“It’s alright to be little bitty, a little home town or a big old city, might as well share, might as well smile, life goes on or a little bitty while.” Alan Jackson
I’m a child of the 1980s. Big hair, big dreams, big problems and big news. There were a lot of big things going on in that decade. Big business had been regulated so small business could grow, and many wanted to make big money in small business or the stock market. There were big inventions like the personal computer that started in inventors’ garages, and ended up revolutionizing the world. The concept of cell phones was created, and a big idea eventually gave rise to an incredible new technology -- that along with the Internet -- would usher us from the space age into the information age to the current communication age.
As soon as the world felt they were free from the big threat of the “Day After” due to big developments like Glasnost, the dark realities of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS ]brought fear to the promiscuous. Suddenly, there seemed to be big problems to replace the joy. The vision went from local to global from disease, to hunger to the gospel, as rock stars and movie stars banded together to feed the world, save the farms and cure AIDS.
This was also the time of big ministries. As enrollment in Fundamental Bible Colleges and churches began to shrink, the mega-churches and ministries began to appear with enormous reach and what seemed like unlimited, “irresistible” influence. In the early 1990s, I can remember the heady declarations of middle level managers and business owners by day and circuit preachers on nights and weekends. They would make statements like, “I won’t take a church of less than 200 members”, as though the church of 25 we were driving to minister to was somehow not worthy of their sacrifice and investment. Many of these men are no longer in the ministry today, and few if any of them ever went on to pastor a church. I am so thankful God’s ways are not our ways, and I’m so thankful God does a lot with a little.
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 1 Corinthians 1:27
Jesus told his disciples to consider the mustard seed in Matthew 13:32. Though it is the smallest of seeds, once planted and grown to maturity, its stature houses the birds of the air as they make their nests in her branches. Jesus told his disciples in Luke 16:10, that if a man is faithful with that which is least, he will grow to be faithful over much. But if he is unjust in that which is least, he will grow to be unjust over much. In Luke 12:26, Jesus points out there are some things a man cannot worry about, like how tall he grows or how many hairs remain on his head. (Young men, you just wait!) But he can be faithful to invest in the Kingdom of God and eternity will bear the fruit of his faithfulness.
It is easy to overlook the “small things,” not realizing they are the big things. The moments you spend with your children just before they rush out the door, the family gatherings, the opportunity to affirm your love to your spouse in that special little way so they know they are loved and appreciated. Those little things are the big things. The time it takes to walk across the room and say hi, share a gospel tract with a waitress or engage in a conversation with an employee at the local store or market. Those little things are what make up the big things.
When it comes to the Kingdom of God, it’s the little investments in the word early in the morning before anyone else rises, the little mini-devotions and sermons God gives you that you never preach to anyone by yourself. The short meetings and moments in ministry that allow you to catch who Jesus is, how he works and who he is working in that are often noted only in the conscience of the Spirit filled person observing them. Those, small things, are the big things. They are the things that God uses to give us opportunity at length to do the “big things.”
Being faithful to make disciples, teach children, share the gospel and love God and people are the little things that God grows into the big things. This week at our Vision Conference, you will hear and see incredible things God is doing that all began with seeds of faith. In some cases, those seeds are still covered in the soil of the heart as men like Mike Reneau and Lee Carter launch out to trust God for new work in their respective fields. Those visions and faith filled steps are fueled by little moments in prayer and the word of God that God grows into what appear to be leaps of faith.
You will see others like Joe and Amy Hendrigsman, Sid Madden and our visiting pastors who are realizing the evidence of being faithful with least and being responsible for much. Our Vision Conference will be a great time to grow your faith and trust God for faithfulness wherever you are so that God can fuel your growth in Christ. If you are discouraged or think your ministry opportunities are not large enough, that is not the case at all. Your faith is not large enough. Despise not the day of small things, relish in the opportunity to be faithful with least so God can grow your faithfulness in being a steward of more.
Little Things Become Big Things
For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth. Zechariah 4:10
God always uses the little things to bring the big things to pass. He gave a little vision to a little brother in Genesis 37:5-11. Not even his father Jacob realized the enormity of what had been entrusted to the faithful Joseph. God gave a little rod to an aged shepherd, with his best days long passed as a prince of Egypt.
With that rod, he would lead the greatest exodus of God’s people outside of our salvation and Israel at the second coming the world has ever seen! God gave a little spike to a lady named Jael the wife of Heber. She drove that spike through the temple of Sisera after giving him a little cup of milk, so he could lie down for a little nap and subsequently brought an enormous victory to the people of Israel!
God gave a little shepherd a little 5 little rocks and he won one of the biggest battles recounted in human history. God gave a little town a little prophecy in Micah 5:2 and 2,000 years ago God brought forth a little baby who would grow to be the biggest and best thing creation has ever seen since he created it! Jesus, who is literally awesome, revealed himself in the humblest and smallest of ways. Paul was given a little vision about Macedonia and went by faith planting a work among a little bitty group of saints and would go on to write of the bishops and deacons of the church of Philippi.
From that little church plant, the gospel would spread to the poor little churches of Macedonia who would gather an offering so impactful to the “big” church in Jerusalem that God recorded their faithfulness in 2 Corinthians 8:1-3 as an example of how God uses those who are faithful with least to make an impact in a big way!
On March 25, 1987, a little message from a little Bible shared by a drafting teacher changed my life as I accepted Jesus from a very short exposition of scripture. Grace and faith planted in the contrite and repentant heart produced eternal life! Oh, how soon we forget that God doesn’t need the big things because he is the big thing.
If you have not yet received Christ, you need to believe and receive the gospel. Jesus is God manifest in the flesh, he lived a sinless life, fulfilled the requirements of the law we cannot then died on the cross in our place as our perfect atoning sacrifice for sin. He said it is finished, died on the cross to raise three days in victory over sin and death showing that he is the way, the truth and the life. If you come to him today, trusting him and his finished work on the cross to save you from your sin, calling upon his name in a personal way thanking and receiving his gracious gift of eternal life the scripture says you will be saved. Contact me at [email protected] and we can discuss this decision and help you take your next little steps into a life that is now eternal.