DON'T NEGLECT THE LITTLE THINGS!
"And WHATEVER you do, whether in word or in deed,
do it ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus..."
"So whether you eat or drink or WHATEVER you do,
do ALL for the glory of God"
(I Corinthians 10:31)
Living for Jesus! It means precisely what it sounds like! It means we give our lives ENTIRELY up for the sake of seeking to make HIS name great in the world. It means doing EVERYTHING with the prime and driving motive of bring God glory down here!
First and foremost, that is what the Christian life is altogether about. Don't get confused by the myriad of mixed signals and multitude of messed up images of what being a Christian is about by looking at the church in its present weak and spindly form. What God desires that we have on our minds always is and always has been this... BRING HIM GLORY! MAKE THE BLESSEDNESS OF HAVING THE INDWELLING CHRIST IN YOUR HEART KNOWN IN 10,000 EVERYDAY WAYS THAT MAKE UP THIS THING CALLED L-I-F-E!
And let us nail down immovably on the walls of our hearts this common sense yet nearly always forgotten fact...
MORE THAN IN ANY OTHER WAY, WE DO THIS...
In the little things.
The principle was laid down so perfectly by our precious Jesus when He said, "In EVERYTHING, do to others what you would have them do to you" (Matt. 7:12). EVERYTHING WE DO IN LIFE! And most things we do, well, they are, little things. Since "big" things are few in number and "little" things are very, very many in number, it stands to reason that our lives that...
OUR WITNESS AND OUR WALK ARE MANIFEST FAR MORE IN LITTLE THINGS THEN IN BIG ONES.
And our Bibles are filled with exhortations about them. Consider a quick sampling I grabbed in only a short time...
"Encourage the timid"(I Thess. 5:14b) - Some find it so difficult to get connected. But what great witness to Jesus when His people are always reaching out to those who are socially awkward, struggle fitting in, or don't think they count.
"Help the weak"(I Thess. 5:14c) - Everyday of our lives should be marked by helping someone with something! What a witness HELPFULNESS is of the love of Jesus, but especially to those who lack strength!
"Be patient with EVERYONE"(I Thess. 5:14d) - Some have had brain injuries. Some have had strokes. Some stutter. Some are developmentally delayed. LOVE is spelled, P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E and speaks volumes to others in regard to our confession of Christ.
"Always be kind to each other, and [to] EVERYONE else"(5:15b) - EVERYONE includes: the homeless, the addicted, the disturbed, the troubled, the guys who sell papers on Sunday mornings along the road, trash collectors, troubled teens, temperamental toddlers, rattling retirees, and EVERYONE in between. Showing kindness tells everyone - you matter... you count... you're important... you have value. What a witness that is!
"Be joyful always"(5:16) - Joy not a personality thing, though many seem to think it is. Joy is a love thing! Did you know that? Joy is a by-product of obedience to the 1st and 2nd greatest commands - LOVE God most, and LOVE others as ourselves. Joy is a by-product of ordering one's life this way...
J - Jesus... first
O - Others... next
Y - Yourself... last
Joy is attractive thing to be around. It is, in part, what being the "light of the world" looks like!
"Avoid EVERY kind of evil"(5:22) - Whether it is PG, PG-13 or R-rated sin, avoid it all! Don't tell yourself based on someone's rating, "It's not that bad." Let the thought that your Savior had to die for ALL kinds of sin keep you from letting some false, worldly standard make it seem acceptable or palatable. Christians should hate ALL sin! Why?
Our Savior had to die for EVERY kind! Never forget that!
"Greet ALL the brothers"(5:26) - No favorites... no cliques. Sure, everyone will have some special friends. But never let others feel un-special. Be balanced in how you relate to people. Your close friends at church and other places already know you love them. Take time to make sure other folks know you think they count too. Jesus has a special interest in the needs of the "strangers" and "wanderers" who come our way so we should too.
"We hear that some of you are idle. They are not busy."(II Thess. 3:11) – Stay busy for God. Be pretty worn out when it gets dark. Hit the bed pooped... because you loved, and gave, and served and cared during your day. Idleness is only a few seconds and a few inches from sinfulness because it's so easy for the devil to get too the idle. Hope this note finds you joyful and pooped after a good day of walking with Jesus in a giving, serving, humble, others first way!
"Give the enemy no opportunity for slander"(I Tim. 5:14b) - By walking faithfully with God in these 'little things,' we take away the opportunity for him to do that and greatly help the reputation of Jesus in the world! We are the only Bible the world ever reads! We are the sinners gospel! We are the scoffers creed!
"Be worthy of respect"(Titus 2:2b) - How? By 'little things!' Be prompt... be diligent... be courteous... be committed... follow-through... finish what you started... speak well of others... give and do your best... consider what is worthy of respect and pursue it!
"Do not be addicted"(Titus 2:3) - If partaking of it does not leave you free, you should have nothing to do with it! That thing is a source of addiction to you! Anything that you CAN'T do without once you partake of it or engage in it is the same as putting a pair of handcuffs on yourself and giving the devil the key. It was for freedom that Christ set you free! Stay away from everything that robs you of that freedom that your Savior died and rose again to provide you!
"Show that [you] can be fully trusted"(Titus 2:10b) - Be dependable! Does someone always have to cover for you... to pick-up your slack? If you are given something to do or told something to keep confidential, how do you do with that?
"Live self-controlled"(Titus 2:12) - Perhaps you are already enslaved. Well, give JESUS the credit He deserves! He is THE GREAT DELIVERER! HE SETS CAPTIVES FREE! ALWAYS HAS! ALWAYS WILL! But, don't seek Him for deliverance while at the same time giving yourself to do or partake of the very thing you are asking Him to deliver you from! That is hypocritical! Be willing to obey God and to finally confess you are wrong and see the thing from His right perspective and not your wrong and dishonest perspective and repent of the sin as sin!
"[Be] EAGER to do what is good"(Titus 2:14) - Eagerness is such a neat thing... and it is within reach of all of us. To have to be pushed or prodded toward doing what is right and good is the trait of mules! Let us never be that way! Let us be people so full of God's heart and love that you can't hold us back from doing what is good!
"Be subject to ruler and authorities"(Titus 3:1a) - Wherever there is authority over us, be subject to it. It dishonors God to do otherwise.
"Be obedient"(Titus 3:1b) - First and foremost, obey God! That is Christianity! But obeying God means being obedient to authority in life... whether civil, vocational, family, spiritual, or other. Be obedient. To not be obedient is to be rebellious.
"Be READY to do whatever is good"(Titus 3:1c) - Readiness is another important trait.
"Slander no one"(3:2a) - Don't put people down.
"Be peaceable and considerate"(3:2b) - Listen to others with both ears. Let them have their say, whether you agree or disagree with them. Let others be first. Open doors for ladies, brothers.
"Show true humility toward all men"(3:2c) - We look so much more Christ- like when we don't spout off or fight to get the last word or to be right.
"Keep... free from the love of money and be content"(Heb. 13:5) – Happy is the person who has learned the secret of being content. Those who have will always say the same thing... It has NOTHING to do with material things and everything to do with walking faithfully with God! And what a witness a contented life is!
"Do not forget to do good and to share with others"(Heb. 13:16) - Oh, let these things mark your life every day of your life! Do good! Share! Give! It is more blessed to give then to receive! And that blessedness will show in your face and bring your Heavenly Father much glory!
"And I want you to stress these things so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is commendable, excellent, admirable and beautiful to behold." (Titus 3:8a)
'til we finish the race,