"It's the Little Things"
Shep Johnson
Sunday, April 23, 2017

In Luke 19:12-26 (NLT) Jesus told a parable saying, “A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return. Before he left, he called together ten of his servants and divided among them ten pounds of silver, saying, ‘Invest this for me while I am gone.’”

  “But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We do not want him to be our king.’” 

  “After he was crowned king, he returned and called in the servants to whom he had given the money. He wanted to find out what their profits were.  The first servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made ten times the original amount!’  “‘Well done!’ the king exclaimed. ‘You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’”

  “The next servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made five times the original amount.’  ‘Well done!’ the king said. ‘You will be governor over five cities.’”

  “But the third servant brought back only the original amount of money and said, ‘Master, I hid your money and kept it safe. I was afraid because you are a hard man to deal with, taking what isn’t yours and harvesting crops you didn’t plant.’”

  “‘You wicked servant!’ the king roared. ‘Your own words condemn you. If you knew that I’m a hard man who takes what isn’t mine and harvests crops I didn’t plant, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’”

  “Then, turning to the others standing nearby, the king ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’ ‘But, master,’ they said, ‘he already has ten pounds!’”

  “‘Yes,’ the king replied, ‘and to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. And as for these enemies of mine who didn’t want me to be their king—bring them in and execute them right here in front of me.’”

  Jesus reminds us of many things in this parable, but one of the most important points that Jesus makes is that God honors those who are faithful in the little things.

  Admiral William McRaven, former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, retired from the U.S. Navy after 37 years of service.  Admiral McRaven was in charge of the operation that eliminated the notorious terrorist, Osama bin Laden.  McRaven was a graduate of the University of Texas and a highly decorated Navy SEAL.  Today he serves as Chancellor of the University of Texas.  Wow, what a resume!  So how does one rise to such places of prominence, power, and accomplishment?  Admiral McRaven would tell you that you must be faithful in the little things.

Isn’t that the point of the parable Jesus told?  Be faithful in the little things.  During a commencement speech at the University of Texas Admiral McRaven said, “If you want to change the world start off by making your bed.”  During his training as a Navy SEAL McRaven’s instructors would come into his room and inspect his bed.  It had to be made to perfection.  It felt absurd to make such a big deal out of such a mundane ritual, but there was a purpose behind it all.  McRaven observed, “If you make your bed every morning, you will have achieved the first task of the day.  Not only will it give you a sense of pride and encourage you to do other tasks, but it will also reinforce that the little things in life matter.”

  Only when we master the little things can we expect to have victory in doing the big things.  So it is with the Christian life.  Morning prayers, scripture memory, and small acts of kindness may not seem significant today, but Jesus said, “ ... to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given.”

Bro. Shep