Little Steps Lead to Maturity

November 2, 2020

Acts 14

“Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.” Acts 14:23 (NLT)

Big Idea: Jesus builds his churches, little by little.

Sometimes life is full of highs and lows, but no matter how intensely you have felt, I suspect it has never reached the levels of Paul and Barnabas in Acts 14. Great multitudes were saved, then a handful of people sewed dissent until the whole city was divided. The people tried to worship them and then they tried to kill them. They went from popularity to being run out of town. What is most interesting to me is that God does not seem to build His church through these extremes but through the ordinary. Paul and Barnabas performed mighty miracles and saw thousands of people come to Christ, yet their real strategy was gradual. They led people to Christ, raised up pastors, and then left them to grow. After they had traveled elsewhere, they returned to encourage the churches they had already planted. The growth of God’s Kingdom was not done all at once, but a little bit at a time.

This is the same way that God matures us as individuals. It is in the everyday, somewhere between the dishes and the laundry or the coffee pot and the diaper bin that we grow up. When we are faithful in the little things, God tends to reveal the next step. We do not get the whole roadmap at once, but little glimpses as we grow. The extremes may happen, but it is the discipline of the ordinary that prepares us for them. Churches, families, marriages, and individuals are not built in a day, but in the gradual strengthening of a lifetime. Paul and Barnabas did their part and entrusted them to the Lord in whom they believed.

Discussion Idea: What little habits do you have every day? Every week? How do those shape your life?

Prayer Focus: Jesus taught us to pray “Give us this day our daily bread.” Pray for the strength and wisdom to face today, and the faith to leave tomorrow to God.