Becoming Like You
Romans 15: 15-16 “Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”
We see here in Romans 15 (as well as in Acts 9, 22, and 26) that Paul has a clear sense of his calling. As we read through the chapters where Paul expresses his calling, we see that his confidence stems in part from an understanding of who he is. Paul has become who God made him to be – himself.
As you become who you are, it becomes easier to hear God. As we consider what it looks like to discern God’s call through a deeper knowledge of ourselves, it’s useful to think of the acronym SHAPE: Spiritual Gifts, Heart Passion, Ability, Personality, and Experience.
Paul, for instance, takes each of these things into consideration as he explains why his call is so clear. He is a Roman citizen, which gives him license to travel broadly and safely. He has extensive training in Jewish law and custom, which gives him authority with Jewish leaders scattered throughout the Roman Empire. He has the gift of teaching and of debating with religious leaders. And his experience as a person who previously persecuted the church makes his conversion all the more remarkable.
This morning, I’d like to challenge you to spend some time figuring out your SHAPE. What are the things God has given you that could help you understand yourself and your calling?