Small Spiritual Beginnings
We shouldn’t despise small spiritual beginnings. They’re the rule, not the exception. An acorn weighs less than one-hundredth of a pound. It grows into a mature oak tree that is 300,000 times heavier.
Even more astonishing is the origin of the Giant Sequoia, General Sherman, which weighs about 2.5 million pounds. It grew from a flat seed the size of a pinhead enclosed in a seed case one-fourth inch long and wide. It germinated before Jesus walked on the earth.
Around 1986 a European commercial vessel unknowingly released zebra mussels along with its freshwater ballast somewhere in the Great Lakes system. These mussels were first discovered in Lake St. Clair in 1988. Scientists predict that the mussels may ultimately infest most of the fresh surface waters of North America from the Atlantic to the Pacific.1
Small beginnings can produce unpredictably colossal effects through the growth potential of living things. Or even through the reproductive process of nonliving viruses.
Whether the COVID-19 virus originated in a lab or a market, it ultimately infected more than 768 million people and killed more than 6.9 million of them as of July 26, 2023.2
In the spiritual realm, small beginnings can mushroom into world-changing ministry. The Holy Spirit’s power came upon 120 of Jesus’ followers in the Upper Room in Jerusalem (Acts 1:8). They were the initial fruit of Jesus’ 3.5 years of supernatural ministry.
I would have guessed He would have had many more than 120 by then. He didn’t. They were the first people to say yes to His will for their lives. It was a small beginning.
But it was exactly the right number to accomplish God’s purposes. After Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, the number who said yes to Jesus grew to 3,000 (Acts 2:41) in one day. Soon, it increased to about 5,000 (Acts 4:4). By the middle of 2023, it was over 2.6 billion professing Christians worldwide.3
That growth is the result of people telling people, who tell other people, who tell still other people about Jesus and what He has done for them. It’s continued for 2,000 years through an unbroken chain of people who have said yes to Jesus extending from the 120 to you.
The “good infection” of Jesus’ life is passed from person to person like COVID-19. We cooperate with God in that venture.
We can’t plant Jesus’ life in others, but God usually doesn’t do it without human witnesses. As a result of our witness, instead of many dying from the “bad infection,” many are saved, transformed, and filled with faith, hope, and love through the “good infection.”
So, how is the Holy Spirit of Jesus moving you to contribute to this worldwide extension of His kingdom? The answer is probably related to what you are passionate about and good at.
How can you use what you are good at and passionate about to further God’s kingdom on earth? Small beginnings, perseverance, and God’s enabling grace (2 Corinthians 9:8) can bear more spiritual fruit than you can imagine. I’ve experienced it. You can too.
My small beginning was saying yes to God’s call into vocational Christianity after resisting it for about five years. After that, I gathered life and ministry experience for more than 40 years. All that prepared me to write about 500 blogs after retiring from pastoral ministry.
Unexpectedly, God has used some of those blogs to touch tens of millions of people, mostly through boosted Facebook posts in the Philippines and five African countries. That is perhaps 5,000 times more than I touched through the 40 years of preparation.
It began with a simple (but difficult!) yes to God’s directing me from a secular job I enjoyed to a far more fulfilling life focused on bringing joy to others. Small beginnings can produce colossal spiritual effects. It begins by saying yes to God! #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources
See free spiritual growth resources for Christians at https://www.christiangrowthresources.com
God has equipped and empowered me to write His Power for Your Weakness—260 Steps Toward Spiritual Strength. It’s a free devotional discipleship resource. By the end of 2023, pastors will have used it in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia to lead people to Christ and teach the basics of Christianity to 2,310 people. I invite you to check it out. https://www.christiangrowthresources.com/his-power-for-your-weakness