When we begin to think about how big the universe is and how small we are, it can be easy to think, “Why do I matter?” Even within the context of the church, sometimes we may be tempted to think, “If I weren’t here, everything would go on as usual, and nobody would even notice that I was gone.” Today’s passages point to the fact that if everyone took that stance, or even if some of us take that stance, the results might not be immediate chaos, but the future would be very bleak.
It’s also easy to think at times, “I’m not in a position of leadership, so what I do doesn’t matter as much as what others do.” Nothing could be further from the truth. You matter. What you do matters.
Consider the church’s first deacons from Acts 6. They weren’t in a position of leadership yet, but their lives were noted for being “men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom…” Even when they weren’t under the microscope of leadership, they did what was right and everyone noticed.
Jeremiah pleads for the Lord to remember him and his passion for the Word of God – all this in the midst of God proclaiming judgment on His people because of their spiritual adultery. If God were proclaiming judgment against His church, would you be able to say, “Lord, please show your longsuffering! Remember my passion for your Word”?
Similarly, God’s judgment was against His people in Judges 2 when they went against His commandments and covenant. They took a careless, apathetic approach to their lives: “It doesn’t matter what I do, as long as everybody else does right.” This wasn’t a slow progression, but a reversion to their natural state, and the natural state of every one of us. “They turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord; but they did not so.”
John the Baptist is a household name, a well known figure, even in many pagan societies. His fame has grown far beyond what he ever intended. This is a guy who lived in the wilderness, wore animal skins and ate bugs and honey. Not exactly the picture of “star status.” For lack of a better word, he was a nobody. But that ‘nobody’ began teaching about Someone who was coming. He was “A nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody who can save anybody.”
Maybe you think that you don’t matter. Maybe you think what you do doesn’t matter. But God sees, and so do others. We have a responsibility to model and teach the next generation so that they can follow God, or we will find that in 20, 30, or 40 years, we too may have “another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done…”