St Theodore's

Wattle Park


  Sermon of the Week

Look up the passage

  Discovering Spiritual Gifts 4 - Monitoring my Heartbeat 2 Cor 1:3-7
Adapted from "Discovering My Ministry, Baptist Union of NSW, from work by Rick Warren, Saddleback Valley Community Church and "Heartbeat" by Drew Mellor, Deep Creek Anglican Church, Melbourne


  Definition: "Heart"
  "Your emotional constitution or disposition"
   "The vital force or driving impulse"
   The Bible uses the term "heart" to represent the centre of your motivation, desires, and inclinations. So e.g. Psalm 37:4: "Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart."
   My heart determines...
   Why I say the things I do.
   "The mouth speaks what the heart is full of." Matt 12:34
   Why I feel the way I do.
   Heb. 4:12: "The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, ... it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
   Why I act the way I do.
   "Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Prov 4:23
  My Heart Is The Real Me!
   Physiologically, each of us has a unique heartbeat. Each person has a slightly different pattern. Likewise, God has given each of us a unique emotional "heartbeat" that races when we encounter activities, subjects, or circumstances that interest us. We instinctively feel deeply about some things and not about others.
   This God-given motivation serves as an internal guidance system for our lives. It determines what your interests are, and what will bring you the most satisfaction and fulfilment, It also motivates you to pursue certain activities, subjects and environments.
   Why has God given each person a unique "Heartbeat"?
   "God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose..." Rev. 17:17
   I want to suggest today that your emotional heartbeat is an important key to understanding God's design and intention for your life, that God has given you your inborn interests for a reason. Nothing God does is ransom or by chance. Your heart was designed by God, so the things you find in our heart are likely to be there because God chose to put them there. Of course we all have to choose to use those things for good or evil, for selfish purposes or for service but the possibility is there for all of us to serve the Lord with all our heart.
   So the aim of today's exercise is to find out how our heart is motivating us for ministry.
   Taking a Spiritual ECG
   If you are like most people, you have never taken time to sort out and identify the things you are good at and motivated to accomplish. That may mean that you don't use those talents as completely or effectively as you could. So the first step in understanding your heartbeat is to look at your past accomplishments.
   In a moment we'll begin that task. Then we'll move on to:
   Step 2: Discover the motivated direction of your heart
   This involves examining your achievements for a common motivational thread. E.g. you might find a key phrase repeated. See if you can match one of the "heartbeats" listed on pp 7&8 as examples.
   Remember these are all God-given motivations. Some people look at some of these as being sinful, but they're only sinful when used selfishly. Every one of them can be used in effective ministry. So don't be embarrassed to identify a basic heartbeat that doesn't seem spiritual! Almost every one of these can be identified in the ministry of one of the twelve Apostles!
   Then we'll think about the abilities you have that motivated you in the things you've accomplished so far.
   Next I want you to think about your personality type (pp12&13).
   Finally, think about your life experiences.
   "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."
   Paul says to the Philippians: "Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel." Phi1 1:12
   One of the most overlooked factors in determining the ministry God has for me is my past experience, particularly the hurts and problems I've overcome with God's help. Since our greatest life messages come out of our weaknesses, not our strengths, we should pay close attention to what we've learned in the "school of hard knocks".
   God wants us to be open to ministering to people who are going through what we've already been through! This is what we read today from 2 Cor 1: "(God) ... wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them the same help and comfort God has given us."
   So use the questions on p15 to think about your various life experiences: your spiritual experiences; your painful experiences; your educational experiences; your ministry experiences.
   Use the pink sheet (your personal ministry profile) to summarise all of your answers.
   When you've done all that then take advantage of the offer of arranging a time to talk to me about how your gifts can best be used in the ministry of St Theodore's or in the Church more widely.

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