Paul wrote 13 letters, 9 to churches and 4 to men who were pastors or elders in churches. Some of the letters have personal instructions and personal greetings and even what appear to be rather mundane practical matters of daily life. II Timothy 4:11-13, 21 Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 21 Do your best to come before winter. Titus 3:12-13 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. Philippians 4:2-3 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel Even financial matters are talked about. I Corinthians 16:1-4 Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. 3 And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me. Paul is addressing practical concerns in the life of the church, he is taking care of business. This morning I want to give a personal and practical word to the church at Lynden with an encouragement and call to do all things well. And to lay further groundwork for that exhortation, I begin with God.
Introduction. We ended last week with me urging you to take the Spiritual Gift Inventory we put in your box and set on the table and sent you the link for on the Internet. I urge you to do the inventory. But once you have some clue about what gifts the Spirit has given you in the body of Christ, then what? We can know what our gift is but not be sure what to do with it or where to use it. This morning I want to give us a tool to help us discern how and where to use our gifts. The tool is on the back of your bulletin and it’s called SHAPE. It’s not original with me but has been around for years. What is your shape for service and being used to make a difference? To illustrate how it works I want to use the life.