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The Value of Small
 
By: Tom Norvell

Vol. 10 No. 46 | November 12, 2007

smallIs it possible that we have misunderstood, or ignored, the value of small? Jesus saw something in smallness that we may overlook.

Consider these statements:

When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (Mathew 25:39-41, NIV)

"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." (Matthew 25:44-46, NIV)

Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all-he is the greatest." (Luke 9:47-48 NIV)

"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (Matthew 18:19-20, NIV)

Jesus saw the value of small.

We tend to focus on big. Big cars. Big houses. Big churches. Big budgets. Big signs. Big events. Big bank accounts. Big projects. Big attendance. Big numbers. Big buildings.

small_2From the outside looking in would it appear that we believe that big equals better?

Jesus did not seem to be implying that big is necessarily bad. He also encouraged us the have enough faith to do big things. He emphasized having a faith that will move mountains, faith to walk on water, and that the disciple's faith would enable them to do even greater things than they had seen Him do.

However, we must not forget that those big things begin with something small: faith the size of a mustard seed, taking one step outside of the boat, serving one another, and washing feet. Jesus pointed to children as our example of what "the kingdom is like." He spoke of being the least in the kingdom. He reminds us of the importance of simply offering someone a cup of water.

Perhaps we should consider our plans and reevaluate our approach to life and to ministry. We would do well not to allow ourselves to be so enamored by the big that we miss the value of the small. It may very well be that the greatest impact you will have this week in the life of another human being will come from doing something small. One conversation. A word of gratitude. A kind comment. A one-on-one conversation. A moment of listening. A small group study. Two or three gathered to pray. A single thoughtful act. A good application of the Scripture. A phone call. A text message. An email. A gentle touch. A note of encouragement. A small gift. An hour of your time.

Just this week -- not the rest of your life (that's too big) -- but just this week pay attention to small. Let God turn it into something big...if He needs it to be.

Tom


A Norvell Note Copyright 2007. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.



 

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