Friends
 
How are you using the tools God has given you?  I want you to look inside your tool box today and make sure you have the “right” tools. 
Necessary Tools:
•Read God’s Word daily.
•Pray every day.
•Attend Church weekly.
•Get involved in a Life group weekly.
•Get involved in a Ministry (serve others) weekly.
•Get involved in a Mission project, you are the hands and feet of Jesus.
•Start Tithing weekly to the church.
 
For you and me to grow we must use our tools daily.  God wants you to GROW!  God wants you to be in great shape to do the Great Commission He has given us to do. 
 
God wants you to be skilled.  It is not enough to want to be successful in your life, in your marriage, in your career, and in your schooling.  Desire is not enough.  Determination is not enough.  Dedication is not enough.  Prayer is not enough.  The Bible says skill will bring success.  Until you learn those skills you cannot succeed in life, and the more skillful you become the more successful you will be.
 
Part of my job as your pastor is to coach you in life skills.  That is one of the things that I do; to help you learn the skills of life to make you more successful. I want you to succeed in every area of your life.  
 
This past Sunday we talked about recognizing what matters most.   Successful Christian people must learn how to not listen to the critic, the skeptic, the naysayer who says you can’t do it.  It can’t be done.  You have got to learn how to tune that out. 
 
First, we must know what matters and what does not matter.  What counts and what does not count.  What’s valuable and what’s not valuable.  We looked last week at how to prioritize your life and how to choose the values that last.
 
This coming Sunday morning, you and I will be looking at the idea of using the tools that we have.  As time goes on in your life you need to do less of what you are not good at and you need to do more at what you are good at, what God wired you to do, what God shaped or formed and created and designed you to do.
 
I love Jeremiah 1:5 Message, “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.  Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you...”
 
 
Did you know that God determined your life in advance?  He shaped you in advance.  By the way, this is why abortion is wrong.  It short circuits God’s plan.  God’s plan for your life does not start the moment you take a breath.  God’s plan for your life started the moment he thought you up and decided to use the DNA of your parents to create you.  It started before you were born.  And the Bible says, “…I shaped you in your mother’s womb.”
 
Your shape reveals your purpose in life.  If you want to know what you are here on earth for, you have got to look at your shape.  Do you know what your shape is?  Come this coming Sunday and I will help you figure that out.
 
The Bible says, repeatedly, that God planned every day of your life even before you were born.  You are not an accident.  Even if your parents may not have planned you, God did.  Remember this; it does not matter whether they were good, bad, or indifferent parents, or you never even knew your parents. God knew that they had just the exact dna–23,000 thousand chromosomes each that would create you.  God was more interested in making you than he was in their parenting skills.  God wanted you alive.  Nobody else could have made you.  So, he used even flawed imperfect people to make you.
 
Why did God make you?  The Bible says in Ephesians 2:10 NCV, “God made us what we are.  In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing” 
 
God shaped you to serve him.  Before you were born, God decided in advance what contribution he wanted you to make with your life.  God did not put you on this planet just to take up space, to use resources, and to die.  No!  He put you here to serve him by serving others.  Please don’t forget, nobody else can be you.  If you don’t serve God the way he intended for you to serve him, then the world misses that part of the jigsaw puzzle. 
 
Another name for “good works” is “ministry.”  Any time you use your talents and abilities to help somebody else, you are ministering to them.  The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:10 Living Bible “God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings.”
 
Do you know the talents that you have?  They are not for your benefit.  God gave you your talents for the benefit of other people.  That’s why nobody’s got it all together. God wired the universe so that we would need each other.
 
When you get to Heaven, you are going to love God, so he wants you to practice now. You are going to love other people in Heaven, so he wants you to practice now.  You are going to grow spiritually in Heaven, so he wants you to practice now.  Finally, you are going to serve God in Heaven, so he wants you to practice now.
 
Bottom line you serve God by serving others.  On earth, it’s impossible to serve God directly.  The only way you can serve God on Earth is by serving other people.  So, any time you help somebody else, God says it’s like you’re doing it for him.  You are practicing on Earth what you are going to do in eternity.
 
Make every Day Count!
 
Barry
 
Come Sunday and learn your SHAPE!