What is the Purpose of Life?

Interview with Rick Warren , "Purpose Driven Life "
author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California.

"People ask me, What is the purpose of life?
And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation
for eternity.  We were made to last forever, and God
wants us to be with Him in Heaven.
One day my heart is going to stop, and that
will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am
going to spend trillions of years in eternity.  This
is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal.

God wants us to practice on earth what we will
do forever in eternity.  We were made by God and for
God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going
to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are
in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready
to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more
interested in your character than your comfort.
God is more interested in making your life
holy than He is in making your life happy.
We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but
that's not the goal of life.  The goal is to grow in character, in
Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of
my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay,
getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and
valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to
the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe
that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I
believe that it's kind of like two rails on a
railroad track, and at all times you have something
good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life,
there is always something bad that needs to be
worked on.

And no matter how bad things are in your life,
there is always something good you can thank God for.
You can focus on your purposes, or you can
focus on your problems.

If you focus on your problems, you're going
into self-centeredness,   "which is my problem, my issues, my pain."
But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain
is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the
prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal
Kay or make it easy for her.
It has been very difficult for her, and yet
God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping
other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to

You have to learn to deal with both the good
and the bad of life.   Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the
good is harder.

For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold
15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.
It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had
never had to deal with before.  I don't think God
gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for
you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do
with this money, notoriety and influence.  He gave me two
different passages that helped me decide what to do,
II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we
would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no
major purchases.

Second, about midway through last year, I
stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an
initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches,
equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick,
and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had
paid me in the 24 years since I started the church,
and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able
to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live
for possessions?   Popularity? Am I going to be driven by
pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism?  Or am I
going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the
side of my bed and say,  God, if I don't get anything else done today,
I want to know You more and love You better ...
God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a
to-do list.  He's more interested in what I am than
what I do. That's why we're  called human beings,
not human doings.

      Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
      Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
      Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
       Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
      Every moment, THANK GOD.

I would rather live my life as if there is a God,
And die to find out there isn't,
Than live my life as if there isn't,
And die to find out there is.

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Copyright 2004 - 2011 Joyce Loomis-Kernek
Last modified: January 05, 2014