Summary: It is not uncommon to find people who get so wrapped up in details that lose sight of more important goals. Many Americans seem to become distracted by many things that may seem important at the time but in God’s bigger perspective are mere details
Keep God’s Big Perspective in Mind - (Luke 16:10-16)
It is not uncommon to find people who get so wrapped up in details that lose sight of more important goals. Many Americans seem to become distracted by many things that may seem important at the time but in God’s bigger perspective are mere details.
Illustration: In a 1991 poll, George Gallup, Jr., reported seven needs of the average American:
1. The need for shelter and food,
2. The need to believe life is meaningful and has a purpose,
3. The need for a sense of community and deeper relationships,
4. The need to be appreciated and respected,
5. The need to be listened to and be heard,
6. The need to feel one is growing in faith,
7. The need for practical help in developing a mature faith.
National and International Religion Report, May 29, 1991.
Illustration: As Vice President, Richard Nixon came upon President Eisenhower one day signing an immense stack of mail in his office. Mr. Nixon watched quietly for a moment and then asked the General how, with all that mail, he ever found time to think about the big problems of the country. Ike replied: "Dick, I really haven’t spent that much time on these letters. In fact, in some instances they probably don’t even say exactly what I want them to. But you’ve got to learn that, if you get bogged down in all the fine print and little detail you’ll never get anything accomplished as President.
Bits & Pieces, April 30, 1992.
Jesus’ ministry balanced the macroscopic with the microscopic concerns of people. Our Lord once said,
"He who is faithful in the very little things will be faithful also in much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?" (Luke 16:10-12)
Application: The Lord often determines whether or not we are ready to assume greater responsibilities by testing how well we handle details.
1. Jesus knew that a person’s faithfulness is not measured by the amount entrusted to them, but by the character of the person who uses things.
Application: Learn to teach honesty, reliability, and effectiveness through your lifestyle, words and teachings. When people see your fruit they will recognize your true character.
Illustration: It is common to find people who are only interested in taking on jobs that will earn big rewards while spurning smaller jobs. Everyone needs to learn how to be faithful, responsible and obedient in small things before they can be expected to be trustworthy with larger things. (Luke 16:10) Before Abraham Lincoln was promoted to the Presidency he learned how to chop wood for a penny a day.
2. Jesus showed the depth, breadth, length and height of His love by caring about little things that were important to people. One day Jesus was met by ten lepers who shouted,
"Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." They were all healed. Yet, one came back praising God with a loud voice and threw himself at the Jesus’ feet and thanked him. Jesus asked,
"Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" (Luke 17:11-18)
Jesus knew that people are known by their willingness to complete all of God’s expectations - big and small.
3. Jesus showed His perfect balance of the bigger and smaller ministries through His love for children. It was said, "People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said,
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Luke 18:15-17)
Jesus used children to illustrate how even the most powerful, the most educated and the most wealthy still need to humble themselves and demonstrate a total dependence, trust and openness to God’s will for their lives. Let the Spirit of God direct you to what is important at the time. "When He the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13)
4. Jesus illustrated great truth through the addressing of little people and their problems. Zacchaeus was a little man hated by a great number of people. Zacchaeus had probably paid someone a big bribe to get his lucrative job as a tax-collector so he was hated by the Jews. When Jesus paused to look up in the sycamore tree He said,