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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Little Is Much

Every day, in every way - glorify God.

The Celtic Revival: Age of the Peregrini (10)

And this great favour was also conferred by God on that man of blessed memory, that, although he lived in this small and remote island of the Britannic ocean, he merited that his name should not only be illustriously renowned throughout our Ireland, and throughout Britain...but that it should reach even as far as Spain, and Gaul, and Italy...also the Roman city itself...

  - Adomnán, Life of Columba, Irish, 8th century[1]

“His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”

  - Matthew 25.23

How much influence for the Kingdom of God do you expect to wield?

Most of us lead ordinary lives. We go to work, take care of our homes and families, enjoy a few diversions, participate in church. Everyday stuff. Nothing spectacular. Mostly small stuff, really.

We’re not going to change the world. We’re just trying to do our jobs, take care of our business, get by. We’re just little people with little things to do. What more can we expect?

But as Francis Schaeffer reminded us, in the Kingdom of God there are “no little people.” A 1924 hymn by Kittie L. Suffield reminds us that “Little is much when God is in it!/Labor not for wealth or fame./There’s a crown, and you can win it,/if you go in Jesus’ Name.”

Which is exactly what Colum Cille did.

Colum Cille (Columba) served most of his adult life on Iona, a small and isolated island to the west of Scotland, only making occasional forays to the mainland to preach the Gospel to the wild peoples there. But when he was busy on Iona – teaching, working, writing, training his followers – he stayed focused on the Lord’s calling and was faithful in every matter that came his way.

He knew that, whatever God wanted to do in and through his life, it would begin on that small, isolated chunk of windswept real estate, with those few disciples who had assembled themselves to him.

As it turned out, Colum’s example, exertions, and exhortations became the impetus that launched waves of missionaries and evangelists from Iona to Europe, and built-up communities of holiness and scholarship in Ireland, Scotland, and beyond.

Now we don’t expect to be the impetus for founding monasteries or churches, or for commissioning waves of missionaries into the world.

But if we are faithful in the things God gives us to do, looking to Him, honoring Him, and showing His grace and truth to those around us, there’s no telling what He might do far beyond us, both in place and time. We are His joy-bringers to our world, and in today’s world, bringing joy to others is no small deal.

From the “little” of our lives, “much” good for the Kingdom can come. Little is indeed much when God is in it. And when you go into your Personal Mission Field, God is in it with you.

Is it silly or futile to think about such things? To hope such things? I don’t think so. We should each aspire to leave a legacy of grace and truth behind us, an ever-expanding force field of Kingdom presence, promise, and power that begins in our homes, pervades the rest of our Personal Mission Fields, and makes an impact far beyond us for many years to come.

Jesus, after all, is filling the world with Himself (Eph. 4.7-10). And how do we suppose He is doing that, if not through us, His people, and the myriad little ways we carry out our relationships and fulfill roles and responsibilities?

Jesus is filling all things in all things, flowing the life-giving living waters of His Word and Spirit through the likes of ordinary folk like you and me (Jn. 7.37-39). How can we not believe that God intends great things and mysteries in and through us (Jer. 33.3,)? How can we not nurture an expansive vision of what God can do through us, beginning from the little Ionas which are our everyday lives?

Do you dare to think or hope as much? Are you willing to seek God for it (Eph. 3.20)? We are commanded not to despise the day of small beginnings (Zech. 4.10). As Colum learned, and as Jesus promised, little is much when God is in it.

For Reflection
1. To whom is God sending you today? Are you ready to bring the joy of Jesus to them?

2. In which areas of your life do you need to see more of Jesus, filling and overflowing?

Psalm 96.1-4, 8-10 (Mit Freuden Zart: All Praise to God, Who Reigns Above)
Sing to the Lord! O, bless His Name! All nations tell His glory!
Salvation’s tidings loud proclaim; let earth rehearse His story!
For God is greatly to be praised; His throne above all gods is raised!
Fear Him, and sing His glory!

Bring off’rings sweet to Him, our Lord, in holy garments praise Him!
Tremble before Him, all the earth; among the nations raise Him!
The earth is fixed, it will not move; the peoples will His justice prove.
Exalt the Lord and praise Him.

Lord, my life may be little more than one small thing after another, but I trust in You to…

Three resources
Think your life is too small to mean much for the Kingdom? You need to read our book, Small Stuff, which can help to renew your perspective. You can order a free copy by clicking here.

Our booklets, The Kingdom of God and Joy to Your World!, can help you in working your Personal Mission Field. You can get them both for free by clicking here. Order copies for your Christian friends, and use the last chapter of Joy to Your World! to help them map out their Personal Mission Field.

Thank you
Thanks so much to those of you who faithfully support the work of The Fellowship of Ailbe. God uses your gifts and prayers to reach thousands of people every day in over 160 countries. We praise the Lord for His having moved and enabled you to share with us in this ministry.

If you’re not a supporter of this ministry, won’t you please prayerfully consider making a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe? Only God can move you to do this, and we believe He intends to support this ministry from within the ranks of those who are served by it. If this includes you, please seek the Lord in this matter. You can click here to donate online with your credit card or through Anedot or PayPal, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

T. M. Moore, Principal
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All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


[1] Anderson and Anderson, p. 233.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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