Summary: Do not wait until you think an act of kindness is significant before serving someone.
Underestimating Small Acts of Love: Zech 4:10
Do Not Underestimate the Importance of Small Acts of Loving Service
“Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel”(Zech. 4:10).
Introduction: Occasionally, we all wonder if our efforts are making a difference. It is easy to grow discouraged thinking that our acts of kindness are insignificant. People need to know that what they are doing counts. The Israelites faced a similar problem when they returned from Babylonian captivity and began to rebuild Jerusalem as they fell victim to hopelessness. The people were discouraged because their numbers were small and their efforts seemed weak when compared with the accomplishments of their ancestors. When they started to rebuild the temple, they only saw how deficient their contributions would be and stopped working. Paul once wrote to the Galatians, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:9-10).
Application: It is not our responsibility to be concerned about what God will produce from our acts of love towards others. It is our responsibility to just act, not knowing the fruit. We are to “love our neighbor.” The scriptures do not teach to only love your neighbor if they are living the right ways and being responsible. Jesus taught, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Mark 2:17). So, if we are only helping out those who really need no help, our acts of love are in vain. The truth is that we all are in need of help and in need of a Savior. The problem is, there are many who cannot admit that. When we see someone in need, whether responsible or not, we are to show compassion unto them. Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40).
Jesus fed five thousand people with five small barley loaves and two small fish (John 6:10-11).
Lesson Learned: Little becomes much when we place it in the Master’s hand.
1. Faith gives meaning to small acts of service. Trusting in God means that we believe God can accomplish everything He wants through our lives no matter how insignificant it might appear in the eyes of people (small or large). Many people will not see the greater works that God has been working, through their small acts of love, until they get to heaven. The Lord is able to take the seeds of small acts of love, faith, and truth telling, and multiply them significantly. Jesus said, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matt. 17:20). Faith helps us see how God can use small faith to accomplish much for His purposes. Do not underestimate the power of a little act of faith. Do you trust that our God can use your little act of love to touch someone’s life? Remember, you don’t have to see the result…that is not trust. Just act!
2. Faithfulness in small things leads to promotions. Jesus said, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10). People who fail to be trustworthy in showing love, kindness, and service in little opportunities will not be give greater responsibilities in the future. Whoever serves God and does well with the little time, talents, and resources they have, will be entrusted with more blessings. The person who hides their talents, resources, or service abilities will never improve, but will grow stagnant. How can we expect God to enrich us with more if we do not serve him with what He has already given? One man put it best, “Use it or lose it.” Will you be faithful with the small responsibilities that God has given you?
3. Great things come from small beginnings. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants” (Mark 4:30-32). We are to plant seeds of kindness, truth, and love wherever we go. Allow the Lord to use your seeds to expand His kingdom and righteousness in qualitative and quantitative ways. The work of grace is always small in the beginning but it becomes great in the end. The seeds of the gospel may appear to be insignificant but will bring a harvest of righteousness. The Psalmist wrote, “He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him” (Psa. 126:6). Also remember that the Bible teaches “…one plants, another waters, but God brings the harvest.” Plant seeds that have not yet been planted and water the seeds that have.