By: Rick Warren

Getting the Most from this Book!

T his is more than a book; it is a guide to a 4O-day spiritual journey that will enable you to discover the answer to life’s ’s most important question:

 What on earth am I here for?

By the end of this journey yon will know God’s purpose for your life and you will understand the big picture—how all the pieces of your life fit together. Having this perspective will reduce your stress, simplify your decisions, in crease your own satisfaction, and, most important of all, prepare you for eternity.


Today the average life span is 25,550 days. That’s how long you will live if yon are typical. Don’t you think it would be a very wise use of time to set aside 40 of those days to figure out what God wants you to do with the rest of them?

The Bible is clear that God considers 40 day’s a spiritually significant time period. Whenever God wanted to prepare someone for his purposes, he took 40 days

          • Noah’s life was transformed by 40 days of rain.

          • Moses was transformed by 40 days on Mount Sinai.

          • The spies were transformed by 40 days in the Promised Land.

          • David was transformed by Goliath’s 40-day challenge.

          • Elijah was transformed when God gave him 40 days of

            strength from a single meal.

          • The entire city of Nineveh was transformed when God gave

            the people 40 days to change.

          • Jesus was empowered by 40 days in the wilderness.

          • The disciples were transformed by 40 days with Jesus after

            his resurrection.

The next 40 days will transform your life.

This book is divided into 40 brief chapters. I strongly urge you to read only one chapter a day, so yon will have time to think about the implications for your life.. The Bible says, “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way yon think. Then you will know what God wants you to do.”

One reason most books don’t transform us is that we are so eager to read the next chapter, we don’t pause and take the time seriously consider what we have just read. We rush to the next truth without reflecting on what we have learned.

Don’t just read this book. Interact with it. Underline it. Write your own thoughts in the margins. Make it your book Personalize it! The books that have helped me most are the ones I reacted to, not just read.


At the end of each chapter is a section called: “Thinking about “MY” Purpose.” There you will find.

          *A point to Ponder. This is a nugget of truth that

           summarizes a principle of purpose-driven living

           that you can reflect on throughout your day. Paul

           told Timothy, “Reflect on what I am saying, for

            the Lord will give you insight into all this.”

            • A Verse to Remember. This is a Bible verse that teaches a

             truth from that chapter. If you really want to improve your

             life, memorizing Scripture may be the most important habit

             you can begin. You can either copy these verses onto small

             cards to carry with you, or purchase a Purpose-Driven Lift

             Scriptii re and Affirmation Pack.

           • A Question to Consider. These questions will help von

             think about the implications of what you have read and how

             it applies to you personally. Let me encourage you to write

             your answers in the margin of this book or in a notebook, or

             obtain a copy of The Purpose-Driven Life Journal, a

             companion hook designed for this purpose. Writing down

             your thoughts is the best way to clarify them.


In appendix 1 you will find:

          • Discussion Questions. I strongly urge you to get one or

             more friends to join you in reading this hook during the

             next 40 days. A journey is always better when it is shared.

             With a partner or a small reading group you can discuss what

             you read and bounce ideas off each other. This will help you

             grow stronger and deeper spiritually. Real spiritual growth is

             never an isolated, individualistic pursuit. Maturity is

             produced through relationships and community.

The Best way to explain God’s purpose for your life is to allow the Scripture to speak for itself, so in this hook the Bible is quoted extensively, using over a thousand different verses from fifteen English translations and paraphrases. I have varied the versions used for several important reasons, which I explain in appendix 3.


As I wrote this hook, I often prayed that you would experience the incredible sense of hope, energy, and joy that comes from discovering what God put You on this planet to do. There’s nothing quite like it. I am excited because I know all the great things that are going to happen to you. They happened to me, and I have never been the same since I discovered the purpose of my life. Because I know the benefits, I want to challenge you to stick with this spiritual journey for the next 40 days, not missing a single daily reading. Your life is worth taking the time to think about it. Make it a daily appointment on your schedule. If you will commit to this, let’s sign a covenant together. There is something significant about signing your name to a commitment. If you get a partner to read through this with you, have him or her sign it, too. Let’s get started together!



The Purpose-Driven Day.

Copyright@2002 by Rick Warren.

Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530


Editor’s note:

The author does an excellent job of leading you into each days lesson. The first paragraph of each days chapter is so plainly and simply stated that you know in advance exactly where you are going mentally with each lesson. The author reproduced his outline right in the first paragraph.

Following right now are some samples from random chapters to illustrate just what I told you would be your surprise introduction to that day’s lesson. Remember, it only takes 40 days.

It’s not about you

The purpose of your 1ife is tar greater than your personal

fulfillment , your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or your wildest dreams and ambitions. It you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.‘

You are not an accident.

Your birth was no mistake or mishap, and your life is no fluke of nature. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. He was not at all surprised by your birth. In fact, he expected it.

Long before you were conceived your parents, you were conceived in the mind of God. He thought of you first. It is not fate, nor chance, nor luck, nor coincidence that you are here breathing at this very moment. You are alive because God wanted to create you! The Bible says, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.”

Everyone’s life is driven by something.

Most dictionaries define the verb drive as “to guide, to control, or to direct.” Whether you are driving a car, a nail, or a golf ball, guiding, controlling, and directing it at that moment. What is the driving force in your life?

Right now YOU may be driven by a problem, a pressure, or a deadline. You may he driven by a painful memory, a haunting fear, or an unconscious belief. There are hundreds of circumstances, values, and emotions that can drive your life. Here are just five of the most common ones:

Many people are driven by guilt. They spend their entire lives running from ...........

This life is not all there is.

Life on earth is just the dress rehearsal before the real production. You will spend far more time on the other side of death —in eternity ---- than you ever will here. Earth is the staging area, the preschool, the tryout for your life in eternity. It is the practice workout before the actual game; the warm up lap before the race begins. This life is preparation for the next.

At most ,you will live a hundred years on earth, but you will spend forever in eternity. Your time on earth is, as Sir Thomas Browne said, “but a small parenthesis in eternity.” you were made to last forever.

The Bible says. “God has....planted eternity in the human heart.”

The way you see your life shapes your life.

How you define life determines your destiny Your perspective will influence how you invest your time, spend your money, use your talents and value your relation-ships.

One of the best ways to understand other people is to ask them, “How do you see your life.?” You will discover that there are as many different answers to that question as there arc people. I’ve been told life is a circus, a minefield, a roller coaster, a puzzle, a symphony, a journey, and a dance. People have said, Life is a carousel: Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down, and sometimes you just go round and round” or life is a ten-speed bicycle with gears we never use.”.or “life is a game of cards: You have to play the hand you are dealt.”

Life on earth is a temporary assignment.

The Bible is full of metaphors that teach about the brief, temporary, transient nature of life on earth. Life is described as a mist, a first runner, a breath, and a wisp of smoke. The Bible says, “For we were born but yesterday Our days on earth are as transient as a shadow.”

To make the best use of your life, you must never forget two truths

First, compared with eternity, life is extremely brief.

Second, earth is only a temporary residence.

You won’t be here very long, so don’t get too attached. Ask God to help you see life on earth as he sees it. David prayed, “Lord, help me to realize how brief my time on earth will be. Help me to know that I am here for but a moment more. “

It’s all for him.

The ultimate goal of the universe is to show the glory of God.

It is the reason for everything that exists, including you.

God made it all for his glory. Without God’s glory, there would be nothing.

What is the glory of God? It is who God is. It is the essence of his nature, the weight of his importance, the radiance of his splendor, the demonstration of his power, and the atmosphere of his presence. God’s glory is the expression of his goodness and all his other intrinsic, eternal qualities. Where is the glory of God? Just look around. Everything created by God reflects his glory in some way. We see it everywhere, from the smallest microscopic form of life to the vast Milky Way, from sunsets and stars to storms and seasons. Creation reveals our Creator’s glory.

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