Summary: Using Rick Warren’s SHAPE acronym to demonstrate how God has uniquely shaped us for serving him by giving us our spiritual gifts and abilities.
Last week Roger Fate, member of Epsilon, began a new series called “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 work of art. God has created and shaped you in a unique way, There is no one else exactly like you. Last week Roger shared how he is a twin and yet as much as they look alike, they are completely different, because God has fashioned them uniquely. No two people have the exact same combination of spiritual gifts, abilities, passion, personality, or experiences. God has given you a unique S.H.A.P.E., and we will be exploring your SHAPE over these next four weeks. 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.
According to this same verse, the purpose of shaping us in this way is not for our own benefit rather it is to accomplish the “good things,” or good works which God had already planned long ago for us to do. These “good things” include serving God and others. Your unique shape is not for your benefit alone. God has gifted you in a particular way to serve others. God gave you gifts and talents and abilities and passion and personality and experiences all combine together for the benefit of serving others in the name of Jesus.
1. God Has Given Us A Unique Combination Of Abilities, Skills, And Gifts.
A. We Are All Given Natural Abilities And Skills.
I am going to begin a little out of order by beginning with “A” of SHAPE. God has created us to be his masterpiece by giving each of us certain natural abilities including the ability to grow and learn new skills. It seems that right from birth we are wired in such a way that some are good at one thing, while others are good at others. I have a niece who is 2 ½ years old now, and ever since she was able to point we noticed she had an amazing ability of observing details most of us miss. Any time she would go into a room she would scan the room for what was new or out of place and she would point to that object. What I completely looked over she noticed. Perhaps she will be a future Sherlock Holmes. Personally, I was never very good at English, it took my English teacher grandmother years to get the word ain’t out of my vocabulary, on the other hand I did well and enjoyed math and sciences.
I believe God has hard wired us with different abilities in order to complement each other. You are able to do things well that I cannot do. I am able to do things well that you can’t do well, but when we bring them together as the people of God we are able to accomplish together what God has called us to do.
We read about these natural abilities and skills in the Bible, and how these individuals used them to serve God. In the OT when God commanded Moses to build a Tabernacle or a tent which was to serve as a place of worship for God’s people, God employed people who had talents and skills in certain areas.
NLT Exodus 31:1 The LORD also said to Moses, 2 "Look, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri... 3 I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence, and skill in all kinds of crafts. 6 "Moreover, I have given special skill to all the naturally talented craftsmen so they can make all the things I have instructed you to make.”
A few chapters later in Exodus it mentions women employed in making the tabernacle.
NLT Exodus 35:25 All the women who were skilled in sewing and spinning prepared blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and fine linen cloth, and they brought them in. 26 All the women who were willing used their skills to spin and weave the goat hair into cloth.
Notice it says God had given these individuals the natural ability or talent. It is not by chance or luck that you have the abilities you do, they are exactly the way God planned it. Why? To serve God. In this case in Exodus it was to construct the Tabernacle and all of its furnishings.
Let me give you a few examples of abilities: administration, building or constructing, computing, communicating, cooking, designing or creating, decorating, leading, music, organizing, planning, teaching, welcoming.