As a seminary grad, I thought I was ready to have a job and do my part in taking Christ to the world through the local church. Six months passed and the only job offer I had was to work for four months as a secretary for a crusade in my city. I remember well the Lord whispering to me, "Do you have any other offers?" I reluctantly accepted the job and began to pour myself into the needed preparations. I knew I needed to be faithful with the small task I had been given. Looking back, I thank God for Jay Strack and Mike Ruth who saw my heart. They tolerated my non-clerical skills and took every opportunity to include and encourage me.
It was during a women's coffee for the crusade that my pastor's wife, Uldine Bisagno, decided I could be of useful service coordinating the new ministry to women at our church. At this time, there were few positions of this nature. I had no idea what might be involved. I was not a fan of tea parties or retreats, but she encouraged me to seek the Lord. Again, I heard the same words in my heart: "Do you have any other offers?" Again, I knew I should be faithful to what I was given. I have to confess, I still wanted to see the world come to Christ. Through the trials and the hardships, God honored my faithful service and within a short time I was a full-time "Minister of Evangelism, Women and Prayer" at Houston's First Baptist Church serving under the charismatic leader, John Bisagno.
"Faithful with small" became my mantra as God continued to open doors and increase my influence from mega church staff to a national position of "Women's Evangelism Strategist" at the North American Mission Board and then to "Director of Women's Leadership" and "Adjunct Professor at Southern Seminary." Today, I am blessed to be serving the Lord through my own ministry board. Anyone who knows me realizes that it has not been easy, but as I have been faithful with the small things, God has proven His faithfulness over and over again.
In Matthew 25:14-31, we read the parable of the men who were entrusted with talents (or money). One was given five talents, traded them and doubled what he had; one was given two talents and gained two more; but the one with one talent dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. To the first two, the master spoke these words, "Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master" (Matthew 25:21 and Matthew 25:23). In verses Matthew 25:24-28, you can read what he said to the one who buried his money, but we see the conclusion in verse 29, "For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away." While this parable is a direction reference to money, we can also apply the biblical concept to other areas of our lives. God rewards those who are faithful with the small things and faithful in that which they have been given.
We may wish we were in different jobs, want more influence or feel that no one knows or understands us. We can know that God sees our faithful service and will reward us. He wants us to be faithful with the little things and the opportunities that are before us. If I want to teach at my church and the only opportunity for me is to make coffee, then I need to make the best coffee and have it brewing early. It does not mean that we automatically get to do what we want; it does mean that God knows where we are gifted and when we are faithful to serve where we can, He will see (and allow others to see) and give us even more opportunities.
While God may increase our influence, He still calls us to be faithful in the little things. We never "arrive." Being obedient and faithful is a daily process. Having more to manage means more responsibility. We must continually rely on Him and His strength to live our lives in faithful service.
Think about it; how can you be faithful today, this week, and this month? What has God asked you to do that you have been putting aside? Let's commit together to look for ways to be faithful, regardless of who notices. Let's be faithful to serve even when we don't have a better offer. We don't know what God will do, but we can be assured that He will bless us for being faithful and committed to Him. There is no better offer!
Jaye Martin is the President of Jaye Martin Ministries and lives with her husband, Dana, in Houston, Texas. She is the author of You are a Masterpiece, and HeartCall: Women Sharing God’s Heart. She served as Director of Women’s Leadership at The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and has taught as adjunct professor and guest lecturer at several seminaries and colleges.