“Shaped for Significance”

Part two of “God’s Masterpiece”

 

A young boy came to church one cold winter day to get out of the blowing snow. He had been trying to sell newspapers but not a single customer had passed by because of the weather. He slipped into the back of the church, just hoping to get warm and catch up on his sleep. Though the Sunday crowd was slim, the boy really paid attention to the sermon and was greatly moved by it. When the pastor was done, he called for the offering. The ushers went from row to row, and when the offering plate came to the boy, he stared at it for a while and then put it on the floor.

He then did something very strange and very beautiful. He stood up and stepped right into the offering plate. By then, all the people had turned around and were staring at the boy. When he looked up, he had big tears running down his face as he said, “Pastor, I don’t have any money because I haven’t sold any newspapers today. But, if Jesus gave His life for me, then I will gladly give my life to Him.” The person who has nothing to give but himself is able to give the greatest gift of all.

 

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience and joyfully giving thanks to the Father.”

Colossians 1:10-12

 

VIDEO CLIP: “Why Am I Here?”

 

“In the shop of a blacksmith, there are three types of tools. There are tools on the junkpile: outdated, broken, dull, rusty. They sit in the cobwebbed corner, useless to their master, oblivious to their calling.
There are tools on the anvil: melted down, molten hot, moldable, changeable. They lie on the anvil, being shaped by their master, accepting their calling.
There are tools of usefulness: sharpened, primed, defined, mobile
They lie ready in the blacksmith’s tool chest, available to their master, fulfilling their calling.
Some people lie useless: lives broken, talents wasting, fires quenched, dreams dashed. They are tossed in with the scrap iron, in desperate need of repair, with no notion of purpose.
Others lie on the anvil: hearts open, hungry to change, wounds healing, visions clearing. They welcome the painful pounding of the blacksmith’s hammer, longing to be rebuilt, begging to be called.
Others lie in their Master’s hands: well tuned, uncompromising, polished, productive. They respond to their Master’s forearm, demanding nothing, surrendering all” (from, On the Anvil, by Max Lucado).

 

 

In the Bible, the word “service” and the word “ministry” is one in the same. Most people think of a minister as someone with formal Biblical training, but actually a minister is one who has a ministry. And one who has a ministry is simply a servant.

 

As we study Colossians 1:10-12, we are given four ways in which to please the Lord. Remember – He is the potter and we are the clay. He has created each of us in a special and unique way.

(v. 10) “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way  .  .  .

 

How do you please the Lord?

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience and joyfully giving thanks to the Father.”

 

1) by bearing fruit

2) by growing spiritually

3) by living powerfully

4) by thanking joyfully

 

Shaped for Significance

He has shaped each of us – not just for survival – not just for success - but for significance.

Three levels of living:

Level One – Survival

Level Two – Success

Level Three – Significance

 

Significant – important, meaningful; having a special, secret meaning.

SHAPE.

Spiritual gifts – What God has gifted you to do

Heart – What you are passionate about

Abilities – What you are good at doing

“You are the only person on earth who can use your ability.” Zig Ziglar

Personality – How you do what God calls you to do.

Experiences – How the lessons you’ve learned yesterday prepare you for tomorrow.

 

 

1) Your giftedness is significant to the people of God

Spiritual gift – An ability given by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit that enables the believer to perform a function in the body of Christ with effectiveness.

 

On Christmas morning, I gave each of my three children different gifts. My children are unique and the gifts I give them are unique.

 

I love the way God designed us with our spiritual gifts and the Body of Christ with the purpose of ministry.

The church is incomplete without you and your spiritual gifts that you’ve been gifted with, and you are incomplete without the Body of Christ to utilize those gifts.

 

“God gave me a gift, to benefit you. God gave you a gift to benefit me. If you don’t use your gift, you’re depriving me; if I don’t use my gift, then I’m depriving you.” Rick Warren

 

2) Your calling is significant to the kingdom of God.

 

Servanthood

Faithfulness

 

You were created to do good works.

“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

 

God doesn’t call people who are qualified – He calls people who are willing, and then qualifies them.

 

I heard the story of the minister who was leading a building campaign in his church and need to raise some additional funds. Sound familiar? One day, the minister was checking the store room and he discovered several cases of bibles that had never been opened or distributed. In his Sunday sermon, the pastor asked for three volunteers from the congregation who would be willing to go door-to-door selling these bibles for $10 each to raise money for the building fund.
Jimmy, Robert and Woody all raised their hands to volunteer. The pastor knew that Jimmy and Robert both earned their living as salesmen and were quite capable of selling some bibles, but he had serious doubts about Woody. Woody was just a small local farmer who always tended to keep to himself because he was embarrassed by his speech impediment. Woody just stuttered very badly. Not wanting to be a discouragement to Woody, the pastor decided to let him give it a try.
The pastor stacked each man’s car with bibles after the service, and sent them on their way with instructions to report back in a week’s time. Next Sunday came, and the pastor was eager to find out how each man did. He asked Jimmy how many bibles he had sold. Jimmy proudly handed the pastor an envelope and said, “Pastor, I am proud to report I sold 20 bibles, and here is $200 for the building fund.”
“You’re a fine salesman, Jimmy, and the church is indebted to you,” replied the Pastor.
Then the pastor turned to Robert. “How many bibles did you sell, Robert?” asked the pastor.
Robert stuck out his chest proudly and responded, “Pastor, I’m a professional salesman, and I am pleased to offer my gifts to the church. I sold 28 bibles and here is $280 cash to go toward our new building.”
“Wonderful,” the pastor said. “It is great to have such willing people serve the congregation.”
Finally, the pastor came to Woody. A bit apprehensively the pastor asked Woody how many bibles he had sold. Woody just handed him an envelope. The pastor opened the envelope and to his amazement there was $3,200.00 inside. “Woody,” the pastor exclaimed, “are you saying you sold 320 bibles?”
Woody just nodded.
Of course, Jimmy and Robert could not believe it. “We’re professional salesmen. Do you mean to stand there and tell us that you sold ten times as many bibles as we did? How could you do that?”
“Yes, Woody,” the pastor said. “That does seem a bit strange. Can you tell us how you managed that feat?”
Woody just shrugged and said, “I-I-I-I re-re-really d-d-d-don’t know f-ffffor sh-sh-shure.”
Jimmy interrupted, “For crying out loud, Woody, just tell us what you said when these people answered the door.”
“A-a-a-a-all I-I-I-I s-s-said w-w-w-was,” Woody replied, “W-w-w-w-would y-y-y-you l-l-l-l-l-like t-t-t-to b-b-b-b-buy a b-b-b-b-b-bible f-f-for t-t-ten b-b-b-bucks o-o-o-or w-w-w-would y-y-y-you j-j-j-just l-l-l-like me to s-s-s-s-stand h-h-h-here and r-r-r-read it to y-y-y-y-y-you?”
God gives gifts to those he calls, because he calls them to their passion.

 

3) Your obedience is significant to the purposes of God.

When Mother Teresa visited Australia several years ago, a young man was assigned to be her guide during her stay. He was thrilled at the prospect of being so close to such a godly woman but he became frustrated over time because even though he was constantly near her, he never had the opportunity to talk with her because there were always other people around.
When her tour was over she was scheduled to fly to New Guinea. In desperation, this young man came up with a plan and said to Mother Teresa, “If I pay my own fare to New Guinea, can I sit next to you on the plane so I can talk and learn from you?” Mother Teresa looked at him and asked, “You have enough money to pay airfare to New Guinea?” “Oh, yes,” he replied eagerly. “Then give that money to the poor,” she said. “You’ll learn more from that than I anything I can tell you.”

 

What I am is God’s gift to me; what I do with it is my gift to Him.