Message by Greg Baust at Manningham
LG Discussion Study by Greg Baust

(Job 10:8). “Your hands shaped me and made me.” 
Those who believe in God and that He created the Universe, Heavens, Earth, and Humankind will have no problem with the statement made by Job as he dialogues with God amid seeking to understanding the Why and How long of the difficult circumstances he was facing in his daily life. 
One question that needs to be asked and answered is ‘For what purpose did God SHAPE me the way he did?’

Reflection Question:   For what purpose do you believe God SHAPE’s us uniquely? 
‘10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)
Each of us was shaped by God to serve Him by serving others and to have influence in the lives of others by contributing our Time, Talents, and Treasure (financial resources). Serving others is a part of the DNA that God placed in each of us through our creation and finds its greatest fulfillment when used on behalf of the Kingdom of God

1.  We are God’s Workmanship 

(Job 10:8). “Your hands shaped me and made me” SHAPED   to serve.

Spiritual Gifts: What gifts has the Holy Spirit given me to serve? 
“Now too each one the manifestation of the spirit is given for the common good.” 1 Cor. 12:7 (NIV) 
• We are each given spiritual gifts for the good of others.

Heart Motivations: What do I have passion for and love to do? 
“We have different gifts according to the grace given us. (Romans 12.1 NIV)   
• Passion for a role, people, or a cause is often an indicator of giftedness.

Abilities:  What talents and skills do I have and have learned? 
“Each one should use whatever gift he’s received to serve others.” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV)   
• Each of us have been given talents we are to discover, develop and use.

Personality:  Where does my personality best suit me to serve? 
“God works though different people in different Ways, but it is the same God who achieves his purpose through them All.”  (1 Corinthians 12:6) 
• God can express His gifts and talents through our unique personality. us.

Experiences: What experiences have I had? 
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can Comfort others.” (2 Corinthians. 1:4 NLT) 
• We all have unique Life and Ministry experiences that God can use.

Reflection Question: Invite Life Group members to share what they understand about these five areas of being Shaped to Serve in relation to their own lives.

2. Created in Christ Jesus to Do Good Works (To serve God and others)
“What you are is God’s gift to you; what you do with yourself is your gift to God.” (Danish proverb)
We were created to contribute, not just to be a consumer. This means that God wants us to have influence in the lives of others. It has been said:
‘What matters is not how long you live, but how you live. What matters is not the duration of our lives but the donation of our lives.’ 

3.  Jesus Christ Our Example of Servanthood (John 13:1-17)
The evening meal was being served and this was the Last Supper between Jesus and his Disciples just before the Passover Feast. Jesus was about to be arrested, tried, beaten and crucified. He knew what lay ahead and that this would be the last time he would have to spend time to eat with the disciples and show them the full extent of his love for them.
Read John 13:1-17 together and invite the Life Group members to comment on what they observe from this story and how it applies to them today.

What’s Wrong with this Picture.
It would be normal for the host of the home to arrange for the guests to have their feet washed from the dust and grime of travel before the commencement of the meal. The host himself would not perform this task but at the very least would have provided water, a basin, and towels for the guests however this does not appear to have been done.
In a wealthier home the host would have the lowest of his servants (usually a Gentile servant) wash the feet of His guests. On this occasion the last supper was in a private home of a man who we can surmise had at least one servant as in Luke 22.7-14 it says that the homeowner’s servant led the disciples to the house. 
The homeowner on this occasion did not appear to have arranged for someone to wash Jesus and the disciple’s feet. As this was a private dinner, he was only providing the home and he might have thought it was not his place to. At the very least one of the disciples should have done this!
Reflection Question:   Why do you think that disciples refrained putting up their hands to washing Jesus and the other disciples’ feet? What reasons are there that sometimes hold us back from serving? 
One answer could be that they had failed to understand the true nature of the Kingdom of God and their role in it. Just before the Last Supper we read in Matthew 20:20-28 that there were heated discussions about this very thing.
Read Matthew 20.20-28. 
It is possible the disciples like others at the time were looking for Jesus to overthrow the Romans and set up His Kingdom on earth. The disciples saw themselves as having positions of authority in His Kingdom and becoming people of importance. Like the Gentile rulers they were into ‘Serve Us not Service.’ Jesus used this opportunity at the Last Supper to show them the extent of his love for them and that ‘true greatness in the Kingdom of God’ comes through serving others. 
At the Last Supper Jesus models for them that which he had tried to teach them earlier.
Reflection Question:  What lessons can we learn from Jesus’ act of love and serving?

Lessons from Jesus Example
1. Jesus’ act of service was an act of amazing love!
Jesus initiated the washing of the 12 Disciples. He chose to do it to demonstrate the full extent of His love for them. 
• Jesus washed Judas feet even though he knew he would betray him. 
• Jesus washed Peter feet when he knew He would soon deny him three times. 
• Jesus washed the feet of all his disciples even though he knew that within few hours that they would desert him.
Jesus did not ask what was in it for Him before he washed their feet.
2. We are to follow Jesus Example  
    (Read 13:12-17 again)  
• As Leaders we are to wash the feet of the Congregation/Life Group through Servant Leadership
We do this by servant leadership and not lording it over the flock.
Matthew 20:25-28, 25 Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."  NIV
Lead by Example Story: The story is told of a corporal in the revolutionary war between America and Great Britain who was ordering some privates to move a very heavy piece of timber. The men were having much difficulty even though the corporal was verbally encouraging them. A horse and rider approached, and the rider asked the corporal why he did not help, and he replied, "I am a corporal; these men are privates." The rider got off his horse and helped the men move the timber. He then said to the corporal, "next time you have a job too small for a corporal, call for me." The man then recognized this rider to be General George Washington. 
• As disciples of Jesus, we are to wash each other’s feet through serving. 
Reflection Question:    How can we practice washing each other’s feet today? 
We wash each other’s feet through acts of kindness & love when we see others in need. We wash each other’s feet as we extend grace, forgiveness, and words of encouragement in our relationships with others. We wash each other’s feet when we discover, development and use our gifts and talents by serving in the local church and in our life group. 
Encourage Life Group Members to ‘Join a Team’ -
• As Disciples of Jesus, we are to wash the feet of the world around us.
Reflection Question:   How can we wash the feet of the World around us?
We wash the feet of the world as we live out a genuine testimony of our faith in Jesus and by developing the BLESS Rhythm in our daily living.

Jesus, by washing the disciples’ feet, demonstrated to all of us that as his disciples here on earth we are not to wear crowns but aprons.
‘And whoever wants to become great amongst you must become your servant….. and whoever wants to be first must become your slave – just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.’  (Matthew 20:26)

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