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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"It Doesn't Go by Size"

September 4, 2005

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"Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit," says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

Mount Calvary, described in a hymn verse as a "mournful mountain" and in another as a "green hill," is not noteworthy because of size. Its height cannot compare with that of Mount McKinley in central Alaska, which is 20,300 feet high, the highest mountain in North America. Yet Calvary towers above McKinley in importance. It was once crowned by a cross on which Jesus Christ died to redeem the world from sin.

In God's plan of salvation, the effectiveness and final outcome does not depend on size--not on the dimensions of things He employs, not in the importance of people He engages, not in the number of people involved. In the Old Testament, Gideon and his 300 men routed the hordes of Midianites (see Judges 7). This made plain that it was God, not human beings, who effected the deliverance.

As little as God depends on quantity, so little does He depend on the quality of people He chooses to do His work. Jesus turned to a dozen ordinary men to evangelize His kingdom. God gave the treasure of His saving Gospel to frail men, to vessels of clay, to people who by all outward appearance were average, ordinary people. Yet troublemakers in Thessalonica had to say this of Paul and Silas: "These men ... have caused trouble all over the world" (Acts 17:6).

Also in our lives it is true that God gets His work done, as He said to and through Zechariah, "not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit" (Zechariah 4:6). This is the Holy Spirit who does His wonders through the simple Gospel we preach. As with Elijah (1 Kings 19:9-12), so also to us may come the experiences that impress us: strong wind, earthquake, fire. But God's messages often come to us in a "gentle whisper" (1 Kings 19:12), and His good gifts in small packages. All in all, as Jesus said, "a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" (Luke 12:15). It consists in being rich toward God with the blessings of forgiveness, peace, and a purposeful life lived to Christ's glory.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, show me the way and give me the courage and strength to continue my life's work when difficulties confront me. Amen.

(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)

Today's Bible Readings: 2 Chronicles 22    Joel 1    2 Corinthians 9

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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