The Accumulative Effect

Have you ever tried to catch a snow flake? How small and ephemeral they are! They touch your hand and quickly melt away. But before they do, we glimpse their intricate and wondrous crystalline patterns. How small is a single snow flake! Yet put them all together in a snowstorm—there’s an accumulative effect. Such small things can bring the hustle and bustle of daily life to a grinding (or should I say sliding) halt.

Does the impact of small things sound familiar? The kingdom of heaven is compared to a mustard seed that is planted and grows larger than the garden plants (Matthew 13:31-32). Jesus compares our little faith to a grain of mustard seed (Matthew 17:20, Luke 17:6). But Jesus goes on to say that faith can move mountains. God takes note of small deeds—the giving of a cup of cold water because of Jesus (Matthew 10:42). There is reward for even giving cups of cold water.

Sometimes great things happen because of one person’s faith, one person’s prayer (see Nehemiah 1:4-2:8). Nehemiah’s prayer and God’s providence in answering his prayer led to the walls of Jerusalem being built. Nehemiah didn’t do it by himself. Nehemiah chapter 3 names 43 work groups. Each individual in each group did a small part of the wall, but the accumulative effect was the wall was built. Each individual’s part was seemly insignificant, but the accumulative effect was transformative.

The world with all of its needs and problems is overwhelming. Yet, God has given to His people the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Have you ever thought, “What can I do?” Yet, I suspect that part of the answer is found in each of us doing our part and working together as a church. Like individual snowflakes our part may seem small, but the accumulative effect may change the world around us.

Don’t underestimate your participation in the life of the church. Don’t underestimate your presence in the assembly. Don’t underestimate your gift in the collection. Don’t underestimate your deeds of kindness. Don’t underestimate your attempts to share your faith. Don’t underestimate your prayers. Like individual snowflakes we are part of a larger whole. The point is simple: God can do wonderful things through the accumulative effect of all of us working together by faith.

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