Summary: A sermon from the purpose driven life series
This morning I want to begin a discussion of another of God’s purposes for our lives. Over the last few weeks we have seen that: First we were created for God’s pleasure- we were designed to be in relationship with God. Second- we were formed for God’s family- and as a result God desires to place each of us in a spiritual family namely his church. Third- we were created to become like Christ. And in this process God uses the agents of his word, temptation, and personal trials to transform us.
This leads us into another purpose that god has for our lives. Purpose number four is that we were shaped to serve God. The main points of this message come from chapters 30 and 31 of the book the Purpose Driven Life. If you have a copy of this book, I urge you this week to reread these two chapters.
It is here in this purpose where my true passion lies. It is here where as your pastor I get to guide, direct, and watch as you connect to your God given gifts, talents, and strengths and then once you find them and connect with them I get to personally point you to
avenues by which you can use them.
If you have your Bibles this morning turn with me
to the book of Ephesians chapter 2 beginning in verse 10.
listen to what the word of God says: "We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. II
I like how the New Living translation puts it: It says: We
are God’s masterpiece.
Guys, Just like a potter makes a clay pot to hold water, just like a wood crafter works wood and nails into a chair for sitting, we are God’s workmanship made for the purpose of serving him.
We are not simply made to sit in the stands and watch the game of life pass by, we are made to get in game and make a contribution to the teaml But just like a coach doesn’t send his players into a game without giving them the tools they need to succeed, God has not sent us into the game with out the tools we need.
Job 10:8 says, "Your hands shaped me and made me."
1 Peter 4:10 also says, "Each of us should use whatever gift he’s received to serve others. II
You are God’s workmanship, His Masterpiece, created Why? To do good works- To serve. Specially shaped to serve.
Right now you might be saying yeah, yeah Kevin I have heard that before. What’s new. Look at me what gifts do I have, it seems like God must have missed me. But to say that and to believe that would be to call God a liar because His word clearly speak otherwise. So if you are in that group saying I don’t know or I have none listen up.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6 says: There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving. There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us.
In other words there are different kinds of spiritual gifts... different ways of serving... and different abilities to perform service.
In order to help us understand how we are shaped to serve. Let us take the word SHAPE apart and see what we can discover.
S -Spiritual Gifts
Every Christmas eve we go to my parent’s house to open gifts. By that time the gifts under the tree are piled high and are spread out far beyond the base of the tree. When it is time to open our gifts we literally have to dig through the gifts searching for a gift that has our name on it. And once our gifts are found we sit down and open them. We unwrap our gifts.
In this same way God has given each of you at least one spiritual gift to serve Him. A gift of service that flows naturally and very easy for you.
Rick Warren in his book the Purpose Driven Life say this: " God gives every believer spiritual gifts to be used in ministry. These are special God- enpowered abilities for serving Him that are given only to believers... You can not earn these gifts or deserve them-that’s why they are
called gifts. They are an expression of God’s grace to you. Ephesians 4:7 says Christ has generously divided out his gifts to us. Neither do you and I get to choose which gifts we like to have; God determines that. Paul explains this in 1 Corinthians 12:11 It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.