Small Beginnings

We have a fascination with big.

Big Christmas trees, big gifts, big meals. Big is all around us, and we also tend to assign more value to the big things in life. I remember waking up on Christmas morning as a kid and seeing who of my family would receive the biggest gifts.

Interestingly though, I think God sees this very differently than we do. I can’t help but notice that as much emphasis we place on the big, God appears to draw His attention more on the small things. I love what Jesus says about this in Matthew 20:

“But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28)

It seems simple, but Jesus changed everything with this statement. James and John had just asked to be put in a big place of honor in Jesus’ Kingdom. They had their own idea of what it meant to attain greatness, and Jesus flipped it upside down.

“If you want to be a leader, you must first be a servant.”

I don’t think James and John were necessarily being arrogant by asking for a position next to Jesus. In fact, they wanted to be closer to Jesus, something that all of the disciples appeared to have wanted. They had a hunger to impact people the way that Jesus impacted people, so there’s no doubt God wants us to pursue big things.

But I think He also wants us to understand that something big in His kingdom might appear small in ours.

As we near Christmas Day, I am sure many of us are wondering how we can impact friends and family. Jesus began His impact by coming to earth as a baby. On top of that, He was placed in a manger as the first place for Him to rest His head. If anyone’s beginnings seemed humble and small, it was Jesus.

I think Christmas invites us to realize that God values things that are small. God can do something incredible with what you view as insignificant because small things leave room for God to move in the big ways He wants to.

We, like Jesus, can begin something big in others by doing the small things well. So don’t underestimate how a small smile, compliment, or invitation can lead to big changes in the lives of your friends and family. That’s the spirit of Christmas—the small making a world of difference through the power of God!

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