I scooted out to my car, oh, good it’s only sprinkling. You lead tonight’s study so you need to be on time. As I drove to church at dusk I thought, it’s going to be good to see each other, a nice night of Bible Study. Little did I know, it would be a night my passions would be both fueled and satiated.
Passions? What am I passionate about? Break-through in any form. I love to help break down barriers that impede the path to God. I get a fire in my belly and a rise in my spirit when there’s an oportunity to tear down what prevents us from seeing God or ourselves clearly.
When a person steps into who God has made them to be, they become transformed and unleashed. Once they embrace their significance it helps unlock the door to their mission and their life’s purpose becomes clearer. It’s so exciting.
I believe, WE WERE MADE ON PURPOSE FOR A PURPOSE!
Back to the Bible Study on “MISSION.” We caught up a bit, then recited our memory verse.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
One translation reads: WORKMANSHIP = POEM.
Stop and let that truth sink in. You are God’s poem. His beautiful handwritten poem. He is the master creator. You are His masterpiece and he doesn’t make junk. He wants you to be you! He has prepared in advance the things you are to do.
Here’s a way I think about God’s preparation in life. Long ago when our kids were small, if I asked my husband to give our child or the new baby a bath he’d willingly do it. He was very helpful.
Here’s the thing, prior to requesting his help I had:
- Run the bath water
- Set out the baby shampoo
- gathered the towel
- laid out the new diaper and PJ’s
- grabbed the small child’s hairbrush and body lotion
THE BATH EXPERIENCE WAS ALL SET UP AND READY TO GO!
Basically ALL my husband had to do was hold the baby so he wouldn’t drown and simply wash him off! I had prepared everything in advance for the task of bathing the baby. Honestly, there were times when I’d think… I may as well have given the kid the bath myself.
It’s a very simplistic story, I know, but it illustrates how God prepares in advance what we are to do. He made us so he knows what we are hard-wired to do. You are his handiwork/poem and he has things prepared and He is good. So I implore you, don’t get your undies in a bunch.
Back to the night of my study…
It seemed to become holy ground for me. As women chimed in, we helped each other see the way God has formed us, it was beautiful to witness. We read from 1 Corinthians 12 about the body and how we are not the same. We are different parts of the body with different gifts, all with the same Spirit.
One of the reasons I am on the planet is to help people celebrate their significance and the genius of God in them, so as you might imagine, I was so pumped about the way the evening about MISSION took SHAPE.
So let me ask you. What is your purpose or mission? What are you SHAPED to do? How have you been shaped by God? This “SHAPE” concept is not mine, but it’s one of the chapters of Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life. Perhaps you’ve read it. Do you know your shape?
- S- Spiritual Gifts
- H- Heart-
- A- Abilities
Think about your SHAPE. Whether you do extensive work to write down, reflect and pray or only have time for a cursory glance here, it won’t change the fact that you have been shaped, by God, on purpose for a purpose.
Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, whether you play an instrument or make spreadsheets, whether you have the gift of wisdom, teaching, or hospitality, all of your days and painful experiences help define your purpose. You are shaped on purpose for a purpose.
There never has been anyone on this planet like you and there never will be again. You are uniquely created by God. You are His poem, His masterpiece! The way you are shaped helps define more clearly your purpose and mission.
Since I love to help people celebrate their significance and the genius of God in them, I was LIT UP and thrilled the other night. I was among world changers! Check out who was seated with me:
- A comedian and compassionate helper of the weak.
- A sold out university student resolved to follow Christ and call her generation to holiness and to be the best version of herself.
- A nurse who wears, like Jesus,”the towel” of a servant with style.
- A wise teacher who ignites people’s hunger for God’s word as they learn to feed on the word of God themselves.
- A woman sent by the Holy Spirit to the masses.
- a children’s author called to implore others to “cease striving” and rest in God’s faithfulness.
The key is our memory verse. Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We’re NOT all alike! That’s the beauty of the way God designed the body. Know this! I celebrate your significance and the genius of God in you!
So go out BOLDLY in your shape, living your life on purpose!
I Corinthians 12:4-27 for your consideration:
4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all.
5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord.
6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.
8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.
9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing.
10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.
11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
One Body with Many Parts
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.
13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.
15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body.
16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.
19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part!
20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.
21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.
23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen,
24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.
25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.
26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.