Bible Verse of the Day

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day 31 – Understanding your shape

Only you can be you – no one else on earth will ever be able to play the role God planned for you

You are a combination of many different factors: Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality and Experience.

UNPACKING YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS

These are special God-empowered abilities for serving Him; given to believers to be used in their ministry. You can’t earn or deserve your spiritual gifts – they are an expression of God’s grace to you; only the Holy Spirit can distribute these gifts and He alone decides which gift each person should have. Your spiritual gifts are not given for your own benefit but for the benefit of others, just as other people are given gifts for your benefit. (You can’t do it all…)

God planned it this way so that we would need each other. We are commanded to discover and develop our spiritual gifts – take time to discover yours; an unopened gift is worthless. 
Don’t become resentful or jealous of how God uses others (by comparing your gift/role to another believer’s gift/role) and don’t expect everyone to be as passionate as you are about your own gift/role. There are different kinds of service in God’s church, but it is the same Lord we are serving.

LISTENING TO YOUR HEART

Your heart represents the source of all your motivations – what you love to do and what you care about most. God has given each of us a unique emotional ‘heartbeat’ that races when we think about the subjects, activities, or circumstances that really take our interest. Another word for heart is ‘passion’. Things and subjects and people we feel passionate about, reveal the nature of our hearts. 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. When you are doing what you love doing, no one needs to motivate you – you do it for the pure enjoyment therein and you don’t need rewards or applause or payment. Whenever you do what God wired you to love to do, you get good at it – serving God in a way that expresses your heart and doing it for His glory.


APPLYING YOUR ABILITIES

Your abilities are the natural talents you were born with. (Sadly, some of us never discover our true talents because of the ways of the world clouding our vision)

+ All of our abilities come from God.

Even abilities used to sin are God-given; they are just being misused and abused. You have dozens, probably hundreds, of untapped, unrecognized and unused abilities lying dormant in side you. You are a bundle of incredible abilities; an amazing creation of God. (Although I’m not a blood-parent, I understand how parents must feel when their offspring don’t rise to their full potential)

+ Every ability can be used for God’s glory.

God has a place in His church where your specialties can shine and you can make a difference – find that place! First realize your ability comes from God and give Him the credit. Secondly, use your business acumen, creativity or skills to serve a need of others and to share your faith with unbelievers. Thirdly, return at least a tithe (10%) of your profits to God as an act of worship. (This particular text was aimed only at people with the ability to make a lot of money; but I sort of generalized it because nowadays you can make lots of money from just about any talent – this tithe part also a bit ironic. Anyway I believe in tithing and do so directly through happenstance contact with the less-fortunate – to each his own, I guess)

+ What you are able to do, God wants you to do.

To discover God’s-will for your life, you should seriously examine what you are good at doing and what you are not good at. God doesn’t waste abilities; He matches our calling and our capabilities. Your abilities were not given just for you to make a living; God gave them to you for your ministry.





USING YOUR PERSONALITY

Your uniqueness is a scientific fact of life. There has never been, and never will be anybody exactly like you. It is obvious that God loves variety – just look around you! There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ temperament for ministry. Your personality will effect how and where you use your spiritual gifts and abilities. When you are forced to minister in a manner that is ‘out of character’ for your temperament, it creates tension and discomfort, requires more energy and effort, and produces less than the best results – copying or mimicking someone else’s ministry never works. When you minister in a manner consistent with the personality God gave you, you experience fulfillment, satisfaction and fruitfulness.

EMPLOYING YOUR EXPERIENCES

God has allowed you to be shaped by your life’s experiences, most beyond your control, to mold you for His purposes. Family experiences, Educational experiences, Vocational experiences, Spiritual experiences, Ministry experiences, Painful experiences.

Let’s explore Painful experiences:

God uses painful experiences the most to prepare us for ministry. God never wastes a hurt. Your greatest ministry will most likely come out of your greatest hurt! God intentionally allows you to go through painful experiences to equip you for ministry to others. The very experiences that you have resented or regretted most in life (one’s you want to hide or forget) are the experiences that God wants you to use to help others – they are your ministry – to use them you must be willing to share them.

People are always more encouraged when we share how God’s grace helped us in weakness than when we boast about our strengths. You will be most effective when you use your spiritual gifts and abilities in the area of your heart’s desire, and in a way that best expresses your personality and experiences.

The better the fit, the more successful you will be... Love you ~ Stafford

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28