rforh Board Chairman, Randy Baker, share a message from his Pastor. It’s a good one!
By Randy Baker, Reasons for Hope
Recently my pastor blogged about this question from Zechariah 4:10: “Who has despised the day of small things?”
If you’ve read Zechariah, you’ve probably read right past those words without giving them another thought. I know I have. But “small things” or “small beginnings” is something we can all relate to. Although it’s sometimes hard to focus on future growth when we’re in the midst of small beginnings, we must remember that God works in great ways through things that appear to be small and insignificant to man.
What’s your “small beginning?” A job, a relationship, a project? Maybe it’s the beginning of recovery in health or from addiction? Or perhaps it’s the small beginning of a glimmer of hope in trials and tribulation. Whatever it is remember the Lord, and His mighty works and His faithfulness to you in your circumstances. Then ask yourself the question that God spoke to the prophet Zechariah:
“Who has despised the day of small things?”
By Pastor Eric Hausler
The last couple of days I’ve had this verse on my mind when the Israelites returned to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon and were discouraged at the smallness of the foundations for the new temple and the greatness of the task before them. The Lord sent his prophet Zechariah to encourage Zerubbabel and the people with the promises of His Word. As we head to South Florida to start a new church, the amount of work before us is like a mountain, but we believe the Lord will be faithful to fulfill His promises as we step out in faith.
I’ve been asking myself, why is it that we tend to despise, or look down on small things or small beginnings? What does the Lord have to teach us about ourselves in that statement from Zechariah 4:10 concerning the small beginnings of a new church plant?
Here are a few reasons I thought of, I’m sure you can think of more. We tend to despise small beginnings…
1) Because small beginnings don’t appear successful. We tend to like the big scene, the big program, the big building, the finished product, just as the people in Zechariah’s day. They scoffed at the small beginnings of the rebuilding of the temple.
2) Because small beginnings are hard. They require work and we are prone to spiritual laziness. In a small church plant, you can’t just blend in with the big crowd like at a big church and be an anonymous by-stander. Everyone’s participation is needed (1 Corinthians 12).
3) Because we tend to think the small things are unimportant. But every great work of the Lord starts out small! Small beginnings take faith in the promises of God, and we’d much rather rather live by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
4) We tend to despise the day of small beginnings because we’re often surrounded by negative, grumpy, adversarial people who prefer to find faults and delight in criticism rather than looking for evidences of God’s grace…and they discourage us! It was by grace that the children of Israel were brought back from exile to rebuild the temple, so Zechariah commands Zerubbabel to shout, “Grace!” to the mountains of rubble.
Those are some of the reasons we tend to despise the day of small beginnings.
So now, why shouldn’t we despise the day of small things? Again, I’ve thought of a few reasons: We should not despise the day of small beginnings…
1) Because this is how God works. In the natural world, God takes a little pine cone, and from it grows a mighty Sequoia tree. Through Abraham’s descendant, it was promised to him that all nations of the earth would be blessed. Through a rag-tag group of disciples, there are believers all over the world who trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ: His death and resurrection. The Spirit of the Lord was at work in them building His kingdom. Remember when the apostles were later persecuted in Acts 5, a pharisee named Gamaliel wisely stated, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men…I tell you keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” (Acts 5:35-39)
2) Because the Lord wants us to see His wondrous works and be able to later tell others of His faithfulness! (Psalm 105:2)
3) Because God desires us to see how He is faithful to his promises, “My house shall be built!” (Zechariah 1:16) ”I will be the glory in her midst.” (Zechariah 2:5) ”Sing and rejoice…for behold I will come and I will dwell in your midst.” (Zechariah 2:10) ”Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)
4) Lastly, we should never despise the day of small beginnings, because the Lord Jesus never despises that day! He delights in even the slightest glimmer of desire for His mercy and grace. He has flung open wide the door of forgiveness and says, “Come, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest! (Matthew 11:28) ”This is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise Him up on the last day!” (John 6:40) Praise God for His amazing grace to unworthy sinners who come to Him with even the smallest grain of faith in his promises!
By Pastor Eric Hausler
Please pray for Pastor Eric. Pray that God blesses his small beginning. May the church he plants grow and glorify God.
And, don’t despise your small beginnings, the small things in your life! Even things as insignificant as a tiny mustard seed may represent beginnings of a magnificent aspect of God’s Kingdom.
May we all find joy in our small beginnings, knowing that God is with us in all things.
Meet Randy Baker, Reasons for Hope Chairman of the Board
Dr. Randy Baker serves as the chairman of the board for Reasons for Hope. A native Grand Rapids, Michigan resident, Randy is a surgeon with Grand Health Partners of Grand Rapids, an Assistant Professor of Surgery for Michigan State College of Human Medicine and the Medical Director of Bariatrics for McLaren Northern Michigan Regional Hospital. He and his wife Dawn have nine children. Randy is also Christian apologist and speaker, and a gifted pianist.