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Summary: Christianity is a contact sport! There are no spectators – or benchwarmers – in the kingdom of God! “All that is necessary for evil to prosper is that enough good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke). Let’s get busy doing good and making a difference in our wo

YOU ARE GOD’S MASTERPIECE

OPENING TEXT:

“4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:4-10).

What a great passage of Scripture! Paul paints a wonderful picture of what God is like - don’t miss it! "Rich in mercy," "great love," "exceeding riches of His grace and kindness." God is good!

· “For we are His workmanship” = His poema = His masterpiece!

· Created “for good works” = to do something! Christianity is a contact sport! There are no spectators – or benchwarmers – in the kingdom of God! “All that is necessary for evil to prosper is that enough good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke). Let’s get busy doing good and making a difference in our world!

JESUS LOVES TO GIVE GIFTS!

“And He Himself (Jesus) gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

- the pastor is like a coach - he doesn’t do all the work, but he helps equip the ’team’ to do the work, by helping them discover the gifts that God has given to them.

UNWRAPPING THE GIFTS:

"4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others." (Romans 12:4-5).

We are a family – we’re all parts of the body.

We all have a different job to do.

We belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others!

Let’s look at the gifts God has given us, and get busy using them!

"6 God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. 7 If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. 9 Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.” (Romans 12:6-11).

1. PROPHECY:

Speaking God’s Word with fire. This gift is the power to get people going; but you can use the fire to consume or warm them! See things as black and white. Challenge: “Speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you”

2. SERVING:

In Acts 6, these people were full of faith, wisdom & the Holy Spirit (not just ‘slaves’ but ministers!) Enjoy serving when it frees others to better accomplish their ministry - like to be in the background more than in the public eye. We need your gift - Jesus said servants are the greatest in the kingdom! Challenge: “Serve people well!”

3. TEACHING:

People who love reading, spend much time in study and research; and enjoy sharing those truths with others. Very detail oriented and systematic and orderly. This is one of my gifts! If this is your gift, make sure you teach - share with others what you learn. Challenge: “Do a good job of teaching…study to show yourself approved…”

4. ENCOURAGING:

People with this gift will encourage in different ways - notes, cards, gifts. They are always looking for ways to encourage people. To encourage means to give courage to someone! Challenge: “Do it!”

5. GIVING:

People who have money; and enjoy giving; this is a powerful gift in the body of Christ - it costs money to do the work of the ministry! We’re called to bless people. Give & share with those that God puts on your heart. Challenge: “If you have money, share it generously!”

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