Picture of Pastor Gettys

Sermon delivered October 23, 2004 by Pastor Donald J. Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version NIV unless otherwise noted. Divine pronouns and titles are capitalized.

Little Foxes

SMALL THINGS CAN BE ENORMOUS

I would like to speak with you this morning about little foxes--about small things, little things. One of our member said, "I've got coyotes behind my house here in Collegedale over here about a mile. Little foxes, little things. Are they important? You know, small things can be enormous. English King Henry the eighth sent a delegation led by the Earl of Wiltshire to patch up things between England and the Roman Catholic Church. The Earl went and prostrated himself before the Pope, who was sitting on his mighty throne, and he prepared to kiss the Pope's toe, which was proper at tyhat time. The Pope thrust his toe forward to receive the kiss. However, the Earl of Wiltshire had brought along his dog. The dog misinterpreted the actions of the pope, and as he saw the foot advancing toward its master, the dog dashed forward to defend his master. And instead of a kiss, the Pope received a dog bite to his toe!

The Papal guard was enraged and killed the dog. This enraged the Earl of Wiltshire who got up in a huff and returned to England. This led the King of England to break relations with the Roman Catholic Church and to align itself with the Protestant movement in 1534. In a further move away from the Roman Catholic Church, King James had the Bible translated into the English language. I doubt that we would have the King James Bible today, had it not been for a dog biting the Pope's toe! Little things can make a big difference, a big difference.

Think of a little nail in your tire as you are driving home from work, in a dark night in a pounding heavy rain. It makes a difference, doesn't it? Think of one pebble in your shoe as you are out on your morning stroll.

Come to the Song of Solomon in your Bible. Song of Solomon 2:15 says, Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. You see, the little foxes enjoy grapes just like Jesus enjoys fruit in your life and my life. And these little foxes can take away that fruit. So, guard yourself against the little things of life.

During the American Revolution, anti-British sentiment was so high that at one point the Continental Congress entertained a motion that we not be an English speaking country, but a German speaking country. And do you know that motion was defeated by one little vote! Had it not been for that vote, you and I would be speaking German today.

Did you know that Adolf Hitler was elected as leader of the Nazi Party in 1923 by one vote!

     Little drops of water,
     Little grains of sand,
     Make the mighty ocean,
     and the pleasant land.

     So the Little moments,
     Humble though they be,
     Make the mighty ages,
     of Eternity. -- (Julie Carney) 

In the performance of the lowly duties of life, you are forming a character that will stand for eternity. It is the little things that form our character. I've never been tempted to go out and kill somebody, and I doubt if you have either. But have you ever been tempted to do a little thing? "Whatever your duties may be, do them nobly and faithfully, realizing that all heaven is beholding your work."1

Do not under-rate the importance of little things because they are little. By action and reaction these little defects accumulate and bind themselves together become like rods of steel and you can't break away from them. So be careful, guard the little things that first start before they become welded into your life and you can't get rid of them. "That little action, that unguarded word, repeated, becomes habit...and habit constitutes character." 2 So be careful, guard the little things, the first starts, before they become welded to your life and you cannot get rid of them. Little things can destroy your soul.

LITTLE THINGS CAN DESTROY OUR SOUL

Ecclesiastes, back about two pages in your Bible. Ecclesiasted 10:1 (New Living Translation) says, Dead flies will cause even a bottle of perfume to stink! An ounce of foolishness can outweigh a pound of wisdom and honor. A little bit of folly, and it is all over. There are little things in our life that can cause disastrous effects upon our eternal future.

LITTLE THINGS CAN BE GOOD THINGS

Let's talk about the good of little things. You know, Sir Isaac Newton was led to his special, spectacular ocular discoveries by watching a little child playing with a soap bubble. And he made his humongous discovery. Little matters, little details can be great things.

Luke 16:10(KJV) says, He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much

One day I walked through tall grass. The next morning I was itching from dozens of Chiggers. It was the first time I have ever known there was such a thing as a chigger. (Chiggers are very small insects that have the habit of burying themselfs in your skin and they make you itch.)

    The chigger is no bigger
       Than the end of a small pin;
    But the itch that he raises
       Simply amazes,
    And that's where the rub comes in! 

Watch out for the tiny things in life that might spoil your testimony. Guard that hasty word, that burst of temper which may bring defeat. Put on the whole armor of God, that you will be able to stand. Do your Bible study, do your prayer life, do your witnessing life you ought to. Live life as Christ would want you to live it.

"There are few who realize the influence of the little things of life upon the development of character. Nothing with which we have to do is really small. The varied circumstances that we meet day by day are designed to test our faithfulness and to qualify us for greater trusts." 7

So be faithful in the little things of life. Honor Jesus in every action and in every word and every thought. Galatians 5:9(KJV) says A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough. I know there is bad yeast, but there is good yeast too. When you are baking bread, yeast is a good thing isn't it? Use good yeast in your life. Let the pure, holy character of Jesus permeate your entire being and change you. It will change you a little each day into the character of Jesus. You know, as pastors, we want a congregation that is like Jesus. And how do you become like Jesus? Little by little, everyday immersing yourself in scripture, immersing yourself in prayer, and doing some little thing for somebody else, living life as it ought to be lived. Those little foxes won't bother you; they will help you become more like Jesus. That is my goal in life, and I want that to be your goal too.

Endnotes:

1. Our High Calling, E. G. White, p. 228.

2. That I May Kbnow Him, E. G. White, p. 209.

3. Our High Calling, E. G. White, p. 227.

4. Christian Education, E. G. White, p. 217.

5. Pamphlet 096, E. G. White, p. 36.1.

6. Child Guidance, E. G. White, p. 129.

7. Patriarchs and Prophets, E. G. White, p. 222,223.

Sources: Adventist Review, January 26, 1989 page 5 Eugene F. Durand.

 Hymn of Praise: #2, All Creatures of Our God and King 
Scripture: Luke 16:10-12 
Hymn of Response: #492, I Would Be Like Jesus 



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