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Our Words and Actions . . .

Our Words and Actions . . .

 Matthew's gospel contains Jesus' parable of two sons. The father told each to go work in the vineyard. The first son said no, but later he went and worked. The second son said he would go. but did not. Jesus asked his listeners, which one did the will of the Father?

I recall a film on television that included this scene. In that portrayal, it was a listening child who spoke up confidently, "The first one." That was the easy answer to Jesus' query and it causes us to reflect on the question . . . "Are we obeying the Father or is our 'obedience' in words only?"

 James' letter in the New Testament also asks a similar question about our faith (See James 2:14-26). The deeds that others see . . . speak to them louder than the words we declare. It doesn't take monumental actions to confirm that we care about them. Gestures are offered that we never expect to be acknowledged or remembered. Smiles, greetings, favors . . . all establish a personal bond that others can feel.

 Words are important and convey in specific terms our message, as well as our nature. "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing . . .." James 3:10 (NIV)  We should frequently revisit the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians . . . love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We are to proclaim the good news of Jesus . . . salvation, fellowship, worship, giving, and all the facets of our faith that make it precious. Our words are important and essential to our message; however, our actions confirm our love.

"What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.' 'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father 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." Matthew 21:28-31 (NIV)

 

Ray Newbold

 Professor of Forestry, (Ret.), Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana

Writer, OPEN WINDOWS; Deacon--FBC, Ruston; Mission Work: Mexico

 

eThoughts Team--Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. XII, No. 08-15RN -- Archived

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