Summary: Sermon on each persons SHAPE (Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences) and how God has made each of us to have a place in Kingdom building with Him.
“What Are YOU Here for?”
August 5, 2007
I am still stoked over the great day I had Friday. I was invited to be involved in a multi-agency drug task force raid as their chaplain. The leader of the task force was Jeff, my neighbor. I’ve known Jeff since he was almost a rookie. Way back in the Weed PD days. Now he’s putting together multi-agency raids. I was pretty proud. Anyway, Friday morning I went over to Jeff’s house and hitched a ride with him to the CHP briefing room. The room was full of all kinds of people to make an operation like this work. Of course there were the cops. The Sheriff’s Deputies and detectives, the officers from the various Police departments, with correctional officers to deal with those apprehended. Then there was CPS to deal with any children that may need to be dealt with. There were even health inspectors to inspect some of the facilities. The DA’s office had their inspector- and so on. It was really quite impressive. They were arrayed from uniform cops, to swat combat gear to blue jeans and identifying jacket and badge. I fit right in with my PD shirt with logo and badge. I knew many of the cops from the different agency. Rusty from Shastina, Steve from Weed PD, and did I mention Ben, my son, from the S.O.? Rachel was there, too. It was a super lot of fun and a treat to be involved with n my son’s life like this.
Since I was well know and respected, they let me have a free hand in taking any pictures I wanted, too. I didn’t have much of a job description so I could just wander around and pretty much do what I wanted. I chatted with some of the guys and encouraged some that were a little nervous. After Jeff was done, he turned the guys over to me and I had a brief prayer with them and we took off to the staging area. That’s were everyone met, got their assignments, and then took off to do their raids. I was allowed to go right along with Team One. I got to see them make their entry, chase down a fleeing suspect, and watch them make their search. I have to tell you, I was impressed. It was well planned and coordinated and orchestrated. It was a very military operation. I guess I didn’t get in the way too much, they wanted me to go on another raid the next day. I declined because I had too much to do, but it was an honor and a privilege to see our officers in action.
I learned a few things, too. First, I learned that I am not qualified to be a cop. I am too gullible. I believe people. This one guy looked us right in the eye and lied about who he was. I believed him. He was so sincere! The cops didn’t. After about a half hour they were able to get enough info to get him to admit he was, in fact, the one the warrant was for. I believe people. I trust people. In the law enforcement community that is a liability – not an asset.
Secondly, I was amazed at the different kinds of talent necessary. Sure, you need the tough talkers and the intimidators, but you also need the counselors and the planners and so on. Maybe it was even a little better mission because a chaplain was there praying for God’s blessing and their safety. Each one of the task force had their own unique shape – their own blend of talent and experience that enabled them to carry out their responsibilities effectively. Each was important and each contributed in his or her own special way.
This morning I want to talk about your shape. No, I’m not talking about what you look like or if you are shaped like an apple, pear or banana – I will let you figure that shape out yourself. What I am talking about is the shape God has given each one of us to use for Him and His work. The bible says,
“It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.” Eph 2:10 (Living)
Do you realize that you are a piece of God’s creativity, a part of His workmanship, created to help others? Created to do good works that He planned for you to do waaaay in advance? It’s no accident you were born into this world. You are here because God wants you here. Your parents may have thought they planned for you (or may not have planned for you) but they didn’t create you. They only conceived you. God used them to bring you into this world for a very specific and important reason. You are God’s workmanship – the result of God’s engineering – and you are here to serve Him and to do ministry on His behalf. In other words, you are here to do His good works.