Beloved People of God,
For three weeks, Elvis’ album of greatest hits has been the number one album in the nation, 25 years after he passed away! Despite enormous success, Elvis was, according to friends, an unfulfilled and unhappy man. He died of obesity and drug dependency at 42. in an interview with his wife, Priscilla, she said this about her husband: “Elvis never came to terms with who he was meant to be or what his purpose in life was. He thought he was here for a reason, maybe to preach, maybe to serve, maybe to save, maybe to care for people. That agonizing desire was always with him, and he knew he wasn’t fulfilling it. So, he’d go on
stage and he wouldn’t have to think about it.” Elvis was lost.
We are seeing much “lostness” in our society today, aren’t we? So many seem to be filled with anxiety to a level that eventually it comes to a boiling point and people lash out in some profoundly sad ways. I cannot help but believe this is directly tied to the fact that we have turned inward and have lost the sense that we were created for a purpose.
You were shaped to Serve God. Elvis felt like he was here to do something, to serve, to preach...to do something with his life, but he just couldn’t quite figure it out. Let’s not make that same mistake. You were shaped to Serve God.
The Bible shares in 2 Cor. 5:19-20 “God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And he has given us the work of sharing his message about peace. We were sent to speak for Christ.” What have we been given? Work! St. Paul shares that Christ was sent to serve—to serve by bringing peace and embodying forgiveness. Because we have been the recipients of that peace and forgiveness, we have the privilege to serve others.
In Eph. 2:20 St. Paul writes, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. You were made to contribute, not just to consume. God made you to make a difference. What matters is not how long you live, but how you live. What matters is not the duration of your life, but the donation of your life. The Bible says we’re created to serve, we’re gifted to serve, and we’re shaped to serve. We are called to put our faith into action!
The good news is, whenever God gives us an assignment to do something, God never gives it to us without equipping us first. We see this throughout scripture. In Job it says, “Your hands shaped me and made me.” (Job 10:8). God uses five things to shape you: Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences. That spells ‘SHAPE’. Those five things make you. God uniquely shapes you, different from anyone else in the world, for a purpose. that purpose is to “let your light so shine.” We are called to let our light shine so that God may be glorified. In other words, your talents are not just for your benefit. Your purpose in life is to be what God made you to be. God gave you gifts and talents and abilities and background and experiences and all these things for the benefit of other people, to be used by serving others. And, ironically, it’s in serving, in realizing our shape and purpose for living that we experience the kind of life, the abundant life that Jesus invites us to experience. And it makes all the difference in the world!
See you Sunday!