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(J R Miller, 1902)

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25: 31-40)

There are two classes of ministry in every life. There are the things which a man does purposely, which he plans to do, which he trains himself to do, which he does with special thought and deliberation. Then there is a wayside ministry, which he does without previous purpose, as he goes along through life, engaged in his allotted duties. This embraces the countless little things of common courtesy and kindness; the things done without forethought; the greetings and the amenities of the street – the words of cheer, comfort, or encouragement, spoken as men meet each other.


We are apt not to make much account of these wayside services; while we usually set a high value on the things we have done with care, thought, and preparation. Yet it may be, that oft-times the former are of more worth to God – than the latter. There is less of SELF in them, less thought of being seen by men – and more of the simple outworking of the heart’s love.

The doing of God’s will is always a great thing – whether it is something that affects the welfare of a nation, or something that concerns only the good or the comfort of the lowliest of Christ’s little ones. … We need to learn the lesson: that anything that is God’s will – is great; and that whatever is not God’s will – is unworthy and ignoble, though it be to sway a scepter over a nation, or being the world’s idol. Many of us have to spend most of our life – in what seems “drudgery”. Perhaps we think it is unworthy of us. We feel that we are capable of greater things, and should not be required to spend our time in matters so trivial, perhaps so menial. But if it is God’s will that we are doing, our drudgery, as it appears to God’s eyes, is as radiant as angel’s ministry!

Some people, when they think of how little they are able do to help others, despair of making of their life anything worthwhile. They cannot leave blessings in the world. They cannot speak words that will impress others, or write books that will give cheer, comfort, and hope to anyone. They cannot do kindnesses which the recording angel will care to write down to their account. But God can use the smallest deeds, the smallest words, even a smile which comes from a loving heart, in making the world happier and sweeter. Nothing that has love in it – ever perishes or fails to be useful.

“The look of sympathy, the gentle word,
Spoken so low that only angels heard,
The secret act of pure self sacrifice
Unseen by men but marked by angels’ eyes–
These are not lost!
The kindly plans devised for others’ good,
So seldom guessed, so little understood,
The quiet, steadfast love that strove to win
Some wanderer from the woeful ways of sin–
These are not lost!”

It has been said that “he who makes two blades of grass grow where only one grew before – is a benefactor.” He has done that which makes one small spot of the world, a little brighter and more beautiful. … We need never vex ourselves over the smallness of our opportunities; our only care should be that we use the opportunities that are given to us. Our one little word or kindly act, our one look that gives a moment’s cheer – may reap fruit for ages! We need not fear to waste our strength in the lowliest ministry, to wear out our life in serving others. Nothing is really wasted, which is poured out on God’s altar – in service of love for Christ and for His little ones!

(Article adapted from GraceGems Website)