The Living Beyond Myself series is one that will challenge us to move to a greater level of serving others in every area that we have influence in. There truly is a significant power in all of us working together.
As CityLife Church continues to grow so do the opportunities that exist in literally every ministry within the life of our church.
Let’s spend a few minutes looking at our ‘SHAPE’. Rick Warren, author of one of the biggest selling books recently, The Purpose Driven Life, believes there are some things that make us who we are and God uses them for His purposes within our lives, the word ‘SHAPE’ stands for,
- S – Spiritual gifts – what are you gifted to do?
- H – Heart – what you love to do, your passions, your interests (put inside of you by God).
- A – Abilities, the natural abilities that you’re good at.
- P – Personality – You have a very distinct personality, different than everybody else in the world.
- E – your Experiences, which are unique to you. (You have vocational experiences, relational experiences, spiritual experiences, and painful experiences.)
Let’s look at some scriptures
- Ephesians 4:1
- Peter 2v9 and 4v10
How should we view our calling?
Who should our gifts benefit?
Take a few minutes to review the differences between an Old Testament Priest and that found in the New Testament.Old Testament Priest
Descendants of Aaron
Based on status and selection
Sacrifices offered in man made temple
Mediated matters between man & God
One chosen person ministers to/serves
Dependence on one man
Presence of God (Holy Spirit) thought to have been contained in the ‘Holy of Holies’.New Testament Priest
Descendants of Aaron
Open to all who submit to Christ
Our lives are the sacrifices; our bodies the temple
Christ followers come boldly and directly to the throne of God without mediation
Many people now able to minister to many people
Interdependence on each other
Presence of God (Holy Spirit) takes residence in the life of every Christ follower.
In the New Testament Jesus turns the religious system upside down. Through Jesus teaching and then ultimately the ‘Upper Room’ experience when the Holy Spirit empowered every person suddenly everyone becomes a Priest – every person has direct access to God.
You will remember the illustration about the lemon tart for dessert at LifeGroup, take a few minutes and ask each person in the group to share how they would respond?
We all have seasons within our lives, our spiritual gifts also have seasons, following is a loose guideline of four seasons for us to consider.
- Season of Discovery
This is an exciting time as you learn more about yourself and how God can take all that you have and use it
1 Tim 4v14 ‘Do not neglect the spiritual gift that is in you’ . Examine, Evaluate and Experiment.
- Season of Development
Our gifts are like muscles – the more you use them the more they become developed. You can actually strengthen and develop what God has given you. Gifts don’t come fully developed. Ask each person in the group for an example of something we could do to develop gifts we believe are within our lives.
- Season of Deployment
Time for action! To be deployed means you put your gifts into service or action.
1 Peter 1v13 ‘prepare your mind for action’ .
- Distracted Season – sidetracked or ‘leave of absence’
Gal 6v9 ‘So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time’ .
This verse says ‘don’t get tired of doing good’, it doesn’t say stop doing good, in fact we are told to keep doing good but be careful to look after ourselves.
Spend a few minutes praying in pairs for whatever season you are currently in that God would refresh and continue to empower you to live beyond yourself in all areas of your life.