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The Big and Little of ItThe Big and Little of It
by Bill Denton

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 NAS)

Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. (Luke 16:10 NLT)

People frustrate me. For all their talk about being “goal-oriented,” most people either aren’t willing to dream big enough, or they’re not willing to start small enough. Maybe I’m being harsh, but it seems to me that most “goal-oriented” people just sit around sighing wistfully, “If only...” Roy H. Williams, Monday Morning Memo/FONT>

    People frustrate me sometimes, too, Mr. Williams! Especially when these traits are true about Christians. We bat around terms like “abundant life,” “eternal life,” “spiritual life” and a host of others. We end up with little more than the same sort of life that can be found just about anywhere else. No wonder so many non-Christians feel moved to ignore us, or laugh at our pseudo-spirituality that promotes about as many problems as it does answers. You think I’m over-reacting? I suggest you get out more often and open your ears to what folks around us are thinking and saying.

    Here’s what I do know from the Bible. There isn’t anything we can ask or think that God can’t do. We can’t even think up impossibilities for God. Now he won’t necessarily choose to do them just because we thought them up. The point, however, is that God is limitless. Our puny efforts at accomplishing significant things for God’s kingdom are largely due to the fact that we think far too small.

God is limitless.
    Then again, Mr. Williams is right about something else, too. We’re not willing to start small enough. I’ve know people who have been so disappointed because they were expected to do something small that they didn’t do anything at all. I’ve known people who were responsible for various ministries in the church who end up doing no ministry at all, simply because they couldn’t turn out crowds of people at the beginning. The idea that crowds might show up if they would start small never occurred to them. The spiritual truth that faithfulness in small things is the doorway to big opportunities in the long run. Not only that, but sometimes ministry is most effective when it’s small.

    Put these two traits together and you’ve got the makings of real failure. Little ideas coupled with the unwillingness to start with anything small is a guaranteed wash out. I know it sounds odd, but it’s true. We end up with rinky-dink efforts that no one wants to do.

    All the time, it’s as if God is saying, “Hey! Think up something really big and get to work on it being faithful with your small beginnings! Do this, and I’ll help you.”

    Last time I looked, big oak trees still started out as small acorns. What if God said, “Acorns are just so small, I’m not going to waste my time producing an oak tree.” God wouldn’t say that, but we might. But God sees the big results of small beginnings.

    The Church is in dire need of people who will put their brains to work thinking up ways to serve others, to preach the gospel to the lost, to care for the hurting, and a thousand other things. But, most of them will probably start out rather small. Some may not ever get really big in size, but they may have huge accomplishments in people’s lives.Others will start small and only God can see how big they will be. So, let’s plant some ministry acorns today!

      © Copyright 2002, Dr. Bill Denton, CrossTies, All Rights Reserved. Articles may not be reprinted in any “for profit” publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles.

      Title: "The Big and Little of It"
      Author: Bill Denton
      Publication Date: January 25, 2002

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