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January 1 – The Little Church that Could!

Matthew 7:24-29

Do you remember the children’s book: “The Little Engine that Could?” A train full of toys could not get over the mountain to the children on the other side. What would they do? A shiny new engine was too good to help. A big engine would not bother. The rusty old engine was too tired. But a little blue engine replied, “I’m not very big, but I think I can. I think I can.” Puff, puff, chug, chug, went the little blue engine. “I think I can.” 

“Hurray, hurray,” cried the clown and all the toys. “The boys and girls in the city will be happy because you helped us.” And the little blue engine seemed to say as she puffed steadily down the mountain. “I thought I could. I thought I could.” 

There is a world full of people who desperately need to know God loves them. What will we do? There are shiny new churches and large mega churches who do great and mighty works. But what about the many old little churches who are tempted to say: “I’m tired and discouraged! I can not. I can not.” 

Once upon a time, there was one old, little church, once vibrant and full of life. Two people joined a Bible study where they expressed a need to open their little church to an after-school ministry: “With God’s help,” they said, “I think I can — I think I can.”

Soon, children were dropped off at the little church where they would be greeted with cookies, music, games and Bible study. Some of those children along with their parents began attending this same little church. 

One man in the community nearly died. While in the hospital, he made a vow to serve God and come to this same little church. A mother brings her family to that little church looking for a fresh start. They become a source of inspiration and motivation.

A new Bible study starts, but this time the little church has its own class seeking ways to serve God. One woman persuades her family into joining the Bible study, while another woman begins teaching youth in the Sunday school. They form a choir. 

“Hurray, hurray,” cries this preacher and people everywhere as this little church puffs steadily on. And God replies: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” The little church says: “With God’s help, we thought we could — we thought we could!” 

With God’s help, you can too!

Prayer Challenge: Old little churches who have lost hope.