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Friday, December 10, 2010

Micah: Though You are the Smallest

Bethlehem was the smallest among the clans of Judah. But God chose it to raise up His Ruler--King of kings and Lord of lords [Micah 5.2]. It's curious why God chose the smallest.

God, of course, wants all nations to be discipled for Him, but He chooses the smallest and sometimes the weakest. At a time when churches go crazy about mega churches and full-packed congregations, the "smallest" is disdained and disowned. We want our churches to be the biggest; the bigger the more "blessed by God," we believe. 

Yet, at a very crucial time, when God was about to do His most important move for all times, He chose the smallest in Judah. He chose the most undesirable of places--Bethlehem. Today, we can hardly grasp the wisdom and power in this. We are deceived with a "mega" orientation. 

God wants all nations discipled, but this does not mean we should have big churches. In fact, God wants well distributed numbers of congregations in churches, not a mad grab for members, a contest of who's the biggest congregation. When the Passover Lamb was prepared in the old days, God wanted no family getting a bigger share than it could consume, and no family getting a smaller share than what it can finish. 

If you had a small family and prepared a whole lamb your family could not consume, you were to share it with a bigger family that hadn't enough. Discipling nations for Jesus should follow the same principle so that no one disciple is either too underfed or overfed. There are church people today who are hardly properly discipled, one-on-one, because churches greedily take in more members than they can handle. It's because of the "mega" mentality. 

But God wants cells or smaller groups. Cells preserve the Jesus model of discipling believers one-on-one. This empowers people, not pack them into crowds where they never grow up but just get old. 

This does not mean we limit our discipleship to only a few. Far from it. We should make disciples of all nations, take in as many people to be genuine believers, but not greedily grab everyone to make your church membership the most numerous. That's what ministry most churches know today--capitalism evangelism, or imperialistic denominationalism, both reeking of worldliness. 

Big churches should share their membership with smaller churches, like breaking the whole loaf and distributing pieces of it to all the disciples so each of them can partake of communion. In the same way that every Christian is well nourished in a close-in Jesus discipleship. Would any church do that today, willingly distribute their members to smaller churches? I doubt. Thus, God will destroy man's churches. 

Micah says all Israel was abandoned by God until the time came when the virgin became pregnant and Jesus was born. All churches today are, in a real sense, "abandoned" by God until the church gets pregnant with the Word (as what happened to Mary) and Jesus is formed in her and reigns supreme. And this means every Christian is well discipled in the exact same way Jesus discipled His true followers.

Smaller churches or cells look weak and unexciting, but it is where God chooses Christ to be formed in believers. Though you are the smallest, out of you will be One who will become a ruler. God always have that inclination--opting for the smallest.

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