Summary: Adapted from welcome to the planet 40 Days of Purpose Series. Sermon #5

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Part 5: You Were Shaped for Serving God

By Doug Fields

Gladstone Baptist Church - 16/5/04

We are now on the homeward tack. We’ve found out about 3 of our life’s purposes and have only 2 more to go.

- The first one was that we were Planned for God’s Pleasure. We were created to make God pleased and we do this primarily through Worship.

- The Second Purpose was that we were formed for God’s Family. He made us so that we could relate to him and become part of his Family.

- The Third Purpose that we covered last week is that we are called to become like Christ. We need to adopt his values, his attitude, his character. We need to think like him and follow him.

Well, the fourth purpose that we are going to look at today is that you were Shaped to Serve God. In actual fact, you have a unique SHAPE that God gave you to do some specific tasks. Do you remember what our first memory verse is - “What on earth are we here for?”

“For you are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do Good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” Eph 2:10

You were created by God, to do good works. They are things with God has designed specifically for us to do. They are custom made for each one of us. I can’t do the things God created for you to do, you can’t do the things I was designed to do – Why? Because we have different SHAPEs. Our memory verse says … Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others 1 Pet 4:10. It’s like every single piece of pottery thrown on a potter’s wheel. Every piece is slightly different. And God broke the mold after he made you. Turn to the person next you, welcome them this morning by saying, “I’m glad God broke your mold! The world couldn’t handle two of you!”

What’s My Shape?

But straight off the bat, there is a problem here … because often we don’t know what we are supposed to do. We don’t know what our SHAPE is – Are you are circle or a square or a triangle or what? If you don’t know what shape you are, you are likely to be pressured or encouraged to try to fill a different shaped hole. Instead of trying to fit the circles in the circular hole and the squares in the square holes, we try to squeeze a square into a circular hole or a triangle into a square hole. It doesn’t fit and it is uncomfortable, unfulfilling and eventually burns people out. This is all because we don’t know what our shape is …

Listen to Bill Hybels talking about what happens when we don’t know what our SHAPE is the ideal church. (excerpt from the Network Course Video

God’s ideal church is one where people are ministering in a way which is compatible to their SHAPE. Do you know what your SHAPE is? If I was to take a survey this morning, most of you wouldn’t really know that your shape was with any certainty – And many of you didn’t even know you had a shape that could be defined. You thought you were just some amorphous blob. Let me give you a few ideas about how you can begin to discover what your unique SHAPE is … I’m not doing this just for you to feel good about yourself, but so that you can have a clearer picture of what God has in mind for you to do …

To help you remember these things, they are designed as an acrostic of the word SHAPE

1 ) SPIRITUAL GIFTS - The S in SHAPE stands for Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual gifts are special abilities which God gives when you become a Christian. 4 things you need to know about Spiritual Gifts …

- They are GOD GIVEN (1 Cor 12:11) - you can’t earn them. You can’t enrol in a TAFE course and learn them. (If you think you have learnt any spiritual gifts, you are confusing them with natural abilities which we’ll talk about soon). You can not twist God’s arm to get them. They are given by God as He sees fit. They are special abilities which enable us to do things that we normally couldn’t do. They are supernatural abilities and equip us our special task.

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 - Now to each one the manifestation (or outworking) of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

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