26 September 2012

"Little Is Much When God Is In It"

The subject of this article is the title of a beautiful and meaningful religious song. The lyrics are as follows:

“In the harvest field now ripened,
There's a work for all to do.
Hark, the voice of God is calling,
To the harvest calling you.

Does the place you're called to labor
Seem so small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He'll not forget His own.

When the conflict here is ended
And our race on earth is run,
He will say, if we are faithful,
"Welcome home, my child, well done."

Little is much when God is in it.
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There's a crown and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus' name.
~  Kittie J. Suffield
In Matthew 13:31, 32, we read the words of Jesus about small beginnings: “Another parable he put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, “which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” The church of Jesus Christ began small, comparatively speaking, with 3,000 souls being saved on Pentecost (Acts 2). The early church not only added members but “multiplied greatly” (Acts 6:7; 2:47; 5:14; 6:1). It is estimated by the time of the death of Stephen there were some 20,000 members in the city of Jerusalem. Rapid numerical growth among religious groups does not necessarily mean that God is pleased with their teaching and practices. There are ‘mega’ churches today that simply teach what is pleasing to the hearers and provide instrumental music during their assemblies that would arouse more emotionalism than true spiritual strength.

However, there are devout Christian men and women who will travel thousands of miles to begin a work in a Christ-less country and live for years in the preaching and teaching of the gospel of Christ. Such sacrifices are deserving of our financial support and prayers. There are Christian families who have moved to areas in our own country where there was not a congregation and they began worshiping in their homes and inviting friends and neighbors to visit with them. These dedicated Christians are to be commended for their faithfulness. There are several strong churches existing today because of such commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ.

And then there are churches in small cities and rural areas that are suffering the loss of members due to deaths and the moving of their young adults to large cities in order to find work. Of course there are some who become unfaithful and that contributes to the lessening of the number present for the various assemblies. The fact is that in many areas we are not converting others to Christ as in years past. The field may or may not be as fertile as it once was when people would allow you to have Bible studies in their homes and when our neighbors would attend our gospel meetings. Also there are ‘inner city churches’ that have suffered the loss of members who have chosen to identify with larger congregations in suburban areas where their children can be with other children of the same age group and where more activities are planned for the youth. Nevertheless, the small groups of Christians who remain faithful year after year are worthy of our encouragement for their steadfastness.

It is not recorded in Revelation 3:7-13 the size of the church in Philadelphia and that is not the important thing to remember about these saints. It was their faithfulness that mattered with the Lord. He said, “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name” (Vs.8). It is implied in this verse that the church in that city was few in number but strong in faith because the Lord did not find fault with them. The Christians had kept His word and had not denied His name. The Lord expressed His love for them (vs.9); they had persevered and He exhorted them to permit no one to “take your crown” (Vs.11). Finally He makes this promise to them: “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God
and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name”

Always remember it is not the size but the faithfulness of a congregation that is important in the sight of our Lord Jesus Christ. Read again the words found in the second stanza of the song, ”Little Is Much When God Is In It”:

“Does the place you're called to labor
Seem so small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He'll not forget His own.”

In conclusion, may these inspired words of the apostle Paul be inscribed in your heart when you become discouraged: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (NKJV, Galatians 6:9)