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Potential and Possibilities

October 24th, 2017

“Small things can have vast potential.”

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed which is smaller than all the seeds on earth.” Mark 4:31 NKJV.

My thoughts and comments today are about,

“Potential and Possibilities.”

No good thing that is said or done is inconsequential. Things that may appear small at first are not always as small as they seem. A simple, small seed can hold a world of potential. Jesus taught that, “[The Kingdom of Heaven] is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.” Mark 4:31-32 NKJV. God places high value on small things when they are the right things.

Every enterprise begins small, appearing insignificant at its early stages, except to those who see potential others do not see. Small things can have vast potential. They should not be disparaged. The Bible cautions, “Do not despise these small beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” Zechariah 4:10 NLT. And Jesus noted that, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” Luke 16:10 NIV. Faithfulness is learned in small things and responsibilities grow in proportion to reliability.

Little things are not necessarily little in value. By that I mean, some little things have amazing potential and could produce big results. For instance, a small seed holds disproportionate potential; a small idea can produce a profitable business; a small kindness can begin a long friendship; a wise word can change a life’s direction. “Now may He Who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:10-11 NKJV.

But also, I must warn that little things can also have big, unwanted, and unintended repercussions as well. While describing the effect of a small bit in a powerful horse’s mouth and a small rudder to turn a large ship, the Bible warns that, “Even so the tongue is a little member that boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles . . and the tongue . . defiles the whole body.” Read James 3:2-12 NKJVWords mean something. Words can heal; words can harm. They hold vast potential, both for the person who speaks them as well as those who hear them. An ill-advised word can disparage ideas, diminish incentive, or destroy hope.

Solomon addressed this negative potential with the image of a vineyard, “Catch the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.” Song of Solomon 2:15 NKJV. The vine is where growth and fruit are to be found; those represent your future possibility and productivity. Solomon knew that small things could cause great damage. Such causes are often unnoticed until after irreparable damage has been done. Most of us are not undone by big things. Those are more easily recognized and readily avoided. Small things are often our undoing: such as the road not taken, the opportunity overlooked, the omission unrecognized, the little temptation embraced, or lesser failure indulged.

The Bible says, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” Proverbs 3:27 NKJV. A special moments can be spoiled by inaction – an achievement not celebrated, an anniversary forgotten, a thank you unspoken, a kindness unappreciated, a person’s efforts not valued, and many other similar opportunities for good that are just overlooked. Such things happen every day. Small things as simple as one’s countenance, tone of voice, body language, attitude, or mere words can assist or resist progress, build or dampen enthusiasm, and develop or disparage an idea. Protect the vines; secure the fruit of blessing; determine to use whatever you have to bless others positively.

Today, I pray for you to celebrate the great and Godly potential in yourself and others.

Christian Communications 2017

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Spoilers

October 22nd, 2012

“Catch . . the little foxes that spoil the vines.” Song of Solomon 2:15 NKJV.

Small things appear insignificant except to those who see potential others do not.

My thoughts and comments today are about “spoilers.”

God places high value on small things. Every enterprise begins small, appearing insignificant at its early stage except to those who see potential others do not. The Bible advises, “Do not despise these small beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” Zechariah 4:10 NLT. And Jesus noted that, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” Luke 16:10 NIV. Faithfulness is learned little by little and responsibilities are proportional to reliability.

Not all little things are little. By that I mean, some little things can have big results – a small idea can produce a profitable business, a small seed holds disproportionate potential, a small kindness can begin a long friendship, a wise word can change a life’s direction. The Bible says, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” Proverbs 3:27 NKJV. Nothing good that is said or done is inconsequential. Small things should not be disparaged; they may hold vast potential.

But I must also warn that little things can have big, unintended and unwanted repercussions as well. James, while describing the effect of a small bit in a powerful horse’s mouth and a small rudder to turn a large ship, adds that “Even so the tongue is a little member that boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles . . and the tongue . . defiles the whole body.” Read James 3:2-12 NKJV. Words mean something, for good or harm for the person who speaks them as well as those who hear them. An ill-advised word can disparage ideas, destroy incentive, or dash hopes.

Solomon addressed this negative potential with the image of a vineyard, “Catch the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.” Song of Solomon 2:15 NKJV. The vine is where growth and fruit are to be found; those represent your future productivity. Spoilers, like small foxes, are often unnoticed until after damage has been done. Most of us are not undone by big things. Those are more easily recognized and readily avoided. Small things are often your undoing – the road not taken, the overlooked opportunity, the unnoticeable omission, the little temptation, or the lesser failure.

There are many tender moments that are spoiled by intention or lack of attention – an achievement not celebrated, an anniversary forgotten, a thank you unspoken, a kindness unappreciated, a person not valued, and many similar opportunities for good that are overlooked. Such things happen everyday in businesses, families, marriages, and personal relationships when the smallest things – someone’s countenance, tone of voice, body language, attitude, words, or even their silence – can assist or resist progress, build or dampen enthusiasm, and develop or disparage an idea. Protect the vines; secure the fruit of blessing; defeat the spoilers; refuse to become a spoiler for others.

My prayer for you today is that you will protect the potential in your life and others.

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Start Small, End Big

August 25th, 2011

“Who [with reason] despises the day of small things.” Zechariah 4:10 Amplified Bible

“Whatever God provides is enough for a successful beginning and a spectacular finish.”

My thoughts today are about “start small, end big.”

Lives are spent and irreplaceable time is wasted trying to gather and/or store up enough to make a great start; but is that ever possible, really? If you wait until you have everything you could possibly need to do what you plan to do, you probably will be left with too little time to do it. And if you never begin, one thing is for certain, you will never finish.

Whenever you are called of God, whatever God provides you is always enough for a successful beginning. Sometimes you may think you need something more of what you have or something other than what you have, but what you have is exactly what you need for your obedience to begin. Willingness is a good beginning. God says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” Zechariah 4:10 NLT. The Bible is filled with stories of individuals who found that what seemed so insignificant when they began became sufficient when they included God.

Needing more than you have? When Moses worried about going to Pharaoh on Israel’s behalf, he could recite multiple reasons why he couldn’t do what God was asking. He recounted everything he lacked until God asked, “What is that in your hand? Throw it down!” Exodus 4:2 NIV. Nothing much, except a shepherd’s staff. God always starts with what you do have, not what you don’t. Obedience and release makes ordinary things extraordinary in God’s hand.

That’s where God begins; such a small beginning, but one not to be despised. Moses could hardly believe what God did with a simple, ordinary staff. If you read the story, that is never again called “the staff of Moses.” From the time he chose to obey God, the Bible says, “And he took the staff of God in his hand.” Exodus 4:19 NIV. That staff parted a sea and released water from a rock. The key is trusting what you have into God’s hands fully, the same for you as for Moses. What he had was more than enough when Moses began to obey. In the story of Moses leadership, “the staff of God” was always in his hand! God is always sufficient; we are not. Read 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 NLT.

Needing faith to believe God for a big thing? “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen . . for without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to Him must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:1/6 NKJV. Begin with the faith God has given to you, “for God has given to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 NIV. How much faith do you need? You have the faith you need if you use the faith you have. Jesus said, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed . . nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 NIV.

Needing more resource than you have? You should see what Jesus can do with “five barley loaves and two small fish!” Read John 6:1-13 NKJV. Philip counted what they needed and pronounced it “not sufficient.” Andrew brought a boy with his small lunch, but decided, “What are they among so many?” Jesus began with what they thought was too small and multiplied it until they had too much. The little you have is a sign of bigger and better things to come!

My prayer for you today is that you place all you are and all you have in God’s hands.

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Small Things

March 16th, 2011

“Do not despise these small beginnings.” Zechariah 4:10 NLT

“Benign neglect may be little noticed, but is largely consequential.”

My thoughts today are about “small things.”

Be careful you don’t confuse something small as therefore being unimportant. Significance and size are not identical in most cases. Big is not always more important; little is not always less. There are times when a very small thing has major consequence.

This practical concept was written by Benjamin Franklin when the American colonies were at odds with the English Parliament, “For want of a nail, the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe, the horse was lost. For want of a horse, the rider was lost. For want of a rider, the battle was lost. For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.” Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1758. Such a tragic and irreversible loss occurred because of the smallest, needless neglect.

For good or bad, that’s very true in everyday life as well. A marriage grows closer or more distant, a friendship deepens or diminishes, a working relationship prospers or languishes – not usually because of large things, but by the small things such as: words said or left unsaid, kindnesses shown or withheld, courtesies demonstrated or denied.

That is also true of your spiritual life and growth. It is not the great things you do that propel spiritual growth; it is the simple, everyday things you never fail to do – Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, giving, serving, and Christian fellowship. Benign neglect may be little noticed, but is largely consequential.

The Bible uses the examples of a man’s tongue, a horse’s bit, a ship’s rudder, or a small spark to illustrate the power in the smallest of things, properly or improperly exercised. “Those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every way. We can make a horse turn around and go wherever we want by means of a small bit in his mouth. And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong. The tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.” See James 3:3-9 NLT.

God believes in the power of seeds. In the smallest acorn is contained all the potential of the grandest oak tree. In the weakest individual are all of the unlimited possibilities inherent in who God made each person to become. Since being a young man, I have been amazed at the simplest, yet most promising verse, “As many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even as many as believe in His Name. Which were born . . not of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13 KJV.

I don’t claim to know all that means or how that happens, but as little as I may understand as to how God does that, the possibilities are electrifying. See Ephesians 3:20-21. God sees in you all that you can become by placing your life entirely in His hands. See Philippians 1:6.

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin . .” Zechariah 4:10 NLT. God rejoices to see good things begun, however small they seem when beginning, because He “declares the end from the beginning,” is “the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end,” and is “the Author and Finisher of our faith.” See Isaiah 46:10/Revelation 22:13/Hebrews 12:2 NKJV.

The chronicle of your life will not be written by the months and years, but composed in the smaller slices of time, mere seconds and minutes. A small step in a right direction can take you on a glorious journey. A moment of decision can shape your eternal destiny.

My prayer for you today is that you will see what God is doing and rejoice.

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