“And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” (Matthew 10:42, New Living Translation)

A cup of cold water doesn’t sound like much, does it? It’s just a little thing. But to a thirsty person, a cup of water is important. And if that thirsty person is in an arid place on a hot day, that same cup of water becomes life sustaining.

When we think about our service to God, it’s easy to judge the importance of the task by how “big” it is. When we consider what qualifies as big, we often think of the type things others can see. Singing before the whole congregation on Sunday morning is big. Heading an important committee is big. Teaching before a large group is big. On the other hand, we judge some tasks as boring and unimportant. No one notices (we think), so it’s no big deal.

Dwight L. Moody said, “There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord, but few of us are willing to do little things.”

A friend of mine took it upon herself to come early on Sunday mornings to clean the glass entry doors of the church. It’s quite possible no one noticed the smudge-free glass, but it is also quite possible a first-time visitor would notice if the glass was fingerprinted and sticky. First impressions make a difference—whether a polished door glass, clean restroom, or swept carpet. Little things count, and my friend understood that.

Remember: Little does not mean unimportant.

Think of some of the “small” things recorded in the Bible.

  • The widow had only a handful of flour and a little oil, but it was enough to feed the prophet as well as her son and her during a time of drought. (Read I Kings 17:7-16.)
  • Dorcas probably never sang a solo in church, but she did use her needle to make garments for the widows and those in need. (Read Acts 9:36-42.)
  • Ruth took care of her widowed mother-in-law. Then God placed her in the lineage of Jesus. (Read Ruth 1-4 and Matthew 1:5.)
  • The widow only had two mites, but her offering exceeded everyone else’s that day. She gave all. (Read Luke 21:1-4.)

You may be waiting for God to give you something “big” to accomplish for Him. Could it be that He is seeing how faithful you are to the small things He’s already given you before entrusting you with more? Luke 16:10 tells us, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much” (ESV). If you can’t (or won’t) handle the small tasks, you certainly won’t be able to handle greater responsibilities. All that God asks of us is to use what we have. It may only be a cup of water, but that’s enough to make a difference.

“For who has despised the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10, NKJV).

Prayer: Lord, it is my desire to diligently and faithfully perform any task, great or small, that will advance Your kingdom. Open my eyes to the possibilities around me, even if only to offer a cup of water in Your name. Whatever I do, in whatever way I can serve, may it always be offered with humility and thankfulness. All glory belongs to You.


Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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