Summary: God has uniquely shaped each of His children to serve Him by serving others.
Today going to look at God’s fourth purpose for your life: You were Shaped to Serve God.
The word, “workmanship,” can be translated, “masterpiece.” Notice, the Bible says that through faith in Christ, that is what you already are. In other words, everything you need to succeed in whatever God has in mind for you to do is within you already. Now, this doesn’t mean we don’t have things to learn, or than we don’t have some growing to do. Obviously, that is the case. But the raw material that God has in mind to use in our serving Him while we are on this planet is already there.
“Your hands shaped me and made me.” - Job l0:8 (NIV)
There are five things that are unique to each of us - Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences. Those five things make you different from anybody else, for a purpose. And that purpose is to serve God. And the way we serve God is by serving others.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others . . .” - 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)
Now the Bible has a word for this, it’s called “ministry.” And, like worship, fellowship and discipleship, this is a misunderstood word. When I say, “minister” some think of a priest or pastor. Someone who wears a collar or robe, and says, “Jay-sus-ah!” But the Bible says every believer is a minister. Not every believer is a pastor, but every believer is a minister. Ministry simply means using my God-given shape to help someone else in His name. Any time you use your gifts, passions, abilities, personality or experiences to help somebody else, you’re involved in ministry - you are a minister.
Remember that life is preparation for eternity! What God wants you to do while you’re here is practice what you're going to do in heaven forever. One of the things you’re going to do in heaven is serve God and serve others; and what God wants you to do is practice!
A man was given a vision of heaven and hell. When he saw hell, he saw people sitting around a banquet table, full of food, but they were all starving and miserable. When he asked why, he was told it was because they were having to eat with 10 foot long chop sticks, and couldn’t reach their mouths with the food. In heaven, he was shocked to see the same thing, except the people there were well fed and happy. When he asked why the difference, he was told the people in heaven feed one another.
Now God not only created us for service, He gave us a model. He came to earth Himself in the person of Jesus and said:
“. . . the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others . . .” - Matthew 20:28 (NLT)
What does it mean to serve like Jesus?
1. Serving Like Jesus Means Being Available.
In fact, shortly after Jesus made the previous statement about being a servant, He demonstrated the principle of availability:
“Two blind men were sitting beside the road. And when they heard that Jesus was coming their way, they shouted, ‘Lord and Son of David, have pity on us!’ When Jesus heard them, he stopped and asked, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’” - Matthew 20:30; 32 (CEV)
Notice, Jesus stopped. If you want to be used by God, you must be willing to be interrupted. Most of our Lord’s ministry and most of His miracles were due to interruptions.
“Don’t tell your neighbors to come back tomorrow if you can help today.” - Proverbs 3:28 (CEV)
“Do all the good you can by all the means you can by all the ways you can in all the places you can and at all the times you can to all the people you can as long as you ever can.” - John Wesley
What keeps us from being available?
“Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too.” - Philippians 2:4 (Easy to Read Version)
When you see a need right in front of you, God is giving you the opportunity to serve, and to learn to be like Christ. You see the number one enemy of compassion is busyness. We hang a “do not disturb sign” on the door of our heart and say, “Don’t disturb me with the needs of others.” But if you’re too busy to serve, then you’re too busy!
“If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.” - Ecclesiastes 11:4 (LB)
Christ-like servants do the best they can with what they have for Jesus today. They don’t wait. Now, I believe we need to do things with excellence, but if there is something that needs done and I can do something about it, to do things with excellence means I do the best with what I have. I don’t wait around for “whatever” I think I need in order to get the job done. I do what I can with what I have today. Things do not have to be perfect for God to bless. That’s the truth. If God only used perfect people, what would get done? Nothing!