We love our community and want to show the love of Christ tangibly in our neighborhoods, workplaces and homes. This summer, through weekend sermons, small group curriculum and daily devotionals, we will discover how serving can make a difference in our community, makes an impact for God and grows our faith. Join us as we discover significance through serving.
Have you noticed that God likes variety? Just look around, every human being is unique. God makes every person an original. He could have made us all alike, but He didn’t.
“God shaped man from the soil of the ground and He blew the breath of life into his nostrils and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7 (NJB)
God custom shaped you and there’s nobody else shaped exactly like you.
“You made my whole being. You formed me in my mother’s body. I praise you because You made me in an amazing and wonderful way. You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother’s body. When I was put together there You saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in Your book before I was one day old.” Psalm 139:13-16 (NCV)
Before you were even born God made you, formed you, saw you and shaped you. God planned every day of your life. You are not an accident. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. God chose two people to be your parents, because God knew they had exactly the right DNA to create you. God was more interested in creating you than He was in their parenting skills.
“Your hands formed and shaped me…” Job 10:8a (GN)
God was intricately, intimately involved in creating you.
After God made you, He broke the mold. Nobody will ever be like you. When you get to heaven God won’t say, “Why weren’t you more like ___________?” God will say, “Did you become the person I made you to be?” You could search the entire world and never find anybody with your thumbprint, your footprint, your voiceprint or your eye print. You are unique.
Most people start off as originals and end up as carbon copies. If you’re here, it means that God has something you can contribute that no one else can. Only you can be you.
For over twenty years at Rock Brook we’ve been using an acrostic called SHAPE to talk about the five things that make you, you. Your shape determines what kind of friends you should have, why certain things frustrate you, your ideal work environment, the best ministry for you and where you will live and succeed.
When you are working in the area of your shape it’s fulfilling and fruitful. God says we were made to make a difference for Him, a Kingdom difference.
The Bible teaches that when you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, God gives you spiritual gifts. There are over twenty spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament. Everyone who has trusted Christ is gifted by God with one of these gifts. The spiritual gift you are given, is one of the factors that determines your life purpose.
There are things you have a heart for and are passionate about. What are you excited about? What is it that gets you up in the morning? Some people have a heart for kids, for teens, for adults or for the hurting. Your heart determines your ministry.
The average person has over 600 abilities. You have abilities you haven’t even discovered yet. If you want know God’s purpose for your life, find the abilities God has given you and put them to use for His glory.
We all navigate life differently. Some of us are very competitive and some are very cooperative. Some of us are extroverts while some are introverts. Some of us love variety and others love routine. Has he designed you to work on a team or work alone? Your personality will help determine your purpose.
God can use the positive and the painful. What experience in your past do you want to hold back? God challenges you to let it come out for His glory. Your most powerful ministry may come out of your greatest hurt, because God never wastes a hurt.
Why Should You Care About Your Shape?
- Because your shape reveals God’s purpose for you.
The way you find out what God wants you to do with your life is to discover how He shaped you.
“Before I shaped you in the womb I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day I had holy plans for you: A spokesman for the nation, that’s what I had in mind for you.” Jeremiah 1:5 (MSG)
God had something in mind for you before you were born, but God won’t force you to do His plan. God gives you the freedom. You can use your life on personal, self-centered things and totally miss God’s plan for your life.
- Because your SHAPE equips you to serve Him.
“God formed me in my mother’s womb to be His servant and He commissioned me…” Isaiah 49:5 (NLT)
There is a life mission that God has for you that nobody else on this planet can do.
- Because life is a test.
You need to know your shape because this life is preparation for eternity. God is testing you to see what you will do with what you’ve been given on earth to determine what He will give you to do in heaven for eternity. One day you’re going to stand before God and He’s going to ask you two questions.
What did you do with My Son, Jesus Christ?
God sent Him to earth to be your Savior by dying on the cross for you. Did you accept that or reject it? Did you accept the forgiveness, the salvation, the ticket to heaven that Christ offered you. If the answer is, “Yes, I accepted Jesus, your Son, as my Lord and Savior. I accepted Jesus and what He did for me.” That is the question that gets you into heaven.
What did you do with what you were given?
This question determines not whether you get into heaven, but what you do after you get there. Jesus told a number of stories in which He said that your rewards in heaven and your role in heaven and your responsibility in heaven will be based on what you do with what you’ve been given here? That is the question you need to be prepared to answer.
“From where He sets God overlooks all of us on earth. He has shaped each person in turn and now He watches everything we do.” Psalm 33:14-15 (MSG)
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much. If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth who will trust you with true riches?” Luke 16:10-11 (NIV)
- Because it shows God’s glory.
When you use your shape and do what God made you to do it not only feels good to you, it also makes God smile. When God sees someone using the spiritual gift that He gave them for His glory, He smiles.
Everything you have in your life is a gift from God. It can be either used or it can be abused. God says, “I’m testing you to see what you do with what I gave you. There are eternal consequences for everything you do. Rewards, roles, responsibilities.
“Bring Me all the people who are Mine whom I made for my glory.” Isaiah 43:21 (NJB)
When people fulfill their purpose they bring glory to God. You were made for God’s glory. That’s why you’re alive. Even people with little contribution to our society matter. God wants them alive, because He just wants to love them. They’re alive to teach us to love unconditionally. God says He loves them and He has numbered their days before they were born. God wants them here and has a purpose for them. Maybe the purpose is just for Him to love them and for us to be unselfish and love people who can’t help us back.
The Bible says God loves the weak, the infirm, the needy. We need them in our lives to learn to love like God loves. We must always protect the sanctity of life from the unborn to the elderly. Because you are valuable no matter who or what you are.
“The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord.’” Exodus 4:11 (NIV)
What are you doing with what you’ve been given? God isn’t going to compare you with anybody else. He is going to compare you with your potential though. How did you use what you’ve been given?
How Should You Respond To Your Shape?
- Acceptance: Believe that God knows best.
Acceptance means that I believe that when God made me, He knew what He was doing. It all comes down to a matter of trust. When you reject yourself you are rejecting God because He’s your creator.
“My friend, I ask, ‘Who do you think you are to question God? Does the clay have the right to ask the potter why He shaped it the way He did.’” Romans 9:20 (CEV)
Whenever we doubt God’s love and whenever we doubt God’s wisdom, we always get into trouble. The root behind all of your problems is you don’t believe God really loves you. You don’t believe He has your best interest at heart. You wish He had made you different. As a result there’s a spirit of bitterness in you that keeps you frustrated and keeps you from being all the man or woman God meant for you to be.
“You guided my conception and formed me in the womb.” Job 10:10 (NLT)
He wanted you alive so He let that conception happen. He wanted you and He loves you.
- Salvation: Receive God’s love.
“Let Your love, God, shape my life with salvation exactly as You promised.” Psalm 119:41 (MSG)
Even the most desperate and tragic situations show us God’s love for us. God can always bring good out of bad. You are loved by God and the cross proves it. Jesus Christ died for you. God made you. God saved you and God has a plan for you. He wants you to fulfill the purpose you were shaped for here on earth in this life and for eternity in heaven. That cannot happen apart from salvation.
- Refocus: Develop what’s inside not outside.
In our society we are obsessed with outward appearance. People spend millions of dollars to work on the outside, but they don’t spend any time on the inside of them.
“The Lord does not look at the things that man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance. But the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
God wants you to take the time and effort to discover your SHAPE. All of the stuff inside of you determines what God wants you to do with your life. Satan is doing everything he can to keep you from using your SHAPE, because if he can keep you from discovering and deploying your SHAPE, he can rob you of your rewards in heaven and he can rob God of His glory.
Which question and reason for work did you focus on last week? In what ways did you make progress? What are some next steps you can take to continue your progress?
- How can you personally advance the mission of your workplace?
- How can your job grow your character?
- How can you let your light shine?
- What more can you give as a result of your job?
- Where is your reward?
Hear the Word
Read: Psalm 139:13-16 (NCV)
Can you identify the 5 elements of your SHAPE?
1. ACCEPTANCE: Believe That God Knows Best
“My friend, I ask, ‘Who do you think you are to question God? Does the clay have the right to ask the potter why he shaped it the way he did?’” Romans 9:20 (CEV)
“You guided my conception and formed me in the womb.” Job 10:10 (NLT)
What do you need to accept about your SHAPE that you have been resisting?
2. SALVATION: Receive God’s Love
“Let Your love, God, shape my life with salvation, exactly as You promise.” Psalm 119:41 (MSG)
Have you received the forgiveness and salvation that Christ offers you in every area of your life?
3. REFOCUS: Develop What’s Inside Not Outside
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
“By the grace of God I am what I am.” 1 Corinthians. 15:10 (NIV)
What part of your SHAPE do you need to discover and develop more fully?
Tell Someone Else
Acknowledge your SHAPE this week. Think about who God has put in your life that needs to understand their value before God. How can you help them find their value by discovering their SHAPE?