Summary: Using Rick Warren’s SHAPE acronym to demonstrate how God has uniquely created us with a passion or heartbeat for something God is passionate about.
We are in a series we are calling “Created to be God’s Masterpiece.” This comes from Ephesians 2:10 of the NLT, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
This means you are God’s Masterpiece, his work of art. Specifically he is referring to the change God has made in our life through Jesus Christ. He has created you special. But even before that we have been God’s workmanship. Consider this passage from Psalm 139
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
From the moment you were born to the time you put your faith in Christ God has been forming and shaping you. God has created you with a unique S.H.A.P.E . The “S” stands for Spiritual gifts. The “H” stands for Heart or passion. The “A” for Abilities or natural skills. The “P” stands for Personality. The “E” stands for Experiences, these might be good or bad events in our life. God has fashioned you the way you are for a purpose, to do good things he has planned for you long ago, another way of saying this is you are God’s workmanship to serve Him.
Last week we began to explore our unique SHAPE by discovering our spiritual gifts and abilities. First, God has given each of us natural abilities. There are some things we are better at than others. Some are better at music, others at math and science, others at building, the list goes on endlessly. Included in your natural ability is the potential to grow and learn certain skills. We are not necessarily born with these skills but as we apply ourselves and learn and grow we become better in certain areas. On top of our abilities God has also given each Christian believer special abilities called spiritual gifts. There is a list of some of the gifts in 1 Corinthian 12. Again God gives us these gifts and abilities for the purpose of serving God by serving others.
NLT 1 Corinthians 12:7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.
NIV 1 Peter 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
The best way to discover our abilities and gifts is to begin serving wherever we feel God is leading us to serve.
This week we are looking at the second letter in the S.H.A.P.E. acronym, “H” which stands for heart. I believe God has also given us a specific heartbeat, a passion, or hearts desire.
In the late 1970’s at the age of 29 a self-made millionaire named Millard Fuller faced a crisis. Though his marketing firm continued to be successful, his marriage, health, and integrity suffered. This crisis caused him to decide, should I continue forward with my successful business at the expense of marriage, health, and morals, or do I need to reevaluate my life and make a change. He decided to renew his commitment to Christ and to his wife, Linda. Shortly afterward they sold everything they had and gave the money to the poor. In the Bible Jesus encountered a young wealthy man who followed God’s commands completely but Jesus said to him, “there is one thing you lack, go and sell all you have and give it to the poor and follow me (Lk. 18:22).” That young man couldn’t do it, but this young man, Millard Fuller, did. He and his wife joined a Koinania Farm (Koinania is the Greek word for fellowship in the Bible) and in this new community they sought practical ways of living out Christ’s teaching and helping people. During this time, Millard along with Koininia founder Clarence Jordan got together and decided their hearts desire was to help all people have affordable housing around the globe. They came up with a plan and they went to Zaire, Africa (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) and put their idea to the test. They would build homes with mostly volunteer labor and sell the homes to people with no interest loans (based on Exodus 22:25 where God commanded not to charge interest on money loaned to the needy). They put the money they received from these loans into a revolving fund which would enable them to build even more homes, so the cycle could repeat. It was a success, and in 1976 Millard and his wife Linda returned back to the U.S. with this model to start a non-profit Christian ministry. Can anyone guess what that organization is called today? It is Habitat for Humanity.