Summary: The church needs to move beyond just using words to impact the world. We need action to make an impact for Christ
Louder than Words
June 12, 2011
The old saying is true: actions speak louder than words
We are rarely defined by the words we speak. There are times when our words come back to haunt us but words are simply that just words. Words do carry power to build others up or tear others down. However, words backed with action have the power to connect with people, help others know God’s amazing grace and help us to become the kind of disciples Jesus wants and needs us to become.
When we make the choice not to move beyond mere words, we refuse to live a lifestyle that speaks louder than words. The moment that we refuse to not act in compassion towards others, we are refusing to become more like Jesus.
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
Compassion Demands Action
Jesus went. These words may seem insignificant but they speak volumes about the nature of Christ’s mission and ministry. The fact that Jesus went shows His active intent to make a difference, to meet the needs of others and to create connections with people. It is impossible to impact the lives of others from a distance. Jesus got up close and personal with people. Only when we have personal contact with others can we make a difference. The days of opening the church doors and expecting people to just show up are dead and gone.
How can we make a greater personal impact with those around us?
Care about people and show it
It is easy to say that we care about people but it is much harder to show that we care about people. A louder than words lifestyle means that we don’t just say we care, we show that we care. We reach out to those who are hurting. We stand up for those who have no voice. The reality is that if we are going to follow the example of Jesus, we have to move beyond just words.
Love others and let them know it
Love cannot be effective when inactive and silent. Love does what Jesus did – it goes out. Jesus went out to others. Why did He do this? Because He genuinely loved other people. Jesus loved people enough to let them. Love cannot be communicated through silence. God cannot ever use our silence. There is no way to remain silent and be able to communicate love.
Know the gospel and sow it
There is nothing that shows more concern for other people than sowing the gospel. Many times we feel unworthy or unprepared to share the gospel. The word gospel simply means good news. The message of Jesus was good news to those who heard it. One of the first avenues in sharing the good news is taking a genuine interest in people.
Here is one way to share good news – extend an invitation to church. Most people will take you seriously when you invite them in a positive manner. Invite people and tell them something good about the church. You must like something about this church or you wouldn’t be here this morning.
Compassion reaches out to those who need it most
Jesus brought healing
Jesus not only went out to those outside of His comfort zone, He brought them healing. Jesus saw a need and He met it. The church needs to have the same attitude. When we see a need, we do our best to meet it. One problem most churches face is that there are often more needs than we can be met. The point is that churches need to make the choice to meet some needs. We make a difference one life at a time, one need at a time. We may not be able to do everything but surely we can do some things. Jesus understood that impacting the lives of people meant meeting needs.
There is often an objection with this passage. The issue revolves around the issue of healing. Jesus was able to heal people but the church cannot. We do believe that God provides healing and can bring wholeness to people. The church can play a significant role in helping the healing process.
Remember every person carries some form of personal brokenness that needs healed. No matter how self-sufficient, how proud or how independent, these people are still broken. Brokenness requires healing that often only God can provide. Many times we look at healing as only a major physical ailment or illness being cured. While that is significant, it is far from the only display of healing that God performs. Jesus stepped to see the brokenness of people and to help make them whole. Jesus found needs and met them – healing, feeding, turning water into wine, raising the dead. Jesus reached out to people over and over again.