Westminster Theological Seminary 1997-06-17 - Great Things

1 Corinthians 3:7, "So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth."

You can never know how your efforts to serve God will turn out. Someone once gave a shoemaker a tract. He in turn used it for a lining in the soul of a shoe. The shoe was in turn worn and later brought to another shoemaker for repairs. When the shoemaker began to work on the shoe one Sunday morning, he found a tract titled, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." It struck him like and arrow, he put down the shoe, went to the house of God, was awakened to Christian repentance, and came to peace with Christ. Whoever was passing out tracts that day never saw this fruit of his labors, but yet, God caused the growth. J. C. Lanphier was a quiet, prayerful man. He was appointed a missionary to New York City in July of 1857. He would pray daily, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" Someone suggested he start a noon-day prayer meeting, once a week, from 12-1pm. On September 23, 1857, he held the first of these. At 12:30 someone came, then another and another and at the end of the first meeting, six persons had come. He continued this weekly practice and interest grew, so much so that it became a daily meeting. From this humble beginning came the 1858 revival, the last national revival to occur in the United States. This revival spread over seas in 1859 and especially effected Ireland.

A lot of people have visions and dreams of doing great things for the kingdom of God. It seems that often "great things" are accomplished through those who are faithful followers day in and day out. Consistent faithful service to God is often what is blessed by God. And yet, there is no promise of great accomplishments by our daily service. Missionary Walter Miller ministered in Iran for over 40 years and never saw a single person come to Christ. So while God may cause growth through our faithfulness, He is under no obligation to do so. Our business is simple, live faithfully and pray that God would indeed cause growth.

"There is no guarantee that men faithful to God will be recognizable by their numbers, their talents, or their success." --Iain H. Murray

"Faithfulness knows no difference between small and great duties." -John Ruskin

Soli Deo Gloria,