Friday, March 26, 2010

Pastor's Perspective - Getting Small

Two weeks ago while filming a television show in Rome, the world’s smallest man died – Pingping of China. A chain-smoker and reported ladies’ man, Pingping was declared the smallest man alive by Guinness World Records in 2008. He was just two feet – five inches tall. According to Craig Glenday, the editor-in-chief at Guinness, “For such a small man, he made a huge impact around the world.” The record-breaking company announced that it will name the new record-holder soon.

I think we all should try-out!

As modern-day Bible students, we know that many-to-most Bible principles fly directly into the flight path of worldly ones. For instance, if you want something, give it away. That enemies are not to be fought, but blessed and prayed for. That it’s the disciplined and self-controlled life that best exhibits freedom. That inner beauty trumps the outer kind. And, that the way to be noticed in God’s eyes is not based on how high you go, but how well your life clears the limbo stick.

One of my favorite biblical characters was John the Baptist. I plan on telling him that someday! Like Jesus Himself, John’s life and ministry were foretold in the Old Testament. Like the Lord’s, John’s angelic birth announcement was unforgettable. Even in utero, John was already reacting merrily to the presence of the Savior! From the beginning, John knew his mission in life emphatically, and he followed it diligently, despite harshest criticism. To the very end, John stood-up for the truth. He was unashamed of his allegiance to Christ, and everyone knew it.

What I love so much about John was, even though he could have used his unique credentials (including being Jesus’ relative) to elevate himself above his peers, he sought to become smaller. The motto of his existence was encapsulated in John 3:30 – “He (Jesus Christ) must become greater; I must become less.”

John reminds us of something we occasionally forget – that humility precedes exaltation. Our culture preaches the message of self-inflation. Its daily sermon through media is ‘The top is where the glory can be found. The top is where money, fame, and carnal cravings can be found and met. It’s a dog-eat-dog place. So step on whoever it takes to get there. Real life is about getting big!’ Tragically, most in our society are eager to hear this message and respond.

Friends, real life is found in taking-off the tux and putting on an apron. Fulfillment is found living daily with an eternal perspective. Successful living is found by the person who has settled the Lordship Issue once and for all and daily. Joy and satisfaction resonate in the life focused on God’s size and not its own. According to John, the only way to truly live is a persistent ambition for minuteness. For it’s in our weakness that He is strong.

I hear the saying, “Go big or go home.” Let’s modify that to, “Go small then go home”! That’s what John did. He lived daily with a realistic view of himself, and then he went home to receive his reward from God.

History has proven that humility always leaves an indelible legacy. Even Pingping proved that small people can make a huge impact around the world.

So, let’s get smaller together! I want to pastor the smallest church in northern California.

Remember, sometimes God can’t use us; not because we’re too small, but because we’re too big.

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