Faith is Works and Words
Jesus asked Peter three times, “do you love me?” Peter responded, “Lord you know that I love you.” And Jesus followed with, “then feed my sheep.” John 21
My Heavenly Father is asking me: “Teresa, do you love me.” “Are you feeding my sheep?” “How are you feeding my sheep?”
Physically, Jesus showed us how to feed his sheep: “For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me’.” Matthew 25:34-46
Jesus also taught us how to feed his sheep spiritually. We are to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” I Peter 3:15-16
I recently heard an individual state that it’s best to exhibit the love of Christ by our actions so we don’t come across pushy or offensive. I agree this is vitally important to how we witness, however, I believe the enemy is convincing the church it is sufficient to be a reflection of Jesus Christ primarily through works and daily living.
When it comes to bringing the message of salvation to unbelievers, I personally don’t believe that we should resign ourselves to the belief that “actions [typically] speak louder than words.”
Words aren’t always necessary to be a witness for one to be saved, but when we serve others with our time and resources it is a wonderful opportunity to share what Jesus did on the cross for mankind.
This post may be more for me than for you, nevertheless, I had to pause and evaluate how many people I know who have accepted Jesus as their Savior through my example. I must be honest with God and myself that I’ve seen few people come to know Jesus by my example alone.
I imagine there will be countless souls in heaven because of believers who displayed God’s love in their everyday lives. It’s possible there are individuals I’m unaware of that have turned from their sins and to God by what they saw in me. I may never know until I reach heaven, but I don’t want to enter heaven and find those that didn’t make it because I loved them in deeds only.
Too often we focus more on clothing the physical part of man and we fail to teach them the importance to be clothed in righteousness. When Jesus met the woman at the well, he didn’t offer her a glass of water, he offered the living, eternal water. A glass of water could not save her soul.
“Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” John 4:10-15
Honestly, few have looked at me after serving them and said, “tell me about the hope that is in you.” Few have said, “give me this water you talk about.”
It’s imperative Christians tell the Message as much as we live it. We have a responsibility to warn people that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
God is challenging me to find the balance to serve in works and words, but that my works should not stand alone when it comes to living my life for Jesus. People need to be given the choice to accept Jesus, “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard of him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15
I struggle to take the next step to ask someone if they know and want Jesus as their Savior. I want to love people enough but I don’t accept that it is enough to let my actions speak for themselves. Jesus is our example how to love as he loves, how to do as he did, and how to speak as he spoke.
- Jesus taught and healed Matthew 4:23-24
- Jesus began speaking to them about the kingdom of God and healing them. Luke 9:11
- Jesus “turned and said to them.” Luke 14:25
- Jesus said in Matthew 10:18 "This will be your opportunity to TELL them about me - yes to witness to the world."
How can we be bold in words and works?
“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart … Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” Colossians 4:2-6
Take time to read a Bible and focus on the writings of Jesus. The Bible can be accessed online in multiple translations; (biblegateway.com) however, most do not highlight the words of Jesus that are typically in red. The accounts of Jesus’s ministry can be found in the New Testament. Take time to learn how Jesus taught in words and works when attending to the needs of others. If you don’t have a Bible, find a used store in your area. Because people are using online Bible apps, printed copies can be found quite easily.
Prayer: LORD, thank you for your patience as I continue to make every effort to get the word out of who you are and what you have done for me. Help me to live a life worthy of your calling; not just in works and actions, but in my speech. As I devote myself to your Word, let it pierce my heart so, in turn, I will be courageous and intentional to tell everyone about your righteousness and proclaim your saving power that you alone are just. Psalm 71:15-16 LORD, I want to live a life of faith so people will see Jesus in me and they will hear about Jesus from me. Amen James 2