Praise God we had 3 people at the first gathering of True Life Church today!
You may say, is that all you had?
Earlier this year I heard a message entitled "Not by Might, Nor by Power" from Zechariah 4:1-14.
This phrase which bounces around in Christian circles- "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord" has held great power through the ages. That was the first point- It is about the Holy Spirit. He must be at the center of things. We can't do anything without Him. Our dependence must be on His guidance, not our own. This was a great reminder....
The pastor's third point looked intently into verse 10. In the story of the passage, it is a prophecy from the Lord about the completion of the Temple project by Zerubbabel. Listen in:
Zerubbabel is the one who laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me. Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel's hand. (Zech 4:9-10 NLT)
Embedded in this passage is that amazing statement--Do not despise these small beginnings. Actually in the original it is a rhetorical question:
Who despises the day of small things?
or consider this contemporary translation which gets the spirit of this question:
“For who dares make light of small beginnings?” (from the NET Bible)
The idea behind a rhetorical question is that everyone knows the answer. If I ask this: Isn't it true that the St. Louis Cardinals are the best major league baseball team in the country? Everyone knows the answer to that, right? GO CARDS! Now don't get side-tracked by my illustration.
The answer that everyone knows to God's question: Who dares make light of small beginnings? NOBODY. Small is the way things get started. From building the Temple to growing an apple tree, to growing a new church plant, it always starts small.
I was moved by this truth. Beyond that, I really began to embrace that this is the common sense design of our God for the way things work in our world.
In our culture of XL, mega and super-size, the small things get the shaft. They are overlooked. Maybe even despised by some. God's rhetorical question helps us set out to do the small things. To encourage our co-worker, smile at people on the street, pick up the laundry, make a meal for a neighbor, share more about Jesus in a conversation, etc... All small things, but don't despise those small things, they pave the way to bigger things.
Small churches ought not be despised either--from without or from within. Rather than bemoan what you don't have, look at all the benefits you do. You can know each other, reach out to many, serve each other and meet in all kinds of places and times. Don't despise the small things.... That's the way God made things to get started.
For who dares make light of small beginnings?
Pastor Paul Wellinghoff
True Life Church