Actions Not Words

Recently there have been several protests in this country. People have asked for meaningful actions, not just platitudes and reassuring words.

It is an old saying that: ‘actions speak louder than words’. And we all get frustrated by empty responses.

But we need to remember that God asks for actions too.

Jesus said:

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Matthew 7:21

God asks for faith:

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6

But the apostle James says that true faith affects the way we live:

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

There is no way that we can earn salvation by good works, however virtuous and kind we may be. We can only be saved by faith in God and in the sacrifice of the Lords Jesus Christ. But this faith is a faith of action: a life of dedication to trying to please God.

So we must read the Bible to find out what he asks of us, and then try to the best of our ability to do it. Actions not just words.

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Freedom of Speech

There has recently been controversy in the press about our legal right in the UK to ‘freedom of speech’.

Not all countries allow people to express opinions in public. This is not new. In New Testament times the authorities instructed the apostles not to preach about the risen Christ.

Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood on us!

Acts 5:28

But the apostles, convinced of the truth of their message, refused to comply, saying “We ought to obey God rather than men”

Acts 5:29

We do have rights, even when our speech might upset people.

Nonetheless, there are legal limits on our freedom of speech. UK law prohibits hate speech, and words which would incite terrorism or offensive behaviour. Moreover, words which seem offensive to one person may be innocuous to another. And some people, while insisting on their own right to free speech, resent other people expressing their opinions when they disagree with them.

We should, of course, be sensitive to the effects of our words on other people. But above all, we should avoid offending God by what we say or, indeed, what we do not say. We all have opinions. But God sets the standards of what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’: ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

The apostle Paul told believers to be careful what they said, urging them always to encourage and to support spiritually:

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers

Ephesians 4:29

So let us all be circumspect in our use of free speech.


There are plans for urban regeneration in Ormskirk. Feedback is invited on proposals to transform the area near Moor Street. Perhaps some people might not welcome these proposed changes. Maybe not many will respond. And the plans may or may not go ahead.

A few miles away near Wigan there has been a lot of regeneration. In the 1930s George Orwell described the area as a ’frightful landscape of slagheaps and belching chimneys’. It would have been dirty and smelly. But now with investment and the power of Nature, there are lakes (flashes), woods, and grass-covered slopes. And there is much wildlife, evidenced by fish and a variety of wild birds.

God made everything ‘very good’. But what a mess we have made of this planet: some parts worse than others. Even more seriously, our disobedience to God (sin) has messed up our morals and characters.

Jesus referred to ‘regeneration’, when telling his followers about his return to rule over God’s kingdom on earth:

…in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life .

Matthew 19:28&29

The earth will then be transformed into a lovely place:

The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God .

Isaiah 35:1&2

And true followers of Jesus will have their bodies changed:

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to his glorious body.

Philippians 3:20&21

This awesome and unprecedented regeneration is certain to happen, because God has said so. We do not need to be consulted. But we have been invited to take part. Surely this is something to welcome and respond to.