Thursday, April 3, 2014

It's The Little Things

                I hear people talk all the time about how they want to go out into the mission field. They want to travel to a foreign land and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. I too would like to travel someday to a far away land and share the gospel, to help those who need Christ. Most of us who are Christians would like to do that. But something the Lord has been showing me is that we must learn to walk before we can ride. Let me explain how the Lord brought this truth home to me today. He gave me a picture of a little baby, just learning to walk. Then the mother put that same baby on a bike. That child just learned to walk, how can one expect it to ride a bike? We must learn to walk before we can learn to ride. We must learn to be faithful in the little before we can be given the bigger tasks.

                Some of you, today, may be wondering what you can do for the Lord. You may be looking at your life and wanting to do something, but not sure exactly what it is that you are supposed to be doing. I have been here before. I have felt like the Lord wanted me to do something, but wasn't exactly sure what it was. I have desired and still do desire to travel to a far away land and share the gospel, but I am also learning that to be able to do something big for God, I have to first be faithful in the little things. I must learn to walk before He will let me ride. This led me to Luke 19:11-27, and looking at what it means to be faithful in our service to the Lord, right where we are at.
                “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ And he said, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’” Luke 19:15-17
                The mina (or money) that Jesus is referring to is our gifts. These are the spiritual gifts that we have been given. God has distributed to each one of us a particular gift to use for the purpose of His glory and for the purpose of sharing His gospel. In Luke 19:13 the master says to his servants, “Do business till I come.” God our Father has given us spiritual gifts and told us to do something with them. We are to be using the resources at our disposal for the purpose of His glory. We are to serve the Lord with our gifts and our talents.

                How faithful are we in this? How faithful are we in serving the Lord in His absence? We know that He is returning, we know and believe that He is away preparing a place for us, and that He has commanded each one of us to do something with what we have been given. So what are we doing with these gifts, with these talents that He has freely bestowed upon us? You may be saying to yourself right now that there is nothing you can do. You lack the finances, your health does not allow you to serve, or your job holds you back from being able to do something. But I believe that we all can be doing something right where we are. I believe that if we want to do the big things for God, we must first learn to be faithful in the little things. I must learn to walk before I can ride.
                What are your gifts? Do you have the gift of encouragement? Then use that gift to write a letter of encouragement or to send a card to someone. Do you sew? Look for ways to sew clothes for the homeless, or quilts for children, etc. Do you have the talent of singing? Then go and look for opportunities to sing hymns and play music for the elderly in nursing homes. It is not about what we do for the Lord, as much as it is about the willingness that we have in us to do it. No matter what our circumstances are, no matter what our health is, or what our job is, we can all be doing something for the Lord right from where we are. We always want to jump out and do the big things, and then get disappointed when the doors are closed on us. But the Lord is showing us today that we must learn to be faithful in the little things. We must learn to serve Him in the little things before we can serve Him in the big things.
                Jesus says that the servant who used the resources he had on hand to multiply the gifts he was given was a “good servant”, not because he multiplied the gift, but because he used what he had and was willing to do it. It was his willing heart to do something that caused the master to call him good. I have always said that when we get to heaven, and the rewards are passed out, there are many of us who are going to be shocked and amazed. We will think that those who did the big things for God will get the bigger rewards, but I am beginning to believe that it is those who are faithful in the day to day little things that will have the most rewards. Those people that no one has ever heard of, the older women who encourage the younger, the servants who were in the trenches serving the less fortunate, those are the ones who will have the greater rewards. Not because of what they did, but because they were willing to do the little things, they were willing to use the gifts and the talents they had been given, and used the resources they had at their disposal.
                Serving the Lord with our gifts and talents does not mean that you have to be known, or that you have to travel to distant lands. It means that we become willing to seek out opportunities with the resources we have on hand to share the glorious gift of His grace with someone. You may not have a lot of money to give to the poor, but you can give your time. Maybe your health keeps you from serving in the church, but you can send a letter or a card to someone who is sick or needs encouragement. We get so focused on the big things that we forget about the little things. We must learn to walk before we can ever learn to ride. Like the saying goes, “it only takes one person to change the world”. The gifts and talents you have been given can change someone’s day, and maybe even their whole world, but you have to be willing to do the little things first. If we are not willing to serve the Lord in the little things, how will He ever be able to entrust us with the big things?
           That woman or man who cleans the toilets in your church building, or that sister who is on her knees praying for the lost, the hurt and the sick in your church, that brother in the Lord who mows the lawn for the widows in your church, these are the ones the Lord sees as good servants, as faithful servants. These are the ones who are going to have those great rewards. The servants that were called “good” in the parable Jesus told did not have titles or grand ministries, they took what the Lord had given them and sought out opportunity to multiply what He had bestowed upon them. We too must do the same. We too must learn to walk in the little things before we try to ride in the big race.

Missionary work is good, and blessed of the Lord, but we too can be missionaries’ right where we are at. Whatever your gifts or talents may be, I pray today that you would seek out the opportunities to use them, with the resources you have to bring glory to Jesus Christ our Lord. It is my prayer that we learn to walk in the little things before we try and ride in the big things. May the Lord bless the work of your hands, whatever they might find to do. In Jesus Name, amen and amen.