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Summary: Purpose #4 MINISTRY — 40 Days of Purpose (addapted from Rick Warren) See in Word format at www.praiseag.org


Purpose #4 MINISTRY — 40 Days of Purpose

1 Peter 4:10

Adapted from Outline by Rick Warren—Saddleback Church


A couple years ago the nation remembered Elvis by making his greatest hits album number one in the nation—25 years after the guy died! Now in spite of enormous success, Elvis was, according to family and friends, an unfulfilled and unhappy man. Elvis died of obesity and drug dependency at 42.

Priscilla Presley said this about her husband: “Elvis never came to terms with who he was meant to be or what his purpose in life was. He thought he was here for a reason, maybe to preach, maybe to serve, maybe to save, maybe to care for people. That agonizing desire was always with him and he knew he wasn’t fulfilling it. So he’d go on stage and he wouldn’t have to think about it.”

Elvis didn’t have a clue where to begin to look. In a sense, he was lost. Today we continue our 40 Days of Purpose by looking at God’s fourth purpose for your life: “Shaped to Serve God.” Elvis, the king of Rock and Roll felt like he was here to do something. . . something more than to swing his hips and sing but he just couldn’t quite figure it out. I don’t want you to make that mistake. Let’s discover the reason God put us on planet earth.

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

You are God’s WORKMANSHIP. God has a design and a purpose for your life! Notice the progression of this verse—you are God’s workmanship, created in Christ to do good works and not the other way around. Some people think if you do good works then you will be saved—they think good works will put you in Christ. NO, no, no! You are God’s workmanship. His design and purpose is to bring you into Christ Jesus to do God works.

It’s not about you; it’s all about God. He does the work. He places you in Christ. He has prepared good works for you. Simply put: GOOD WORKS DO NOT ESTABLISH YOUR SALVATION; GOOD WORKS ARE EVIDENCE OF YOUR SALVATION! Good works are evidence of God’s work in you—evidence that you are in Christ.

Are you here today as the “workmanship of God?” Are you “in Christ Jesus?” If that’s you, then God has prepared in advance good works for you to do. God is not sitting in heaven wondering what He would like for you to do—God has a design and purpose for your life. God’s plan is for you to do good works. God doesn’t want you to sit soak and sour. The church is not a bus stop for you to wait for your ride to heaven. God has good works for you to do.

What good works has God planned for you to do? What does the evidence look like? How will others know you are “in Christ?” The Bible tells us.

1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

Each one should use whatever gift he has received TO SERVE OTHERS, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

My fourth purpose in life is to serve God by serving others.

Do you want to know why you’re alive? Do you know why God put you on this planet? You aren’t put here just to take up space, consume and get a free ride through life. You are here to serve God and the only way you serve God is by serving other people.

The Bible says we should use our gifts to serve others. Unfortunately we believe, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to make a lot of money!” The American way is to use your abilities and talents to make money—to make it big—to be successful.

Your purpose in life is not about money or things; it’s not about personal success. Your purpose in life is to be what God made you to be. And He gave you gifts and talents and abilities to be used by serving others.

Some people want to serve God; they just don’t want to serve other people. I guess you might say they love God, but they don’t like people. Hmm . . . doesn’t the Bible say something about claiming to love God whom you have not seen, while not loving others in God’s family? Doesn’t it say you can’t do that? (If you’re wondering check out 1 John 4:20.)

Just like you can’t love God without also loving people, you can’t serve God unless you serve people.

Would you agree that as Christians we are supposed to be like Jesus? If you don’t agree with that, then you need to go back and reread our third purpose. God wants us to be just like Jesus—that’s discipleship—that’s the third purpose of your life.

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