Faithlife Sermons

Small Things, Big Differences

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Introduction

- Although this sermon might be a little late on the timeline spectrum of things I believe it is still applicable to what we are going through right now. If nothing else it will at least allow us to sort of get a fresh reset on those news years resolutions we had made. Maybe we have already swayed from them a bit and this will be a check on that for us.
- There is something about the New Year that brings with it a sense of hope, optimism, and faith. There is always this sense that this is the year that we can make some changes. I don’t know what goals you had set for yourself. Maybe you wanted to lose weight or eat healthier. Maybe you wanted to grow deeper spiritually. Maybe you want to get better financially or quit some bad habits. There is something about the New Year that just brings hope and this sense that this is the year we are going to make some big changes.
- When I look at the lives of people who are really good at a certain area in their life or even have it more together than I do in an area, I think naturally we think “what big changes do I need to make to get to that point”? There must be some big steps we need to take right?
- I have good news for you today. It is a comforting thought to know that it isn’t often giant changes that need to be made.
It is often the small things that no one sees that result in the big things that everyone wants.
Example of a super spiritual person.
Example of a fit person.
Example of marriage.
-Today what I want to do is build a foundation on this thought. We are going to open our Bibles to Zechariah chapter 4.

Context

Let me give you the context of Zechariah chapter 4. During the time this was written the temple was destroyed and God’s people were in captivity. It was a low point in history. There was no house of God and God’s people were not where they were supposed to be. In the year 537 BC Zerubbabel led a group of Israelites back to Israel so there was some hope. 18 years later God spoke to Zerubbabel and said I am going to give you the power to rebuild the temple.
Zechariah 4:6 NIV
So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.

It Is Not By Our Power

Here is the thing. You can try to change and you can try on your own power. You may even make some improvements by your own power. But if you will tap into a power greater than that which you posesss. If you tap into the Holy Spirit. He is made perfect in our weakness. Not by our might, not by our power, not by our effort, but by His spirit he can transform you.
Example of my horrible construction skills.
You can try your best all day long to make spiritual changes, but when you tap into the Spirit of God there is a strength much greater than that of what you can muster up on your own. What if we looked at it this way? This is the year that we aren’t going to try to make these changes on our own but rather allow the Spirit of God to work within us.
Zechariah 4:7–8 NIV
“What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’ ” Then the word of the Lord came to me:
Zechariah 4:7–9 NIV
“What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’ ” Then the word of the Lord came to me: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.
Zechariah 4:7 NIV
“What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’ ”
Zechariah4:7-8

Small Beginnings Seem So Unimpressive

I was able to read a little on the background and what I found was that the early building stages of the Temple were very awkward. If you read in Ezra there were times when people would visit the eary stages they would actually cry. Scholars argue differently as to why they cried. Some people say that they could not believe the temple was actually being built again. More people say they cry because they were emberassed because it was so unimpressive.
-Often times this is the reality that we see. We get so emberassed by the small beginnings.
Zechariah 4:10 NIV
“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?”
You need to put one stone before you put a second stone. God rejoices to see you active in the small things.
We often see people’s highlight real and we see our behind the scenes and we become so intimidated.
Example of great biblical heroes.
There is a book called “Wooden On Leadership”. It is about John Wooden who is one of the greatest coaches of all time. He won quite a number of national championships for UCLA. The interesting thing about John Wooden is that at his first practice he didn’t run sprints, or shoot free throws, or even do any drills. He slowly had his team put their shocks and shoes on.
It is the little things that are vital. Little things make the big things happen.

Our Vision

This is what we are going to be doing for the next 3 weeks. We are going to be focusing on the little things in our thoughts, our words and our habits.
Why are thoughts important? Look there is a flow through all of these things. Thoughts are important because they become words, our words become actions, our actions become habits and our habits create a destiny.
A person thinks in his heart so he becomes.
Words have the power of life and death.
Habits are what we become when we repeatedly do them.
There is so much power in a focused life. When you focus on one things there is so much that you can accomplish.
Look at the life of David. He was considered a man after God’s own heart and it was because he desired so greatly to be in the presence of the Lord.
Psalm 27:4 NIV
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
Describe Paul’s struggle and what kept him going.
Sometimes we can miss the one thing.
Example of Mary and Martha
Example of the rich young ruler.

What Is The One Word?

Philippians 4:6 NIV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
My word is PRAYER.
Philipians 4:6
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