Summary: There are a couple of saying attributed to Francis of Assisi that have always been troubling to me. Every time we hear something from a preacher past or present what are we to do? We are to search the Scriptures to see if it is so, so let's do so!

Was Francis Right?

Please stand with me as we go over our current memory Scripture:

Matthew 5:3-5

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

And our memory Scripture “refresher” verse is:

2 Timothy 2:15

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth.”

Today we will be reading from Psalm 145

This sermon is a re-hash of the very first sermon I preached here in Arcade on Wednesday, October 6, 2010. Pastor Karenlee and I were on staff at Trinity Church of The Nazarene in Rochester, NY and we felt the Lord calling us to come to Arcade.

We did not want to leave Trinity. We loved the people of the Trinity church but we knew that the Lord would also cause us to love the people of Crossroads as well.

After our phone interview the church board voted 5 to 4 in favor of having us come down for an in-person interview and worship service with the congregation. (Fortunately the DS did not let us know the vote tally!)

So, on that Wednesday night in October ten years ago I spoke about a quote that is attributed to Francis of Assisi and today we will take a look at that quote and another one attributed to him and the question is this … Was Francis right???

Quote #1:

“Do all you can to preach the gospel and if necessary use words!”

Quote #2:

“The deeds you do may be the only sermon some people will hear today.”

With those thoughts in mind, let’s go ahead and read Psalm 145

(Prayer for help)

Let’s just look at a few phrases from this Psalm …

- I will exalt You, my God the King;

- I will praise Your name forever and ever.

- Every day I will praise You and extol Your name

- One generation commends Your works to another

- They tell of Your mighty acts.

- They speak of the glorious splendor of Your majesty

- They tell of the power of Your awesome works

- I will proclaim Your great deeds.

And that’s just in the first six verses. And the last verse is like a huge exclamation point on the end of the Psalm when it says …

- My mouth will speak in praise of (Yahweh).

- Let every creature praise His holy name forever and ever!

Now, that’s just one little Psalm but this same sentiment is found throughout the Bible. So … what were the phrases attributed to Francis of Assisi again?

Quote #1:

“Do all you can to preach the gospel and if necessary use words!”

Quote #2:

“The deeds you do may be the only sermon some people will hear today.”

Can the Gospel be preached without words?

Is there any such thing as a wordless sermon?

First, let’s look at the Scriptures …

Philip and the Ethiopian (Acts 8:26-40)

(Tell the story in your own words …)

What if Philip had obeyed the words of the angel from God and had just gone down to the road as instructed to look around for someone who needed help with some manual task. What if he never spoke to the Ethiopian? What if he had never explained what was written in Isaiah about Jesus? Were words necessary? Were words important?

What if all of the apostles went on their missionary journeys but they only did good deeds and never proclaimed the Gospel?

If that had happened Christianity would be gone from the face of the earth!

What if our missionaries went out and only served others with their deeds and never told them about the new life and the eternal life that comes through faith in Jesus?

What if you lived in a house next to a person who knew nothing about Jesus? And what if the neighbor on the other side of your next door neighbor was a kind and well behaved Jehovah’s Witness? And, what if you both were helpful and kind to the neighbor who lived between you? And what if the Jehovah’s Witness told them about the teachings of the JW’s and you said nothing but just kept doing good deeds?

Where would that neighbor end up, in your church or in the Jehovah’s Witness with all of its heretical teachings?

Are words only to be used “when necessary”?

Are actions alone truly a “sermon”?

Imagine if a friend of yours was on trial for murder and you knew that he had NOT committed the murder. You knew that you had an ironclad alibi for him but every time the defense lawyer asked you a question you just smiled at your friend and gave him a “thumbs up” sign or walked over and patted him on the back. How do you think that would go? Would you be of any value to your friend at all?

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