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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Messages » Little Things

Little Things

With the warm weather we had this past week my mind is on gardening. I’ve mentioned quite a bit how that we have learned through our agrarian life. There is so much in scripture that is expressed through farming and living with the land. The first thing that comes to mind is the seed. If you’ve ever planted a seed of any kind you have witnessed a true miracle of God. When you hold a seed in your hand it feels dry and lifeless. You can hold a handful and they still feel dead! But if you’ll plant them in warm soil and give them a little water they will all spring to life. Jesus gave many examples of the seed. Let’s look at the parable of the sower in Mark chapter four.

Here we read a story of someone who is planting his seed and it lands on four different soils. Each place that receives it has a different result. Now, this is a sermon all to itself but for today we are going to focus on one thing; the seed. Briefly, the four areas are the wayside, on stony ground, among thorns and on good ground. Now you can imagine that a person who has land would want to make the most use of it. When we planted our garden there was one end of it that didn’t do as well as the other. The soil wasn’t as rich and deep and also there wasn’t as much sun that got to it. While it did produce, we had to work much harder with it.

Perhaps we spend too much time looking at the receiver in this story and fail to glorify the giver. You have probably heard many sermons and devotions on this parable. I suppose that the main intent of the Lord was to enlighten us since we are the soil. The seed was explained later as the Word (verse 14). As He taught from the boat to a crowd on the shore He has four different kinds of listeners. They all heard the same thing. It’s just that they responded to it differently.  What I’d like to point out is the simple word. It’s so powerful, the spoken word. When Jesus came to Earth he had all power to do His work and truly He did do miracles. But the thing that has remained for centuries is His words.

His Word abides forever. For three years Jesus ministered on this earth. He had no possessions which were left for us to place in a museum. The physical things which He could have done, to stand for time, were not done. For instance, He could have blessed a tree that grew for thousands of years. Or He could have miraculously created a building that never changed through time. Anything like that would have been made out to be legend with the passing of time and would have lost its importance. What He left was more lasting than any of that; His words.

Thinking again of the agrarian sermons, isn’t it interesting how a seed has life in it? Look at a kernel of corn. The plant grows and produces the ear. Then, if it’s dried it can be ground into corn meal and used for food. But one little kernel of that corn can be saved and replanted to produce hundreds more. There have been seeds found in the pyramids of Egypt that actually grew when they were planted. This small dead-appearing thing has life in it!

When God wanted to build a church he could have started with thousands of men. Instead, He chose twelve. When He wanted to spread the gospel throughout the land He had a few missionaries to use. In the Old Covenant, when He wanted Israel to overcome the Midianites, He used Gideon. In Judges chapter 6 you can read where Gideon, in verse 15, he describes himself as the least in the house of a poor family. Yet there is enough life in him for God to use and bring results. In 1st Samuel chapter 17 God used a little boy named David with a slingshot and rocks to save Israel. In 1st Kings 17 we see how God used a widow with a handful of meal to sustain a prophet.

In the New Testament we read where our Lord used a small boy’s lunch to feed five thousand. He made mud from spit and dirt and created eyes for a blind man. He told us that two pennies from a poor widow are seen in Heaven as a great sacrifice. In Acts we see great revivals because of a few men willing to stick their necks out.

Yes, the little things always turn out to be the most powerful, the most enduring, and the most important things. God has always used small things to do great things throughout scripture. But likewise satan has used small things, too. Look at the Garden of Eden. There were thousands of things that Adam could do and only one that He was forbidden from. That was the one thing the enemy wanted him to do. And he tricked him with a few words.

When Esau got weak he sold his entire inheritance for a bowl of soup. When Lot was fleeing Sodom, his wife turned back because of her love of a temporary home and a few possessions. Because of a coat Joseph’s brothers became jealous enough to sell him into slavery. When Judas betrayed our Lord he did it for a little money (about $50).When he revealed Him in the crowd, he did it with a simple kiss. And when the Creator of the Universe was killed it was with three nails and a wooden cross.

In Proverbs 24:30-34, Solomon told how he saw a vineyard that is overgrown. He pondered this and realized that it didn’t happen overnight. Then he tells us that it was a little sleep and a little slumber that caused it. In modern life we put great emphasis on things that are showy. Just look at what kinds of stories make up the news. It’s always the flashy tales of Hollywood stars and those with money. Indeed, it has to be a BIG story to make the news. Sometimes, when I read these I wonder why they are important.

But the untold stories are the real news. Think about your own life. What has happened to you that influenced you in a great way? Was it a big life changing event or the quiet things of life that you remember?  Did a teacher give you some kindness or maybe even hatred that influenced you? Those things often stay with us for life.

We often witness the little things coming back to people as tears flow from those who remember something from their past. We’ve seen grown men cry in front of Angie while she was spinning her wool. One man said his grandmother taught him scripture while she spun and he’d forgotten about it until just that moment. The smell of the biscuits cooking in the wood stove is enough to bring back some sweet memory for others. I once squatted down in front of a large fan in a garage to cool off during a radio installation I was doing in a truck. Within a few seconds I began to taste sweet tea as if I had a glass! I couldn’t understand what was happening and then a memory came back. My grandparents had a window fan that made the same rumble as the one I was in front of. My grandmother made the best sweet tea and I always had a glass in the hot summer listening to that fan.

How powerful are the little things in this life! I suppose that we won’t see the full impact of our influence on others until we reach judgment day. We often can see that good things have lasting effect but we fail to see that bad things are equally powerful, even if it’s a small thing.

For instance, we fail to grasp that a marriage will fall apart one argument at a time. In fact, any relationship can for that reason. We gain weight one spoonful at a time, failing to restrain that “next” bite. Wars between nations happen one word at a time. Men fall into lust one thought at a time. I often hear of someone whose life was changed and they always go back to a single moment when they made a small decision. What we fail to see is that making bad choices can lead us the other way for an evil end.

I have recently seen several men’s lives ruined because of pornography. It seems so harmless when it’s done. It always starts out as a small battle in a man’s mind. It progressively creates greater desire for more vulgar things. I watched an interview with James Dobson many years ago. He talked with Ted Bundy about what drove him to be a serial killer. It started with pornography. You might not end up a serial killer but you will end up being destroyed if you pursue pornography.

Young people often are lured into cigarettes. One at a time they begin. Perhaps it’s a “friend” that offers them one. Little by little they do it. On that first puff they cough. Then each draw becomes easier. Soon they are addicted. I’ve never seen an older person that didn’t want to quit. Never. Think about that…

Drinking alcohol is the same way. We often get into theological battles with other people about alcohol. It seems that some church people feel it is ok to drink if it’s done in moderation. Yet, doctors state that alcohol is the most abused drug that there is. One drink at a time is all it takes for the devil to hook you in. There was never an alcoholic who didn’t start out as a social drinker. Never.

Those two young men who did the killing at Columbine High School were driven one step at a time to do it. Beginning with video games of a violent nature and being propelled with gothic music the two young men were lead to an end of destruction.

Solomon tells us in his Song that it’s the little foxes that spoil the grape vines. We often see our vegetables healthy one week and the next week they are ruined by small insects that little by little eat away at our work. Had we daily watched and inspected the garden they would not have taken control.

The next time that you drive by a new car dealership look at the most expensive car on the lot. That car will end up in the junkyard in a few years. Time will take its toll on it. Rust will eat away at the fenders and wear will destroy the engine. Friend, your life is the same way. Little things will make or break you in every area of life: physically, mentally and spiritually.

If you decide to abuse your body and eat unhealthy things you will suffer for it. You might not suffer today or even tomorrow. But the little things that you eat do affect you. Pound by pound you can gain until pound by pound you will have to fight to loose it. If you decide to allow fear to control you, little by little you will loose control of your mind. Every time you have a bad thought you have to control it. Through time you will lose the battle unless you control your thoughts.

If you have a lustful thought it won’t appear harmful at first. But if you don’t take every thought captive, little by little you will loose control until you are destroyed. In James 1:14-15 we are told the steps of sin. The reverse of that is in Isaiah 28:10-11. Line upon line and precept upon precept is how we overcome.
The Lord gave us little things to do that bring Him glory. He said that we could give a cup of water in His name and reap benefits in heaven! He never asked us to build orphanages or stop wars between nations. He only asked us to deal with little things and even those are only for today. How often we get bogged down with dealing with too much! If we simply dealt with today’s trouble, He said it would be enough (Matt 6:34)

Friend, have you dealt with the little sins in your life? Have you realized the power that they have on you? Do you remember that every angry word; every lustful thought creates sin? That one little fox will surely do you in.

On the other side of the coin, do you comprehend that every small act of kindness, every good word and deed glorifies God? Every step that you take with a desire to do the will of God will cause you to prosper. Your life is a wall built of small bricks and those are laid one at a time. Those bricks are choices. The choices are done one at a time.

Today make the decision to notice the little things in life. They are surely the things that are most important in your life.

Zech 4:10 “For who has despised the day of small things?”…

Prayer-Father, I pray that we all might become more aware of the little things in our lives. May we see the effects a small act of kindness has as well as the effects of a negative word spoken. Show us where we fail You and show us when we please You. Then, may we all walk in Your path.

I                       n Jesus’ Name-Amen


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Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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One Response to "Little Things"

  1. Jeannie says:

    BEAUTIFULLY Written and shared, thank you… The LoRd has been showing me just that, to let go of the “things” and deal simply with what truly matters.. His Kingdom, I wish nothing but to serve my Savior… No matter the cost.. Thank you for this message.. I needed the reminder.

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