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'Christ in You...'

    by Dale Krebbs

The Small Things
Date Posted: August 4, 2019

"The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things?" (Zechariah 4:9-10 KJV).

Almost nothing gets as little attention today as small things. Small things - almost anything - gets small press! How many times have we heard "think BIG!" and "BIGGER is better", and similar phrases. Contrary to the warning in the scripture above, many do not hesitate at all to make light of small beginnings ("small things" - KJV). The setting of the scripture above is the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. It was Zerubbabel’s responsibility to lead the project. There was so much discouragement, criticism and outright disbelief that it could ever be done - it was an incredibly small beginning. There seemed to be too much distance between where they were, and where they had to go. The beginning was simply "too small"! Many had heard, and felt, the sting and disdain from others who would not believe something could be accomplished with so little.

So it is also, I believe, with living the Christian life...

Many of us had very small beginnings, spiritually speaking. Many of those who become believers in Jesus Christ begin with no Christian background, teaching, or influence. They are starting at ground zero. Our Christian heritage is fading. Many, as those of Zerubbabel’s time become extremely discouraged, and in time begin to doubt they are growing spiritually, or will ever do so! I recall receiving a letter from a woman who kept repeating "I just don’t see how we (she and her family) will ever make it...!" She had been a Christian for years, but she was discouraged with her spiritual growth, almost to the point of despair - the spiritual "things" in her life seem to her to be so "small".

The irony of this is that THE SMALL IS WHERE THE LARGE IS MADE. It is the parts that construct the whole. Consider the development of a fetus in the womb. Few things could have such a beginning. But WITH TIME, God weaves a complete tapestry of unbelievable intricacy that it seems a miracle. It IS a miracle! It is the same way with our conception, gestation, and final and literal "birth" into the eternal at the resurrection. Some continually look for some great personal spiritual milestone. They look for a sign, a benchmark, a moment when it all somehow "comes together" for them. But, to use some poor grammar, that is not "where its at". Our battles are mostly slow, grinding, and for the most part, won and lost (yes, we will loose some battles - maybe many) in the trenches of everyday existence. And so it is with our successes. Our Christian growth is, in the main, TINY, microcosmic knitting and weaving of our Master Creator day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, and SECOND BY SECOND, day and night. Even our dreams affect our spirits! He is recreating us with every breath, every movement of our bodies, every response we feel, or say, or carry out in an action. The Potter is very meticulous with the clay!

As this is taking place in our lives, we are being created anew. Some are being created faster than others. All had different starting points. I recall seeing a small folded 3 x 5 card on a minister’s desk that I have never forgotten. I was walking by his office (home) door and glanced inside, and saw the desk and the card, folded so it would stand up and display in large letters, "I DIE DAILY!". This was a partial quote from 1 Corinthians 15:31. It is a slow "death", the death of our old self, but what must be kept in mind is that as there is a daily dying to the old self inside us, there is an equally slow - even "small" - increment of change that is more like Christ! I believe most of us - if we are yielded to Christ - wonder if we will ever change from what we have been, and what we still are! Our progress SEEMS Soooooo slow!. I remember reading an article in a Christian magazine six or seven years ago in which the author, after writing several pages explaining why we should not sin, and proving that we must resist sin, and that sin is a "downward pull" of our sin-nature, and manipulated by Satan in his attempts to destroy us, etc. Then - he almost abruptly closed with this statement (I am not quoting here), that we should not sin. And then he said, "...but I can assure you, YOU WILL"! And that is WHY Jesus had to die...

We wonder (at least I do...) why did I do THAT, or WHY did I say that, and why did I think that!...that is the way I USED to think, etc., etc. Many of the old, twisted thought patterns, and even physical responses and personal dispositions I feel sure should be gone by now! - but many are not. Why do I have some of the same old feelings in response to other people or situations that come up in my life. This is not Christ-like at all! The overcoming that is there seems like such "small things"!

The reason there seems to be such small degrees of change is, paradoxically, that we tend to IGNORE "the small things" of the positive and negative. We let them slide because we somehow feel that the root of our problem is BIGGER THAN SMALL! We, at least subconsciously, have "DESPISED THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS", the "little" flaws, quirks, habits, and expressions. These things are manifestations of the sin principle deep within. Jesus said that it is out of our innermost being that these things proceed (Matthew 15:19). And those "small" things can lead to BIG things! They can become very large stumbling blocks! Small negatives can be the result of factors in our lives that seem relatively unimportant, but are VERY important to God (Jeremiah 17:9). This is subtle deception of our human nature, and is exploited to the hilt by Satan! Have we begun to be influenced by the attitudes of the world around us? Since these things seem so small, they tend to become blurred. To most of this world, everything just flows together, and is only big or small in importance in relation to getting what they want. This world sees white as black, and black as white - do we (Isaiah 5:20)? Often it is the very small things that cause the worst disasters. Many Space Shuttle BIG difficulties have been caused by relatively "small" flaws. This is true in the physical world, and is also true in our world of the spiritual. There is the expression heard in business administration that "the devil is in the details". This is very often true. Where is there a better place for Satan to hide and do his work, than in the "small things"? He is the least likely to be noticed there!

However, it is the small things that often really count the most - for both good and evil. They can contribute or inhibit our progress as Christ works in us. Therefore,.small things are a two-sided coin. A sensitive presence of mind is needed to watch, and examine BOTH sides. Much of our lives are experienced in seeming meaninglessness. Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as "meaninglessness". ALL things have meaning to God. All things are OF GOD, and there can be nothing meaningless in God. Sin is sometimes categorized or referred to by degrees. There are no "small" sins. Only the immediate effects that are perceived by degree (James 2:10). The "small things" that are evil in God’s sight will cause the growth in our lives to be "small". A scripture from Song of Solomon, although applied and understood in different ways, makes the point graphically: "Catch the foxes for us, the LITTLE FOXES that ruin the vineyards-for our vineyard is in bloom" (Song of Solomon 2:15 NET).

Be on the alert for "little foxes"! Our "vineyard" is truly in bloom...

This verse in Song of Solomon is believed by some to refer to a romantic setting. The principle applies directly to marriage. In marriage it is perhaps the "small things" that count the most. These small things - good or bad - accumulate through the years. As for those good things, a loving glance, an unexpected smile, and "accidental" touch, an unobtrusive acknowledgement that the other is simply THERE...even without words, or explicit deeds, or actions, in honor preferring, and deferring to each other (Philippians 2:3-4). These pyramid into one gigantic WHOLE of oneness - IF (Oh, how big is that "small" word "IF!...) the marriage is sensitive to not despising small things - the small GOOD things! How "small" are the words, "I love you!". Small does not get much BIGGER than that...small words, but a lifetime of results - and eternity to praise God for the rewards that will also be eternal.

Sadly, the very antithesis can be produced by ignoring the "small" sin that can undermine, discourage - and destroy (Matthew 13:31-32).

Then there is the daily enduring, the facing at times of even hourly challenges and stresses, the little irritations, abrasions, and buildup of the pressure of a "routine" day. Most of us can summon the necessary determination and sheer force of will to meet the "big" things. Ah! but those small, needling, harassing little details - those "little foxes"- of putting one foot in front of the other another hour, day, week, and...our drive and energy seems drained from our very being. Then if the pressure lets up long enough, boredom sets in! But we have all heard that an idle mind is the Devil’s workshop. Our glass is half empty (as well as half full).

NOW is the time - the consummate moment. Now is the time to draw close to Jesus Christ. Boredom and routine can be turned into a transforming experience, of prayer, reflection, meditation and PERSONAL praise. Many Christians today are so preoccupied with the processes of existing (the "little foxes"), that they hardly know who Jesus is anymore! - would YOU know Him if you heard Him, if you "saw" Him? Someone started the expression "don’t sweat the small stuff, its all small stuff". Take your "small stuff" to God through Christ and lay it before Him. In order to do this, you must think about the "small things". But take them to Him as WHAT THEY REALLY ARE. If they are sin, repent in open sorrow before Him, and He will forgive completely. He loves you - so He loves to FORGIVE. Then, He will comfort and encourage you. Again - there are no "small" sins. These small things also put Jesus on the cross! Share your small successes with Him. Talk one on one with Him, constantly, intimately. And above all THANK HIM AND PRAISE HIM!

We have all heard that the longest journey begins with that first SMALL step. One small step for us, but as far as God is concerned, a giant leap for our growth, and His glory! Jesus will not let us DESPISE or DESPAIR our days "of small things", if our hearts and minds are STAYED on Him (Isaiah 26:3). But remember, the Devil will be there, too...he has turned loose many "little foxes". Share with Jesus the small things of your life. He will lead you to the BIG picture! By drawing close to the Lord of your life, you can become one in Him, and Him in you - in ALL things of your days. Jesus will now become your ALL THINGS every day. We are the "house" - we are the "temple" now (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)! The knitting and weaving by the Holy Spirit will go on...and your clay will be formed in the perfect image of Jesus Christ! The "day of small things" have finally been vindicated...

JESUS' HANDS HAVE LAID THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR HOUSE; HIS HANDS SHALL SURELY FINISH IT, AND YOU SHALL KNOW THAT THE LORD OF HOSTS HAS SENT HIM UNTO YOU. FOR WHO HAS DESPISED THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS?

May we never ignore or "DESPISE THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS" again...(Philippians 1:6)

"Better is the end of a thing than the beginning of it, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit". - Ecclesiastes 7:8 AmpBible

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Biography Information:
Dale Krebbs served as an Elder, preaching, counseling, and conducting Bible studies for over 25 years in Texas, California, and Arizona. He is now retired, lives in Arizona, and continues the study and research of Gods Word.
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