Wednesday, April 05, 2006

40-Days to Servanthood: Day 32

Servants pay attention to their SHAPE.

Several days ago, I mentioned the five ways in which the light of Christ shines through believers as they express gratitude to God for all His gifts. These five ways have been summarized by Pastor Rick Warren in the acronym, SHAPE. The “s” stands for spiritual gifts, at which we’ve already looked. Let’s examine two other elements today.

Heart: When I was a boy, I developed several intense interests. I loved to read, write, and speak. I took an interest in faith issues and in the Bible. I enjoyed interacting with people and helping them solve problems. My great-grandmother, who died, when I was eight, unbeknownst to me, called me her “little preacher,” feeling certain that I would one day become a pastor. What she saw in me even then, was some of my areas of passionate interest.

Of course, one’s heart implies more about us than our professional pursuits. When we have passionate interests, those passions will also be expressed by Christians in our ministries of service, pursued in more than our 9-to-5 lives. That’s why, in addition to pastoring, I write (for free) for the local newspaper and volunteer for various community service projects.

Warren advises: “Don’t ignore your interests. Consider how they might be used for God’s glory. There is a reason that you love to do these things.”

Ability: In the Old Testament, God said of a man named Bezalel, “I have filled him with divine spirit, with ability, intelligence, and knowledge in every kind of craft...” (Exodus 31:1-11)

Bezalel's "knowledge in every kind of craft" described his abilities. God has filled you with abilities, too, all given for the purpose of helping you play a vital role in the Church’s ministry of servanthood. Whether your ability is cooking, carpentry, accounting, musicianship, needlework, videography, financial investing, public relations, management, or whatever, it may have something to do with your God-shaped area of servanthood.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at the rest of your SHAPE.

Bible Passage to Ponder: “Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it” (First Peter 4:10, The Message)


Falter Ego said...

I promise to try and share my experience, strength and hope with another alcoholic every day. Can you say a prayer for the Red Sox?

Mark Daniels said...

HA! The Red Sox are, I will admit, my second-favorite team. (After my beloved and pitching-impoverished Reds.) I would love the Sox win in the AL East again this year. But I notice that Street and Smith's is picking them for third, after the Yankees and the Blue Jays. Ouch!


Ally said...

The "Ability" section in Warren's acronym "Shape" reminds me of a book I just picked up by John Ortberg, "If you want to Walk on Water you've got to get out of the Boat"
He talks about the parable of the talents, and how that relates to the spriritual gifts of our mind, our abilities, our money, our will. There are no no-talent people in the parable of the talents. The Lord has been very generous, he not only gives us these things but offers to partner with us, pick us up when we sink, and forgive us when we stray.
Our responsibility is to value and appreciate what the Lord's given and USE it.
The Lord knew what he was doing when he gave you or I the specific gifts we have...
And at the end of the day, he'll ask, "What did you do with what you had?"
Convicting and comforting thoughts at the same time.

Mark Daniels said...

That's really great stuff! Thanks for sharing it...and for dropping by the site!