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Small Steps

February 12, 2020
by Vincent Walter   —   Audio controls are below the devotional to listen to this devotional or to hymn music while you read

For many years, I have enjoyed listening to Queen Elizabeth's message on Christmas Day. This past Christmas, the Queen mentioned the importance of small steps leading to great change. She said that this was consistent with the teachings of Jesus.

Indeed, there are many references in the Bible to this fact. One of the best-known would be the time that a young boy gladly gave his lunch to the disciples. In turn, Jesus used this small step to feed thousands.

Perhaps the most profound teaching of the consequences of small steps leading to great change is the parable of the sheep and the goats:

Matthew 25:40 – The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (NIV)

Imagine doing something kind to a troubled person, only to learn that you had done something for God Almighty!

Every day, we have opportunities to take small steps that could lead to something big. Here are two examples of the power of simple friendliness.

I am part of a growing market called "seniors". Many corporations are seizing the opportunity of building facilities to serve this segment of the population. Large sums of money are spent describing how wonderful each new facility is. Accordingly, it is common for prospective residents and their children to visit different facilities to see if they match their advertisements.

A lady who recently moved in to our facility told me that she had visited several where she felt unwelcome. In contrast, she said that the first resident whom she met upon entering our home greeted her with a friendly "Hello!"

Sylvia said that she immediately decided that she should move here, and she has been happy ever since. All the expensive marketing campaigns were less powerful than the small step of a person greeting a stranger in a friendly manner.

Once a month, our building manager has a meeting with the residents to inform us of anything significant. One of his announcements seemed somewhat strange to us. He requested that we smile and greet the mailman who delivers our mail faithfully throughout the year.

He explained that the mailman had said that he likes coming to our building because the residents are so friendly and make him feel welcome. Sadly, he said that this was not the case in other buildings that he serviced. Our manager encouraged us to keep up the good reputation.

The challenge for me and you is to keep spreading God's love in positive ways. Small steps like a smile or a simple greeting may seem very insignificant. They certainly are easy steps to take. But as the Bible teaches, we never know where they might lead.

Prayer: Dear Father, help us to be faithful in taking small steps to share Your love. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.


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Listen while you read: "Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" (Lyrics)

About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.


    How true, Vincent.


    As always, well written. Thank you.


    Thanks, Vincent, for this helpful insight.


    In trying to do bigger things, we often forget this, but it is so true. Thanks for the reminder, Vincent!


    Dear Vincent,
    Maybe this is just a rehearsal for the heavenly dwellings we will receive one day, not too soon?
    Nice thought.


    Yes, indeed. As youth some of us dreamed of doing amazing things. Change the world! Sure. One small step at a time. All the “programs ” in the world will not accomplish what small steps in the right direction can do.


    Dear Vincent,
    Thank you for sharing how important it is to reach out to others in a friendly way. I am glad that you live in a very warm and friendly place and I am sure you add to it also. Many blessings.


    Dear V. Walter,
    Thank you again for a teaching devotional.
    May we remember its lesson: Faithfulness in small steps to share.
    Keep writing,


    It works both ways with letter carriers in our building. The first time I checked for mail he was just putting mail in the boxes but when I opened from the front, he asked me to wait for a few minutes. He wanted to meet me in person and explain how he delivered the mail. He retired since that and things have changed but not for better many people donated to his retirement.
    (ON)


    Hello Vince,
    Thank you for another of your very special devotionals. Truly it is amazing how a simple act like a smile can lift the spirit of someone having a down day. There are many simple ways we can spread God’s love to others, and we may not even realize it at the time, but God knows and is aware of our actions. Just from reading your writings, it is easy to know that you are one who spreads a lot of joy and kindness to others around you in your residence.
    Bless you as you spread God’s love and word.
    (B.C.)


    Thank you for “preaching my sermon.” As a senior of 95, I shop where they have electric carts. Stopping in an aisle there are times someone will ask if there is something, they can get off the shelf for me, or someone else might walk on by when they see me making an effort to get an item. Then go to the checkout stand and the person ahead of me and may either begin but usually ask if they can put my groceries up. Mostly it’s younger men and rarely women. It’s also interesting at doors when people see my cane. The kindness is so appreciated and to the one who did something it’s no big deal. Part of my good morning to the Lord is –make me a blessing to someone today, and I don’t even have to know who or what I did. As you said, it may be a smile that make the day for a person who is deeply hurting, and it will be the only one for that hat or many days. We need to be ready to bless anyone at any moment. Let us cheer each one in our Faith and faithfulness.
    (Ca)


    This can extend to cashiers in stores, one of the most stressful jobs ever.
    A smile and thank you can make all the difference.


    Someone once commented that when I answer the telephone at home, I always sound so cheery. Well, how would you like to call someone, and they answer in a grumpy voice – especially when it’s a business and they sound as if they don’t even want to be disturbed. It doesn’t matter how I feel; I want to make the caller feel welcomed. Just a small thing, but so important.
    Thanks for your word, Vince.


    A friendly smile can go a long way.

 



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