Encouragement for Today - September 23, 2005


September 23

Encouragement for Today

(Principle  #5)


“Faithful with a Little”

Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries


Key Verse:


Matthew 25:21, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in chare of many things.  Come and share in your master’s happiness!’” (NIV)




Let’s play a simple game.  Without looking, can you name whose face appears on the one-dollar bill, five-dollar bill, and ten-dollar bill?  I recently posed this question to more than a thousand people in a church service.  I then told them to raise their hand if they could say without a shadow of a doubt the answer to each one.  The crowd looked around to see only three people out of a thousand raise their hands.  Odd, isn’t it?  These bills pass through our hands on a daily basis, and yet we live our lives so unaware.  Did you know the answers?


Washington, Lincoln, and Hamilton, in that order.


The point isn’t that we should pay more attention to money.  The point is that we must get to the place where we pay more attention to God at work in our everyday lives.  If we live each day unaware of God in the small things, we’re probably living unaware of His presence in the big things as well.  How vitally important it is for us to surrender our hearts to God and ask Him daily to reveal His plans and perspectives to us so we don’t miss His activity and His glorious plans for our future.  The Liberian Boy’s Choir is but one example that even our smallest sacrifices in obedience to God’s call can change the course of our lives forever.


It was a hot day at the orphan village in Liberia.  The soaring temperatures were inescapable, but at least outside there was a breeze.  The boys playing soccer in the field didn’t seem to mind the heat because the constant excitement of the game kept them plenty distracted.  The 12 boys inside practicing their choir music found their eyes wandering often over to the soccer field, where the promise of fun and the cheers of their friends tugged at them.  Was membership in the boys’ choir worth sacrificing their free time playing soccer?  In war-torn Liberia, every moment of fun was something to be treasured to each of these orphan boys. 


Choir practice paid off down the road as the boy’s choir was given the opportunity to tour the United States in an effort to raise money and support for their fellow orphans.  Little did they know that their faithfulness to such a small commitment would result in a number of the boys being adopted into U.S. families and given homes.  As they opened their mouths and sang from their hearts about the joy of the Lord, God opened the doors of families’ hearts all over the southeast to experience it firsthand.  Missing soccer to sing of God’s love seemed like such a sacrifice to these impoverished boys at the time.  But do you think they had any idea that this decision of obedience would one day lead to their biggest dreams coming true?  Could they have possibly known that so many other children’s futures would have been affected as well?  Certainly not! 


Like these young boys, so many times we are given the opportunity to do small things and make small sacrifices for results we cannot yet see.  We may be asking why God would have us do such a minor task or give up what seems like such a miniscule detail of our day, when all along He sees the pearl inside of the seashell.  Sadly, I think about the multitude of Christians who have decided they’d rather be comfortable and play games than get on with the adventure our souls were made for – living a life that requires faith.


Like the dollar bill question, are you paying attention to the details of your life to see God in the small stuff?  Do you see His hand touching the miniature parts of your day?  When we are willing to embark on a faith-filled life, God will make us more aware of His ability to provide in the small stuff.  We will never have everything in order, and faith can’t be dispensed like a can of soda from a machine.  Faith is learned.  It’s messy and unpredictable, and many times we stumble … but in these things we become aware of our desperate need for God.  And this is where He wants us!


My Prayer for Today:


Lord, increase my faith by teaching me to be purposeful with the small things in life.  As I am faithful with them, increase my trust to be faithful with the larger tasks coming my way.  Help faith to be a spiritual discipline in my life that becomes habitual until one day I am living it, breathing it, and walking it each and every moment. 


Application Steps:


Spend a few minutes meditating on today’s key verse (Matthew 25:21).  In your journal or with a close friend, share how you have been faithful with the small tasks that God has assigned you on a daily basis.  Use this time to really examine the potential masked behind these “small” and somewhat insignificant tasks, and discuss the long-term possibilities of their impact.  As you process this information, really begin to pray for God’s blessing over them and the future “happiness” that the Master has promised you will partake in!


Reflection Point:


In each role you play on a daily basis (ex: mom, wife, teacher, helper, encourager, friend, etc…), what areas need the most improvement in the “little things?”


Power Verses:


Psalm 106:4-5, “Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people, come to my aid when you save them, that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may share in the joy of your nation and join your inheritance in giving praise.” (NIV)


1 Corinthians 9:23, “I do all this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings.” (NIV)


3 John 1:3, “It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.” (NIV)



Additional Resources:


What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst



Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed, by Lysa TerKeurst



P31 Woman Magazine


Originally published Friday, 23 September 2005.