Living by the adage, “preach the gospel always and use words when necessary,” demonstrates the answer to the question. 1 Samuel 2:3 tells us “The Lord is the God of knowledge and by Him actions are weighed.”
There is a key inherent to fulfilling the mandate of the Great Commission, and it is as simple as keeping your word. Ecclesiastes 5:4 is very direct: “Don’t be slow to keep your promises to God.” Integrity and character will always speak louder than words. When combined with generosity, God’s attributes that include grace, goodness, kindness, mercy and love become manifest in the earth.
In Matthew 21:28-31, a man who had two sons said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard.” “I will not,” he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. The father then went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, “I will, sir,” but he did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted? “The first,” they answered.
Jesus said, “John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent (change your mind and actions) and believe him.”
Isn’t it time we all took action?
Beverly Mattox, Word Alive International Outreach
Words and action go hand in hand
What came first — the chicken or the egg?
That question is similar to the question Christians have struggled with from the beginning. Finding the balance between actions or words and which one is most important.
For St. Paul, articulated faith is a living faith based upon reason and inspiration. He wrote: With the heart one believes, and with our mouth confession is made to salvation.
On the other hand, St. James writes: “I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, ‘Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.’” Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.
“Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them?” (James 2:18-19; The Message translation).
Balance is found in the transforming grace of God, who changes our hearts and gives us something to live for. Living for God results in a fruitful life, which is revealed in what we say and in what we do. Actions without grace are just good works, words without grace are empty and hollow. Words and actions empowered by God make the difference in us and those around us.
Peter Hawker, First United Methodist Church, Anniston