by Peter Ditzel
Now, in all of this, I am in no way saying or trying to imply that I have anyone in mind who is not serving. All I am saying is that if we are led to do some small thing, let’s not give it up because we think it is too small or we are too inadequate.
As an example from my own life, there is someone here in this church who I noticed was serving without any fanfare, and I wanted to give this person some encouragement and say that I noticed. But I started to hesitate and think, “How can I bring this up?” And, while I was hesitating, this person said something incredibly encouraging to me! But it was an example to me.
1) If you feel led to say something encouraging, don’t hesitate, say it.
2) If you feel led to pray for someone, pray for them.
3) If you wake up in the middle of the night, as I have, with someone on your mind, don’t gripe that you are awake in the middle of the night. Pray for that person. You don’t know what is going on in his or her life. Your prayer may even completely prevent something from happening in the first place.
4) If you feel led to write to someone, do it.
5) If you feel led to volunteer for a project, do it.
I could go on and on with things we sometimes feel led to do, but reject for one reason or another. The Bible says, “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
I recently read (in The Odyssey of C. H. Lightoller by Patrick Stenson) of a ship’s captain who for some reason felt compelled to go 2,000 miles off course to go past a tiny, isolated island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. He thought it was crazy. His crew thought he was crazy. But he did it anyway, and when he got there, there were thirty starving and sick men shipwrecked on that island. He was able to save them all. And one of those thirty starving men was Herbert Lightoller, who was later responsible for getting many of the people who were saved from the Titanic into their lifeboats before the ship sank. And again, during WWII, Lightoller saved an additional 130 men in the evacuation of Dunkirk. So how many people did that ship’s captain really save when he was led to go 2,000 miles off course?
Let’s look at 1 Peter 4:10. “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” You men know what an exhaust manifold is. Basically, it is a pipe that branches into several pipes. This verse speaks of the manifold (the Greek word literally means “variegated” or “of various colors”) grace of God because God’s grace shows itself in a variety of gifts. All grace comes from God, but he gives us different gifts so that we can be stewards of His grace.
If God can use the refilling of a glass of water, the driving of an elderly lady to church, and the one memorized Scripture of a retarded young man to do great works, what can He do with your small gifts, however small they may be? You never know what God might do with one small act of kindness, one word of encouragement, one widow’s mite, some clothes, or five loaves and two small fish. Don’t ever think your gifts are too small for God.
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