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366 devotional readings that will unlock the secret power to Abiding In Christ

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CALL TO OBEDIENCE #332

Reimar A.C. Schultze

Past Issues of the Call To Obedience

Would the lot fall on you?

"The Meaning of Christian, Then and Now"

by Pastor Reimar A. C. Schultze

 

"For who hath despised the day of small things?”—Zechariah 4:10.

     The answer is: certainly not God!  Let me talk to you about small things today.  Let me take you back to a personal experience I had about 30 years ago.  My wife and I pulled out of our driveway for Sunday church.  I had diligently spent hours in prayerful preparation for that morning sermon.  That was big stuff.  Prayer is big.  Prolonged earnest prayer is bigger yet.  I had also spent a few hours preparing my sermon.  Sermon preparation is also big.  By the grace of God, you and I generally handle big things quite well.  But less than a mile out of our driveway my wife remarked: Reimar, I forgot my Bible.  If Marcia has an earthly love besides me, it is her Bible.  If she does not have it, church is not the same to her.  I know she wanted me to go back to get her Bible.

     If you know men, you know me.  We don't like to go back for little things like that (unless it is for our personal need).  In cases like this it is easier for a man to drive 100 miles forward than 1 mile backward - especially when he is on a big assignment which is the result of big preparation.  The spirit of logic overtook me quickly.  Why, there are all kinds of Bibles at our church.  Why go back for her Bible?  The longer I thought, the more the wheels rolled, now in the wrong direction, the hotter I became inside; while Marcia just sat there calmly in a dreadfully unperturbed state of sanctification. 

     Before I traveled the first mile the Holy Spirit came to my rescue.  In the twinkling of an eye, He showed me that this was not about logic but about love and servanthood.  To put it more bluntly, it was all about me taking up my cross at this point and not getting to church my way, on my schedule but His way, on His schedule. This was not about me doing my big thing 20 minutes from now in the pulpit, but about me doing a little thing now.  The Lord showed me that if I did not capture every second on my way to church, every yard of the way, there would not be any anointing on my preaching when I got there. 

     I began to see that if we don't conquer the moments, we don't conquer the days.  Every moment is a sacred gift of God.  All the damage done by us; whether at home with our spouses or children, at school, at church or work; comes out of us having slipped up in a moment.  Every moment is a call to the cross and if we take up the cross in every moment we shall be transformed from glory to glory even by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:18 ).

     Can you hear the Word of God: "For who hath despised the day of small things?"  Did it ever dawn on you that the Kingdom of God is about little things?  From the human perspective the kingdom of God operates on reverse physics and reverse expectations.  That means in God's kingdom small things are big things and big things are small things.  This is why Jesus said "my kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36 ).  In God's kingdom bread may come from the sky, water out of a rock; iron may float, wood may sink; nothing has more in it than something; something may be nothing; a nobody is a somebody and the wise are fools. Kingdom laws are nature's laws turned upside down, they are supernatural.   In the Kingdom, littleness is bigness.  This is also true in reference to our social standing in the eyes of God.  So then who is the greatest in the kingdom of God ? Aren't you glad that the disciples asked this question for us?  Jesus was quick to answer it: He “called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as a little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:2-4).

     Jesus meant that He could do more with a little child than with a big man.  Hence, we all can become great, by us all becoming as little children in spirit.  We don't have to be tall, intelligent, rich, or famous to become great.  The kingdom of heaven is available to anyone who is willing to go to the bottom and remain there forever.  It is not getting to be above all people that makes us the greatest, but by humbling ourselves, by getting beneath them (Mark 9:31).  God is disgusted with our strutting around advertising all we have accomplished, all we possess and with our boasting of all the important people we know. Our credentials among men mean little or nothing to Him. He wants us to have credentials with Him.

     Twenty four hundred years ago the Greek philosopher Socrates traveled all over Greece to find a man who knew that he was nothing, he found none. 200 years before that God looked for such a man in Ezekiel or his contemporaries.  Yet He could not find anyone who was little enough so He could use Him to save a nation (Eze. 22:3).  The secret of greatness is in discovering the value of little things, yea, in discovering the greatness of nothingness. Everything comes out of nothing. The whole universe, all visible and invisible things, came out of nothing. What more is there in nothing that has not yet been birthed? Oh, what can God bring out of a man who is willing to become nothing?

     The greatest revolution in science and industry occurred in the last 75 years. For over 6,000 years man thought “the bigger, the better”: the bigger the horse, the bigger the machine, the bigger the army, the more powerful.  But about 75 years ago a few scientists began to think: perhaps we ought to look at some small things and see what's in them.  So they began to research the smallest thing known at the time: the atom.  The nuclear age was born.  The first atom bomb was developed.  Almost overnight men discovered this: the closer we get to nothing the bigger the bang.  They were inspired to look for something smaller yet, and discovered the electron.  The electronic age was born.  The medical people began to look at little things and found the genes and then the DNA that makes the genes.  Now all things being equal in the secular realm (which they seldom are), the nation that best understands little things - the atom, the electron and DNA - is the most powerful nation in the world!  Do you see the implications for this in the kingdom of God ?

     Two thousand years ago a rugged man clothed in camel's hair came walking out of the wilderness.  He became the greatest spiritual scientist the church had ever known; the greatest physicist, the Albert Einstein of the church.  He understood the power of smallness more than any mortal in all of time.  In a matter of days he had all of Jerusalem and Judah wrapped around his finger.  Although he rose rapidly to fame, he started talking about another man as if he was nothing and the other man was everything.  So after he met Jesus, he began the atomic age of the church.  He "split the atom" by saying: "he must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30 ).  And upon that discovery, I believe, Jesus said of him "there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist" (Matt. 11:11 ).  And then and there Jesus divided the church age, all of time, into the old and new by saying, “and from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.  For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John” (Matt. 11: 12 , 13).

     So we have missed something great!  We split the old age and the new age into BC, before Christ; and AD, after Christ’s death.  That is a worldly division of time.  It may have its place in secular history, but Jesus put time into BJ and AJ - before and after John. Then Jesus said, "the violent take it by force.”  It takes force to come to nothingness.  The entire carnal nature rebels against it.  Can you now see the bombshell?  "He must increase, but I must decrease.”  So John had the revelation of what the kingdom of heaven is all about, but Jesus gave the demonstration!  Here it is in Paul's words: “But he made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phi. 2:7, 8).

     From being above all, from the glory of the throne, He went to the shame of the cross.  From the comforts of heaven He went to the discomfort of a cave.  He emptied himself of himself.  He, himself, became nothing so that his Father could be everything in him.  That is why he said: "I can of mine own self do nothing!" (John 5:30).

The scientists have discovered the greatness of small things. When will the theologians do likewise? So, preacher, the anointing is not in the yelling but in the dying. Let none of us ever again despise the day of small things.

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