Summary: People won’t care what we say, if it is just words, with no actions...
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Facta non Verba
(Deeds not words)
From one of the songs at the beginning of the Midnight Oil meeting…
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say,
Lord, blessed be Your name.
Or, as Job put it:
Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him.
Though it is hard when someone you love is taken away from you, praise God. When your world implodes, praise God. Don’t give the devil your joy. Someone out there could be driven to the Cross or have their faith built up because of your sorrow…
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope
21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Notice how verse 28 doesn’t say “Wouldn’t it be great if God worked all things for good…” Instead, it says “And we know that in all things…” Though, in the midst of loss or suffering, it can be difficult to keep that in mind. But it is not “just words”, He will still be with you.
When my heart is filled with despair,
When the world does not care,
My soul is strengthened,
Because You’re there.
When I walk through the valley of the shadow
I’ll press on to the other side
I will carry on,
Because, You’ll show.
Where You lead me,
I will go.
Not just idle words…
I wonder how many of us have taken time of let’s say a long-haul truck driver, for instance. Going from town to town carrying their load to its destination. They pull into a truckstop, get some fuel, something to eat, and continue on their way. When they’re tired, they pull off somewhere to sleep. When there’s a bad storm, they pull off and seek shelter. Unless a place is filled to capacity, they usually make room for them…
How many people today are like that? They travel through life continuously on the move until they reach their destination. When they stop at a local church for fuel for their soul, or for rest when their soul is weary, or seeking shelter from a storm in life, they should feel welcome in the church or local ministry.
To go further, the people in the church must welcome people in. The church can have a discipline book full of policies about welcoming visitors, speakers can come in and talk about it, but if nobody follows the policies, they mean nothing.
Remember, deeds not words…
The group Casting Crowns says in their song “If we are the body”:
A traveler is far away from home
he sheds his coat
and quietly sinks into the back row
the weight of their judgmental glances tell him that his chances
are better out on the road
But if we are the body