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Assessing the S.H.A.P.E. You're In, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
April 23, 2021 8:00 am

Assessing the S.H.A.P.E. You're In, Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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April 23, 2021 8:00 am

A practical way to take inventory of the gifts, talents, and abilities we've been given to minister to others; four practical points for being an excellent steward of our resources.

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If you are saved by grace through faith then the Lord has already given you one or more spiritual gifts.

Whether you're in touch with them or not, whether you have identified them or not, they are there. If you're a child of the living God, you've been given unique abilities, special gifts designed to help you achieve your calling in Christ. Hello and welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Today you'll find out what kind of shape you're in when it comes to managing your gifts and talents.

As you follow along, pay special attention to that word shape. It's the key to remembering the five areas you'll want to examine so that you can make the best use of your God-given abilities. Today's message is straight ahead so stay right here or visit to listen on demand anytime. You can also subscribe to our podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you go to get yours. Now, let's join Pastor Paul for today's Destined for Victory message, Assessing the Shape You're In.

I want to spend a couple of messages looking at the way God would have us manage our gifts and talents. We want to begin that by assessing the shape you're in. And shape is an acronym, not original with me. Rick Warren, I think, is the person who it originated with.

He certainly has popularized it. But using shape as an acronym, so I want to borrow that concept and talk through these matters with you. Shape is an acronym. Here's what it stands for. The S stands for spiritual gifts and callings.

Make note of that. Spiritual gifts and callings. The H stands for heart. We're going to examine what's in your heart as it pertains to what the Lord would have you do with your talents and abilities. The A stands for abilities. There are some things that aren't spiritual gifts, but they are God-given abilities.

And I believe that if God gave you the ability, he wants a return on that investment. The P stands for personality. Personality. We're going to talk through the fact that you have a unique personality, and God wants to use you as you are for his purposes in the earth.

And the E stands for experiences. Experiences. So we're going to assess the shape you're in. This isn't a sermon as much as it is just taking some inventory together.

We're going to kind of look at our lives together. Let's start with the S. Spiritual gifts and callings. God has given every believer one or more gifts that are to be used to serve others and to do his will in the course of his or her lifetime. If you are saved by grace through faith, then the Lord has already given you one or more spiritual gifts.

Whether you're in touch with them or not, whether you have identified them or not, they are there. The Bible is clear that the gifts are given to every member of the body, according to 1 Corinthians chapter 12. And we are to use those gifts, not sit on them. 1 Peter chapter 4 and verse 10 says this, God should use whatever gift he has received to serve others faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

I want you to note that verse in 1 Peter. God says I've given you one or more gifts. They're to be used to serve other people so that you can faithfully administer God's grace in its various forms. God didn't give you a gift for you to just sit on it and decide if one day you might perhaps consider the possibility of exploring the feasibility of doing something for somebody.

Rather, if God gave you the gift, that is a clear calling that you're supposed to do something with it. So much so that at the end of it all, we're going to be judged. See, we who are in the body of Christ need to understand that great final judgment doesn't just take one form. We're most familiar with the form of judgment where the sheep will be on one hand and the goats on the other, and God will say that these folks enter and say that these folks depart. But listen, there's going to be more aspects to final judgment than that. There's going to be the assessment of what did you do with the calling I placed on your life. And you don't want to be in the position to tell God I know you gave me a talent, but I buried it. Because I had some concerns. I had some challenges.

I wasn't quite sure of this or that or the other. God is going to want an excellent return on His investment. And if you give Him an excellent return on His investment, it will bless your life through all eternity. There are gifts and rewards that we will receive for our faithfulness here. We're all going to heaven, but not all of us are going to receive the same reward from the Lord. I not only want heaven, I want as many awards as I can get.

If there's a sort of Grammys going on in heaven, I want my name called quite a bit. I'm being facetious, but the serious point is if God gave you a gift, then He gave you a calling that you're to do something with. Some of you are unfamiliar with spiritual gifts because you don't come from a background that taught much about the gifts at all. But take some time and look at passages like 1 Corinthians 12 verses 8 through 10.

You'll find nine gifts listed there. Then if you look at verse 28 of 1 Corinthians 12, you'll find some more gifts listed there. Then if you look at Romans chapter 12, you'll find some more gifts listed there. Then if you look at Ephesians 4 and verse 11, you'll find five, what are sometimes called the fivefold offices in the church.

God called some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, some to be pastors and teachers, commonly called the fivefold ministry. I don't believe that all of the gifts are mentioned in Scripture, but rather these are just samplings of what God might do through you. I think there are some other areas of giftings. For instance, some people are gifted in the area of dreams and visions. God shows you some things very clearly. That's not named as a spiritual gift per se, but you do see the practice of God giving dreams and visions throughout the course of Scripture. I believe that to be a spiritual gift. That's just one example of several other things that I believe are spiritual gifts. The idea is you want to get on the business of pursuing the understanding and most importantly the release of the spiritual gifts in your life. God, if you put the gift in me, show it, reveal it, help me to get in touch with it.

Make that a matter of prayer. Lord, reveal to me how you want to use me in the area of spiritual giftings. And then as you feel a prompting of the Holy Spirit, then branch out and begin to practice it.

You get good at what you practice. So if you have a sense, if you receive a word from the Lord that you've been given a particular gift, then immediately begin to use it. See, you don't get zapped with a perfected ability to do anything for God. You have to practice it prayerfully and allow the anointing and your use of the gift to develop.

Let me give you an Old Testament analogy not about spiritual gifts, but it'll help you to draw the lines. David didn't start out killing Goliath. He started out defending his daddy's sheep. Before he went after a giant, he learned to kill an animal.

Some of you all want giants, but you haven't taken on an animal yet. And so you got to start with what's in your current lifestyle. So say you feel that the Lord has gifted you in some area of healing. There are different gifts plural of healing, according to 1 Corinthians 12. So say you believe God's given you one of the gifts of healing, and then maybe there's a certain type of disease or sickness. You feel called to pray for people and see results. I know people who feel called to pray for women who can't conceive. And I've seen prayer result. And after the doctor said a woman will never get pregnant, I've seen several people get pregnant because somebody gifted prayed for them. And so if you feel called to a particular area, you got to start laying hands on folk. They're not going to get healed unless you pray for them. That's why God gave you the gift. Lay hands on them in Jesus' name. Curse that affliction or sickness. In the name of the Lord, you say, well, what if they don't get healed?

Well, what if they do? It's not your job. It's God's job.

It's my job to practice it. I prayed for a whole lot of folk who instead of getting healed died. I didn't stop praying for them. I'm still praying because some get healed. I'll tell you one thing, you're guaranteed not to get healed if nobody ministers to you. And so we have to learn to exercise the gift.

So explore. Look at the passages in Scripture. Lord, reveal to me what you have given me and gifted me to do.

And begin to exercise it. That's the S. The H stands for heart. Let's look at your heart. Luke 6 45, Jesus said these important words. Jesus said, the good man brings good things out of the good stored in his heart. An evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. It is important then for you to understand that if God has saved you by his grace and made you that good man, that good woman that Jesus began to speak about in the first part of that verse, then there are some good things stored in your heart.

If he's made you a good man and a good woman, then Jesus already told you that means there's some good stuff stored up in your heart. Up next, the second half of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd. We want to thank all of you whose prayers and financial support help Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world. And right now, as we begin to emerge from the pandemic, many have questions that are in need of hope and encouragement. If there's one thing we've learned, it's that in times of crisis, people are looking for answers that only God can give. So as God leads, prayerfully consider making a gift to Destined for Victory today.

Call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or visit to make a safe and secure donation online. God has put a few things in you, talents and spiritual gifts, maybe even a dream or a vision of his plan for you. It's up to you to discover what those things are and then take the next step. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message, Assessing the Shape You're In. So the question now is, how am I going to do the will of God if I don't stop and assess what he has put in my heart? God starts his work through us.

It starts on the inside of us. You see passages like Philippians chapter 2, where it says it is God who is at work in us, both to will and to do of his good pleasure. People are real comfortable with God at work in us. But right next to that verse is a verse that says, therefore you are to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. So the two verses paired together simply tell you God has put some things in you that you have to work out of you. God worked it in, you work it out. And it's your job to work out what God has worked in.

Because if you don't work it out, it will stay dormant in your heart. Now, it's not you, but somebody on your row has spent far too much time saying, one day I'm going to do something. Look down the row, see if you can figure out who it is. Somebody on your row. Somebody on your row is threatening to do something one of these days. They're threatening to be a difference maker. They're threatening to be a world changer.

They are threatening to do something for God because it's in their heart. Well, I'm here to tell you, you got to work out what's in your heart. Let me just give you three sample questions. There are lots of questions you could ask yourself as you explore what's in your heart. Let me just offer three questions for you to consider regarding your heart.

Here's the first one. What group of people or type of work do you feel most called to? It's one of the questions you'll want to explore this week and in the coming weeks and months as you seek to make sure you empty your heart into a lifestyle of serving God. What group of people or, if it's not a group of people, what type of work do you most feel called to?

That's one question. Here's the second question to consider as you explore and assess what's in your heart. What are the needs I feel most drawn to? What are the needs I feel most drawn to? See, everybody who's saved ought to have some level of compassion as you see unmet needs in the world. But seeing unmet needs is not the same as having that kind of burden that makes you feel like you got to do something about it. Third question. What cause am I most passionate about?

What cause? Is there a particular cause in the world that I feel extremely passionate about? Those are the kinds of questions that will help you arrive at what is in your heart. Now, let me give you a biblical example. Nehemiah, in the Old Testament, is a man who not only saw a need and was drawn to it, but it was such a deeply felt burden that he had to do something. As he heard more and more people were returning, he said, I have to do something about this.

What do you see in the world that you feel like I'm going to die if I don't do something about this? Those are indications of what's in your heart. Let's go to abilities. Let's go to abilities.

The A in shape stands for abilities. Now, here's what the Bible says in Psalm 139, verse 14. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful.

I know that full well. The psalmist there is rejoicing in the fact that as he looks at himself, he says, God, you made me in a very peculiar way. I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. The idea is you made me with such intricacies that I'm not like just everybody else. Your works in me, that is, are wonderful.

I know that full well. Do you realize that God made you? In terms of your abilities and personalities, you are a designer's original. You're a designer's original. Just like your fingerprints are unique to you, there's a lot more about you that is unique to you.

The fingerprints are just an external expression of your uniqueness before God. Now, you need to get comfortable with that. You need to get comfortable with that because there are a lot of people, not you, but somebody on your row, who are working real hard to be like somebody else. Well, God called you to learn from others. God called you to be inspired by others. God called you to grow under the tutelage of others.

God called you to be submitted to the leadership of others, but God never called you to surrender your uniqueness to anybody. You are supposed to be you. That's why you are you.

You're supposed to be. It's by divine design. You are intentionally unique, called by God to be you. And let me tell you something. The joy in getting this revelation is once you finally get it, you will be out of the business of comparing yourself to other folks forever because you will then understand I'm not going to answer to God for how much like that person I am.

I'm going to answer to God for how I embraced my own uniqueness and used it for His glory. You're not supposed to be sisters. You're not supposed to be like that woman. You're not supposed to look like her, talk like her, act like her.

You're certainly not supposed to have her husband. You got your own unique calling of God on your own life. And God's going to use you in a unique way. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Free yourself from that. Be inspired if there's something good about her that you want to emulate. That's fine. Nothing wrong with that. Find the best of her disciplines or the ways that she has enhanced herself, whatever.

All of that's good. But at the end of the day, you have no business going to a plastic surgeon saying, make me her. Do you see these people every now and then on TV?

They do a little special on them and they went somewhere and spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to look like somebody who isn't worth looking like in the first place. And so you want to free yourself from that. Brothers, you're not called to be like that man.

You are called to be the best you you can be. You know, they got that Old Spice commercial. Hadn't played it in a while, but a couple years back, they had that Old Spice commercial. They had the real handsome, strapping, virile, wonderful man. And, you know, he's telling the woman, now look at me. Now look at your husband. Now look at me. Now look at your husband.

I told our men recently in Men's Discipleship, as we were talking about the importance of making sure there are no fantasies active in your life, you're called to be yourself. And we talked about that Old Spice guy. Because if you compare us to him, we're going to lose. We're going to lose.

But here's the good news. He can't be me if he tries. He can try all he wants. He can't preach like me. He can't lead like me.

He can't serve like me. He can't do any of this stuff God has called me to do. I could go to his wife and say, now look at your husband preach. Now look at your husband. Now watch your husband try to grow a church. Now watch me grow a church. Why? Because I'm gifted to do what I'm called to do.

God never gives you a calling unless he gifts you to fulfill the calling. So I'm not intimidating you young, strapping, handsome, virile men. Go on and do you. God bless you. I fought a good fight. I finished my course. I've kept the faith.

Got my little two children. I'm through. Some of these old, crazy old men still out there trying to, I'm just the man I was in my 20s. No, you're not. I thought you tripping.

Where am I? Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Abilities. You're unique by God's design.

You're unique. He didn't want you to be like these other folk. Learn from them.

Grow as a result of exposure to them. All of that is good. He said to the church at Corinth, he said, I can't come, but I'm sending my spiritual son Timothy to you who will show you my ways which be in Christ.

Why? Because Timothy had learned everything he could from his spiritual daddy Paul. And he had Paul all in him. So Paul said when he comes, he going to show you everything and he going to do it the way I would do it.

That's right. But if you notice the rest of their spiritual trajectory, Paul never called Timothy to try to minister like him. He said to Timothy, there are gifts that were given to you through the laying on of mine and the other elders hands and you are to stir up those gifts. You are not to try to be me. And Timothy who started out shy ended up being the bishop of the church at Ephesus. And long after Paul's head was cut off for the sake of the gospel, Timothy, his son, had the best of Paul in him, but he expressed it through his own anointing and his own calling. That's what God's called you to do. Quit trying to be other folk.

You're going to fail miserably. Thanks so much for being here for today's message, Assessing the Shape You're In. It's been another great week here on Destined for Victory and we're so glad you were a part of it. Before we say so long for the weekend though, I want to thank you on behalf of Pastor Paul and the entire ministry team for all you do to make the Destined for Victory ministry possible. And we want to say a special thank you to all our Destined for Victory partners, a group of friends who have committed $20 or more a month to help keep Destined for Victory on the air.

We couldn't do this without you. Well, perhaps you've been blessed by this ministry and would like to make this commitment. If you sign up today, we'll send you some special welcome gifts including the best of Let My People Smile, a sampling of some of Pastor Paul's most humorous stories and illustrations and truly one of our most popular resources.

But the biggest benefit you'll receive is the blessing of knowing you are helping us reach the world through these radio and internet programs. Call 855-339-5500 to become a Destined for Victory partner today. That's 855-339-5500. Or you can also mail your gift, letting us know you wish to become our partner. Our address is Destined for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California, 94538. Of course, if you are unable to become our partner today but do want to make a generous gift, be sure to ask for this month's offer, Pastor Paul's booklet built on a solid foundation.

Request that when you call 855-339-5500. Want to be the best you can be? Be the best you you can be.

Here's Pastor Paul. That's what God's called you to do. Quit trying to be other folk. You're going to fail miserably. You were born an original. Don't die a copy. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Assessing the Shape You're In. Until then, remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-26 06:02:16 / 2023-11-26 06:11:47 / 10

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