Summary: Continuing our look at our purpose in life. Looking at Spiritual gifts and how we can better understand our SHAPE.
Get on the Bus
September 20, 2020
A man was walking through the forest and saw a fox that had lost its legs, and he wondered how it lived. Then he saw a tiger come up with game in its mouth. The tiger ate its fill and left the rest of the meat for the fox.
The next day God fed the fox by means of the same tiger. The man marveled at God's greatness and said to himself, "I shall rest in a corner with full trust that the Lord will provide me with all that I need."
He did this for many days but nothing happened. He was starving when he heard a voice say, "O you who are in the path of error, open your eyes to the truth. Stop imitating the disabled fox and follow the example of the tiger."
What’s the point? I think too many people want to imitate the fox, and don’t want to be tigers. We have the ability to serve and give, like the tiger, but we often make the choice to be the fox.
I hope over the past weeks, you’ve been wondering how you can serve God? Because, everyone is vitally important to the work of God’s kingdom.
It could be easy to dismiss your gifts as inferior to someone who is receiving public acclamation and credit. Because your gifts aren’t as public or as visible as someone else’s gifts. It could be you like working behind the scenes and don’t want to be out in front of others, yet, there are times when we want recognition.
For example, do you know who the bullpen catcher is for the Cubs? Chad Noble
How about the left tackle for the Colts? Anthony Castonzo
How about the Colts strength and conditioning coach? Richard Howell
My point is we don’t know who those people are, they aren’t the stars, they aren’t in the limelight, yet without them the team is incomplete. Without the unheralded every day players, the team will be incomplete.
The church is the same way, we need everyone to be involved in the life of the church so we can bring glory to God. Every person is needed and important.
The church in Corinth was young and didn’t understand the nature of spiritual gifts, so Paul does a great job of unpacking them for the people.
Last week I spoke about what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 - -
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and
5 there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and
6 there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
Do you hear what Paul’s telling us? There are a variety of gifts, services and activities. They all come from the same God, from the same Spirit, the Holy Spirit. It’s the same God who’s working in each of us to help us grow closer to Him, and the same God is helping us to serve others, all according to the gifts He’s given us.
One last verse from last week . . . because it’s really important to know –
7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
Remember, all of our gifts are for the common good. It doesn’t matter what gifts you have, it doesn’t matter if some are more out there than others . . . ALL gifts are for the common good, for the building up of God’s kingdom.
I mentioned that we’re given these gifts and we are to use them according to our unique SHAPES. The acronym SHAPE comes from Rick Warren at Saddleback Church in California. Understanding our SHAPE is really important when it comes to using our spiritual gifts . . . and being fulfilled in what we’re doing.
So, let’s look at this acronym in a little more detail so you can begin to see where you might fit in, or why you have not been fitting in. It could be you’re a triangle peg and your trying to fit into a round hole.
Obviously, the S is spiritual gifts. There are around 20-23 spiritual gifts. Depending on what you read in the Bible, people have different interpretations of them. The main gifts are listed in 4 different places in the Bible.
I’m going to quickly read through a list of Spiritual gifts. The gifts are as follows -
Prophecy Wisdom Apostles
Service Knowledge Prophecy
Teaching Faith Teachers
Exhortation Healing Miracles
Giving Miracles Healing
Leadership Prophecy Helps
Mercy Discernment Administration
Speaking in Tongues Speaking in Tongues
Interpret Tongues Interpret Tongues
Prophecy Speaking / Teaching