A little goes a long way in the Kingdom of Heaven
We live in a world that quantifies success in size, fame and wealth–big followings, celebrity-level influence and big bank accounts. Even within the church, we can find ourselves putting big name pastors with wealthy megachurches up on a pedestal. If we’re not careful, we can fall into the dangerous trap of comparison, where we may mistakenly believe that in order to make an impact in the Kingdom of Heaven, we must develop a large following. But when we look at Jesus’ earthly ministry, we may be surprised to find that God uses the tiny and the seemingly insignificant to produce His glorious Kingdom.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”
Jesus’ famous mustard seed parable teaches us an important lesson about how the Kingdom of God operates in the world. Jesus compares the growth of His Kingdom to that of a single mustard seed, the tiniest of seeds and yet it grows into a remarkably large tree, the largest of all garden plants. The mustard seed is one of nature’s best examples of extreme growth and demonstrates that God is the God of small beginnings that end in big results.
Jesus Himself came into the world as a helpless little baby and grew greatly in favor with God and man. Not only was He seen as an ordinary man who was largely unknown to the world at the time, He was held in low esteem being from the despised region of Galilee. And yet it was out of Galilee where Jesus recruited most of His twelve disciples, started His ministry and performed His first miracles. Though few in number and small in worldly power and influence, the church was started by one man (Jesus), who discipled twelve ordinary men, who then discipled others through the planting of churches that has now grown into a massive family tree of believers that have changed the course of world history.
God delights in the quiet, slow, beneath-the-surface work that uses ordinary people to produce extraordinary results. Fellow Christian, do not underestimate the power of little ministries, "little" people, little acts of love or even a little faith. A little goes a long way in the Kingdom of Heaven. Be wary of comparing your God-given calling to another’s or seeing evangelism as a big marketing campaign that measures success in numbers. Not all of us are called into pastoral leadership or the shepherding of large groups but we are called to be bold witnesses for Christ and to be faithful stewards of what He has given us.
Remember, a little is a lot when God is in it and a little is a lot when you do it onto God with a humble and obedient heart. Take an inventory of the people, spiritual gifts and resources that He has given you and walk in obedience to God’s will for you, no matter how insignificant you may feel your impact is. The world is constantly telling us that bigger is better but Jesus is saying that less is more.