Gospel Insights

by Michael Smith


Chapter Thirty Three


Please read Zechariah 4:8-10


We should never be discouraged if we think God is asking us to do a seemingly small or insignificant thing for Him, because in time, that work may yield a great harvest.  One seed when planted will grow and yield thirty, sixty, or one hundred fold.

The laying of one foundation stone for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple by Zerubbabel the Governor may have seemed a very small thing, but Zerubbabel had God's assurance that the temple would be completed and it actually stood for many centuries before it was eventually destroyed by the Romans in AD70.  And the Jewish people, exiled in Babylon for seventy years, "shouted with a great shout" as it was laid [1]; they rejoiced and praised and thanked the Lord because they knew that this was the beginning of God removing the disgrace of the exile from His People and restoring Jerusalem.  More than that, Zechariah records that it heralded God's promise to Joshua the high priest that He would soon send His "servant the BRANCH", i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ who would save the people from their sins [2].

The apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, penned many of his epistles while languishing in prison, but down the centuries many millions of believers have read his letters to the fledgling Christian churches of the first century and been greatly blessed and encouraged by them.  What seemed but a small beginning in adverse circumstances has actually yielded a great and godly harvest.  As with the building of the temple, it was God Who gave the increase.

In 2007, aged 95, the Reverend Chad Varah died.  In 1935 as an assistant curate he took his first church service: the funeral of a fourteen-year-old girl who had taken her own life because she had started in the monthly way of women and feared she had a sexually transmitted disease, but had no-one to turn to for help.  The girl's death weighed heavily on Rev. Varah and in 1953 he opened one phone line in the crypt of his church for anyone desperate and contemplating suicide to speak with him in confidence.  This was the start of the Samaritans which now has thousands of groups of helpers who can be contacted confidentially by phone.  This small beginning has since resulted in many thousands of people now living who may otherwise have committed suicide.

My little book, Walking With Jesus, started as a sheet of paper on which were typed various notes towards some talks to be given to just a handful of folk in a short series of Bible studies.  But the number of sheets grew and in 2002 they became a book that has reached, to date, over 14,000 people both in this country and abroad.

Don't despise the day of small things and humble beginnings and don't underestimate the Lord's plans for you!  God may ask us to do something small for Him and if we obey Him, He can bring a very big harvest from it.  It may even be as small as a cup of tea and a chat with someone you know who needs to talk.  It may be prayer support for a neighbour in need.  We are never too young or too old for God to use us, and we must never feel something is too small to be bothered with doing.



[1]  Ezra 3:8-13.          [2]  Zechariah 3:1-9.




Chapter Thirty Two   |   Chapter Thirty Four   |   Back to Contents



Michael Smith 2013