Seems Distant

If you are yet to experience this, then be sure to braise up for it. Sometimes God tests us by distancing Himself from us.

This is not in anyway saying He has left you. But it happens to prove us. At such times you must anchor or hold on God’s word. On what He has done and what He has said He would do.

This is where you walk in faith. Feelings change and aren’t real. Anyone led by emotions can’t walk with God.

“A Friendship based on emotions alone is shallow indeed”

9. You Are Part of God’s Family

God cherishes relationship–He loves family. Even the Godhead is known by Father, Son, & Holy Spirit. Which is God’s relationship in Himself?

God didn’t need to create man. He desired to have a family. So He created man to share with him all He has.

Some of the things we benefit from being in God’s family:

  • You get to be with God forever
  • Being like Christ
  • Freed from all pain and suffering
  • You’ll be rewarded and reassigned positions of service
  • We share God’s glory

“Being included in God’s family is the highest honor and the greatest privilege you will ever receive.”

10. What Matters Most To God

Love is the foundation of all God’s command. It should be your topmost priority, primary objective, and greatest ambition.

You have to learn to love God and then men. It is not automatic–you learn it. Busyness is a great enemy of love. Because it’s not about what you do, but the amount of love expressed in what you do.

The greatest gift of love you can give is your time. Your time is your life. It is possible to give without loving–but impossible to love without giving.

Love is really all about giving up your preferences, comfort, goals, security, money, energy, or time for the benefit of someone else.

“The best use of life is love; the best expression of love is time; and the best time to love is NOW!”

11. Everyone Belongs Somewhere

The church is an organism–not an organization. What that means is, it has all the characteristics of a living thing. It grows, moves, feels, etc.

You will discover your role in life when relating with others is priority. Your role in life is not to yourself. That’s where the church comes in–a place of fellowship with others.

God expects us to give our lives for each other, pray, encourage, admonish, serve, teach, honor, bear burdens, forgive, submit, and more. These family responsibilities God expects you to fulfill through the Church.

We are responsible for each other. Those who separate themselves from fellowship end up defenseless. Satan loves defenseless believers–they are vulnerable to his vices.

The Church was created by God to meet 5 important needs:

  • Purpose to live for.
  • People to live with
  • Principles to live by
  • Profession to live-out
  • Power to live on.

“The Christian life is more than just a commitment to Christ, it includes a commitment to other Christians.”

 Left pairs of different shoes put together to signify unity and sharing_from the post_purpose driven life by Rick Warren

12. You Have Others To Experience Life Together With

The fellowship God is calling you to with Him and His Children is one that involves unselfish living; honest sharing; practical serving; sacrificial giving and all the other “one another commandments found in scriptures“.

The most difficult risk is, to be honest about who you are and what’s happening in your life to others. And that’s what real fellowship is all about.

You need forgiveness to have fellowship with anyone. Sometimes you may get hurt. But having the disposition to forgive helps you stay in fellowship.

However, if someone hurts you repeatedly, you are commanded to forgive them instantly. ,but not expected to trust them immediately.

“Forgiveness must be immediate, but trust is built over time.”

13. Building Fellowship With Others

Real fellowship depends on frankness. It is not been silent when a fellow brother is missing it. Neither is it judging others.

Humility, however, is not thinking less of yourself, but rather thinking of yourself less. It is thinking about others more.

An ideal Christian community is mainly about being able to share with others your doubts and fears without been judged.

Whether it’s marriage or the church real fellowship is not about complacency. It is about honesty.

“The basis for our fellowship with one another is our relationship with God.”

14. Restoring Or Fixing Broken Fellowship

Every child of God is a peacemaker. Peacemaking is not trying to escape problems or pretending they don’t exist.

It is not been afraid to talk about an issue, neither is it trying to make peace with everyone when they should be scolded either.

Nevertheless, God wants us to do it this way.

  • Talk to Him before talking to the person.
  • Be the one to make the first move, irrespective of who is at fault.
  • Use your ears that your mouth
  • Confess your fault in the feud or conflict.
  • Be conscious of attacking the problem rather than the person.
  • Cooperate as much as possible, the emphasis is on reconciliation, not resolution.

15. You Have a Duty To Protect Your Church

The soul of fellowship is unity. If destroyed–the church follows suit.

Protecting the church is protecting its unity. This consciousness is so vital, so you don’t destroy what you are trying to build.

The truth is we all cannot be the same. Because we have all spent ourselves differently in building our faith. So the point is to focus on our similarities rather than our differences.

There are many things we have in common. What the devil has done to the body is to blind our eyes to them to keep us disunited.

The issue isn’t in running from pillar to post, changing churches as you do with your undies. But be realistic with your expectations–there is no perfect church to escape to.

Gossiping is an enemy to unity. you should practice the Jesus method of reconciliation. And most importantly–support and pray for your Pastors & Leaders.

“When you choose to protect your church, you will rather encourage than criticize.”

16. You Were Created To Become Like Christ

It is in our destiny to become like Christ. The goal God had, in giving you the Holy Spirit, is to develop you into Christ-likeness.

It is the job of the Holy Spirit to produce the character of Christ in you. But then you must be committed to your growth in order to live a purpose driven life.

These steps will help you.

  • Let go of your old ways of acting.
  • Change the way you think, by feeding on new information.
  • Put on the character of Christ by developing new habits.

You should know that God helping you grow means, He’ll use His words, people, and circumstances to help you grow.

“Growing into Christ is a slow process–you can’t rush it by any standard.”

17. Growing Into Christ

It all begins with a decision. An intention backed up with a decisive commitment.

The difference between a follower and a disciple is their commitment. The follower is afraid or unwilling to commit to his growth.

But sincerely, commitment defines you. You become what you are committed to. The Holy Spirit can’t help you beyond your commitment. Your growth is a collaborative effort between you and the Holy Spirit.

Your understanding of the eternal implications of your growth will separate you from being casual with growing.

All your decisions originate from what you know. What you know is how you think. How you think will affect your feelings–which will automatically generate your actions.

"for as a man thinketh, so is he"

Thinking of others is the heart of Christ-likeness and the best evidence of spiritual growth.

“The best evidence of your spiritual growth is measure by how much you think about others–instead of yourself.”

18. Growing By Truth

The whole essence of spiritual growth is to replace lies with truth–changing how you think.

For this to happen, you must abide in the vine–the word.

Here’s How To…

  • You must accept God’s word as an authority in all you do. Begin with it and end with it. Let it take the first and last place in your life.
  • You must assimilate its truth. By these five “r”. Read it, Receive it, Research it, Remember it, and Reflect on it.
  • You must apply its principles. Because the only time you’ll get blessed by the word of God is when you do it.

“The best way to become a doer of the word is to always write an action plan (what you must do with what you have learnt) after reading the word or a text.”

19. Growing By Persecution

Many are forced to a corner to seek God anytime they face persecution. That’s when some want to change their worship centers. Others just choose the easiest option–to quit.

Problems force us to look to God and depend on Him solely. Man is naturally full of himself. He desires to lead himself–always seeking self-glory.

But God already knows all that, so he makes room for some persecution, to refine you.

“All things–including persecution–work together in the process of making you like Christ.”

20. Growing by Temptation

While the temptation is Satan’s No.1 weapon to destroy you–it is God’s method to make you grow.

You’ll never know how much joy you had in you until there is a reason for gloominess and you rise to rejoice before God.

God uses temptation to grow the fruits in us. You can’t say, “I’ll not steal, until you have an opportunity to steal without been noticed or any present consequence. And choose not to.

Satan has been at this temptation game for so long now. But his gimmicks have not changed.

  • He firsts identify’s a desire in you
  • Then get you to doubt what God has said about that sin–that is if you are aware.
  • He then engages deception, deceives you to see that every other person may be wrong.
  • Disobedience: when you eventually agree and act on that thought.

That you are tempted isn’t a sin. It becomes a sin when you fall into it.

“The worse state to be in any temptation is to be quiet. Get the devil out of your mind!”

21. Overcoming Temptation

Every battle of sin is won or lost in your mind. Whatever gets your attention will get you. How then do you overcome?

i. Refocus your attention on something else. It is not saying, “I am not going to do it again” — your attention is still on it.

The more you are tied into saying, “I will not do this again” the more it draws you into its web.

Ignoring a temptation is far more effective than fighting it. What do I mean? You defeat a bad thought by replacing it with a good one.

Don’t close your eyes when watching some nude scenes in a movie. Change the channel, you mustn’t watch it. You must guard your mind jealously, it’s your most vulnerable spiritual organ.

ii. Resist the devil. Only those who are submitted to God can resist the devil. The devil can tell when you are not submitted to God.

Also, the volume of your voice is not what counts in resisting the devil. Rather the volume of God’s word in your heart, voiced out from your mouth.

iii. You are vulnerable. Don’t try to play the smart guy with the devil. For by flesh shall no man prevail. Don’t go into any temptation in your flesh.

Overconfidence is the recipe for disaster. Given the right circumstances, any of us is capable of sin. That’s why God says to flee every appearance of sins.

“Don’t carelessly place yourself in any tempting situation. Flee!”

22. Growing to Become Like Christ Takes Time.

God is not worried about how fast you grow, rather He is concerned about how strong you grow.

You’ll probably say, “I have surrendered all to Jesus” if I asked you about it. But the truth is there is still a lot about your life you aren’t aware of.

For Jesus, He was born without the sin nature in Him. But we weren’t born that way. So you have so much to unlearn. No pill will instantly undo the damage you may have done to yourself for many years.

So just don’t quit moving.

“The snail also reached the ark of Noah”

23. You Have An Assignment: Accept It

The truth is you are saved for service. But that doesn’t mean you can serve whichever way you desire. You must serve out of joy and gratitude for what God had done for you.

Ministry in the kingdom simply means–serving God through your purpose with Love.

Here is what it is; God has a ministry for you to the church and a mission for you to the world. This two make up you living a purpose drive life. We grow to give out not to accumulate.

True maturity is not about who meets your needs, it is rather about whose needs you’ve met.

“The highest proof of Love is SERVICE.

24. You are Shaped for Service to God.

You are the way you are because God made you for a specific ministry. Everything about you is peculiar to what you were made for.

God gives you abilities, talents, gifts, a personality, and life experiences because He’s made you for a specific purpose.

There are five major things God gives to believers for service. They are hidden in the acronym S.H.A.P.E

  • S – Spiritual gifts
  • H – Heart (what moves you)
  • A – Abilities
  • P – Personality
  • E – Experience

25. Understanding Your Unique Shape

We are all peculiar. Uniquely different from each other. Even in prayer, we all have different utterances as given by the Holy Spirit.

Even if you had the same abilities as another person, you may not have the same personality and experience.

However, despite our differences, God created the church to serve as a platform where you can easily identify and engage or use your abilities.

Dominion has forever been God’s purpose for man. And this hasn’t changed on God’s side. He wants man to rule.

It is in serving, that you’ll find yourself in your place.

26. Using The SHAPE God gave you

Whatever you are is God’s gift to you, but what whatever you do with yourself is your gift back to God.

You will best serve God when you do it from your SHAPE. (Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experience).

But you must first discover your shape before you can now develop it to its fullest potential. It is in serving you’ll find out what you are good at and not good at.

Serving at different opportunities as they present themselves, will help you discover where and what you are made for to live a purpose driven life.

“If you never try any service area, you’ll also never know what you are good at.”

27. How Real Servants Serve

God measures greatness in terms of service. Many claim to be serving, but all they are really doing is serving for personal gains.

Real servants are available to serve. They pay attention to needs. It’s not about if you are gifted enough. True servants give their all with what they have.

They are dedicated to doing every task. Faithful in season and out of season. To be faithful means you don’t quit at any slight issue–not even when discouraged.

They finish their task and keep their promises, with humility as their tag, they put up a low profile.

“You may retire from your career, but not from serving God with your SHAPE.”

An engineer on a site gazing at his planning board _signifying diligence to work _from the post_Purpose driven life by Rick Warren

28. The Mind of A Servant

We are a product of our thoughts. Until you can see yourself as God sees you, then you are not likely to serve acceptably.

4 Attitudes of servants

i. Servants think about others than themselves. They don’t think less of themselves, but rather less about themselves. Until you stop thinking about yourself, you may never see others.

ii. Servants think like stewards, not owners. A steward is a caretaker, someone who manages a possession that belongs to another. To bring the best out of it. You must be aware that you will give an account of your stewardship.

iii. They think about their work, not what others are doing. Service to God is not a platform for ranking and comparison. Or a place to criticize or compete. They don’t think status, rather they think responsibility.

iv. They see ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation. Every opportunity to serve is an avenue to be blessed. God is particular about willingness in serving–not just availability.

“Serving God without joy and gladness will bring you a curse instead of a blessing.”

29. God is Most Powerful in Your Weakness.

Weakness is not a sin. If you are susceptible to certain sins, that’s not what a weakness is. It is neither a character defect nor a flaw.

A weakness is something you don’t have the power to change. When it comes to obeying God, Man is weak on his own. And that is why it takes a partnership with God to walk with God.

Be honest about yourself, your weaknesses should draw you closer to God. And make you depend on Him fervently.

Don’t pretend to be strong in prayers, or in anything God expects of you. It is your honesty and acknowledging whatever weaknesses you have to God, that attracts His strength.

The thing is, even with the Holy Spirit, man is so proud. We always want to do things on our own.

“True humility is being honest about your weakness.”

30. You Were Made For a Mission

Your ministry is your service to believers, while your mission is your service to unbelievers. This mission is to introduce people to God.

How Important Is your Mission

i. It is first a continuation of Jesus’s mission on the earth. Jesus gave His place to have us saved. It is our responsibility to finish what he began–save the world from sin.

ii. It is a wonderful privilege. We are ambassadors, representing the government of Christ here on earth. A privilege to be first called, and so you must call others too.

iii. It is the greatest gift to give any man. Jesus once asked, “what shall it profit you if you gain the world and lose your soul“. Anyone can lose anything, but if we lose eternity with God–that’s forever. This is the reason, God had to become a man–for the sake of man’s salvation.

iv. It gives life meaning. A reason to live. A Purpose driven life. Life isn’t about what you do for yourself, but about others. Until you are on a mission, you aren’t living–but existing.

v. The end of time is connected to the completion of your mission. As long as you don’t embark on God’s mission, the end is stretched further.

31. Sharing Your Life’s Message

This is your own story. What you’ve encountered in God and how it’s affected you.

Your life’s message has 4 parts to it

i. Your testimony. Telling others how you began a relationship with Jesus.

ii. Your life’s lessons. The things God has taught you in your walk with Him.

iii. Your godly passions. These are the issues God shaped you to care about most. We all don’t care about the same things. Share your passions about God.

iv. The Good news. The message of salvation. What Jesus came to do.

“We must learn to love what God loves–and that includes the lost.”

32. Becoming a World Class Christian

This is a shift from self-centered thinking to others-centered thinking. A shift from local thinking to global.

God has always cared about the whole world not just a nation. When you think globally, you’ll pray for the nations.

A World class Christian thinks more of eternal purposes more than the present. He is therefore wiser, and able to separate what’s important now and what’s not. Living a purpose driven life.

“Excuse only has one goal, which is to limit you.”

A picture of a balance_signifying the life of balance_from the post _Purpose driven live by Rick Warren

33. Living a Life of Balance

If you know what’s important, you automatically know what’s not. If you know where you are headed–you already know where you aren’t heading.

God’s purpose is not ambiguous. These are His 5 purpose for your life.

1. Love God with all your heart. You love Him through worship.

2. Love your neighbor as yourself. You are shaped for service. Show your love for others through service.

3. Go make disciples. Share God’s message through evangelism.

4. Baptize them into… Bring them into God’s family. You are obligated to identify with the family of God on earth. That’s through a church.

5. Teach them to do all things… You are created to be like Christ. So part of your purpose is to grow into maturity through the platform of discipleship.

34. Living A Purpose Driven Life

After coming to know God’s purpose for your life, its time to live a purpose driven life. You will only enter into the blessings when you run with what you have found. Of course, what’s the use of a purpose, if you won’t engage it.

Well then, for this you’ll need a purpose statement.

A purpose statement summarizes God’s purpose for your life. It answers the “Why” question, defines success for you, and also clarifies your roll and expresses your shape.

Here are 5 questions that will help you to write your purpose statement.

i. What is the center of your life?

  • This is the question of worship. Whatever is the center of your life is your God.

ii. What kind of character will your life portray?

  • This is the question of discipleship.
  • What kind of person will you be?

iii. What will your life contribute to existence?

  • This answers the question of service.

iv. What will your life communicate?

  • This answers the question about your mission to unbelievers.

v. What will be the community of your life?

  • This answers the question of fellowship.
  • Where will you practice your, “love one another command.”

Finally, if you read this review to this point, you sure must have been blessed. God desires you to live a purpose driven life.

For me, my action points after reading this book were quite something to tell about.

An example was, “whatever you are committed to you’ll eventually become”. So get committed to whatever you want to become.

You can leave your action point in the comment box below.

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