WEEK 3 – AREA
Steve Parsons – Pastor of Visitations/Men/Security
Opening Illustration: Scene on Purpose from ‘Hugo’
Main Concept of Area:
Area = Where my S.H.A.P.E. intersects with the space and people where I live, work and play.
Let’s take a moment to break that down:
“…my S.H.A.P.E.” – refers to my unique design which includes my spiritual gifts, my hearts passion, my abilities, my personality traits and my life experiences.•
“…intersects” – refers to my sphere of influence.
“…space and people” – refers to a mindfulness of both the environment and relationships.
“…where I live, work and play” – refers to the context.
Table Discussion: In what specific ways are you uniquely designed by God that He can use to bless others? (Don’t be shy! You are not bragging but having an honest assessment of your God-given design.)
Let’s take a fresh look at the Great Commission.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV)
A more accurate rendering of the Great Commission:
Go therefore…as you go (aorist participle passive intent),
and make disciples…help others follow Jesus into a new way of life and to turn their back on the ways that have robbed their life.
of all nations,…irrespective of culture.
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,… fully emerging them in the relational dynamic of the Godhead. My Father, my Lord, my Helper.
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you… an ongoing relationship where they continue to be won over to the point of action in more and more areas of their life.
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – This is something we do in partnership with God, not on our own. Based on His power and His authority (see verse 18), we can enter into these areas with confidence.
Table Discussion: Which part of the discussion on the Great Commission resonated with you in perhaps a new way?
Wherever God and you are present, you are on Holy Ground. Technically, by this definition that would make any place holy ground if we take Jesus seriously in the Great Commission. He said in Matthew 28:20 “… And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” But that does not always mean that we are always mindful of that reality. This is where our mindset needs to adapt in order for us to ‘see’ the reality of what lies in front of us and knowing that God is with us in that space. (refer back to week one: S=See ~ https://www.westminster.org/2019/05/28/s-h-a-r-e-our-journey-beyond-s-see/)
A. It is a Creative Area.
There is a sense of opportunity without control. I don’t go in with a formula. I go in with a mandate. I go in as a steward. I roam gardens with my God, I tend those Gardens, I am able to name things. To be in a creative area is to be in harmony with what is happening in that space.
I get to bring my creative self.
B. It is a Redeemable Area.
History of the space- ie generational sin.
God allows and has allowed people and events to come into both the Area and my history for a time such as this.
I recently read a great article by Tony Evans discussing how God had prepared Queen Esther for “a time such as this.” These words were initially given to Mordecai to be given to Esther as a rebuke. But the sentiment is applicable to each of us who are sons and daughters of the King. We, too, must acknowledge that our royal position and His placement into any space can be for the purposes of redemption. It is too easy for us to get caught up into our own agendas and not be present or available in the redeemable areas we find ourselves.
C. It is a Cooperative Area.
Am I in tune with how God seems to be working in the given area I am in? And am I acting in harmony with what I see? Do I allow God’s passion to inform my passion for the people he crosses my path with? How about circumstances? I once heard faith described in opposition to presumption as the following: “Visualizing what God intends to do in a given situation and acting in harmony with it.” We come into the places where we live, work, and play with the potential reality that God is there and already working. Rather than force agenda for His Kingdom, we respond in cooperative ways with God for the sake of those He loves.
I might add that I have found that the weight of sharing increases in direct proportion to level of doubt I have of His active presence and His guidance within. If I believe I am on my own in producing evangelistic results, then I will miss the obvious ways that God is orchestrating and instead reading the situation, I am left trying to manipulate it.
Table Discussion: Which of these three areas do you find yourself most intrigued by? Why do you think that is? Is there a space you desire to grow a more fuller understanding about?
How did Jesus see area?
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:34-35
Here are a couple of questions derived from an article I read by Andy Sochor entitled “The Fields are White for Harvest.”
What did Jesus see? People who were lost. People who were interested.
What did the people need? Someone who would teach them.
Is that you?