I have to expand on yesterday’s post entitled, “Live Out Our Faith”, specifically concerning the quote…”Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary, use words.” ~St. Francis of Assisi
Let me say, I am so thankful for godly friends who hold us accountable to the perfect, infallible Word of God. Therefore, after pondering recent comments of some of my trusted Christian friends about this popular quote from St. Francis of Assisi, I went to the Scriptures to bring you this follow up. After reading what I have found, what do you say? Is his statement Biblical?
Let’s look only to Jesus Christ, our supreme example and notice that while there were moments He ministered to people with His deeds and miracles, hence, without a word, He preached the Gospel using words. Take special notice of verses 21 and 22.
Luke 4:14a, 18-23 and 32
14a And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee…
18 THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE HATH ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR; HE HATH SENT ME TO HEAL THE BROKEN-HEARTED, TO PREACH DELIVERANCE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERING OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET AT LIBERTY THEM THAT ARE BRUISED, 19) TO PREACH THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.
20 And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister and sat down, and the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him.
21 And He began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.
22a And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeedeth out of His mouth.
It is certainly necessary to be reminded that our walk can be far more influential than our talk. For what we do, can either support what we say or contradict what we say. Clearly, Scripture commands us to love one another, love our neighbor as ourselves, and do not just look on our own things but also on the things of others. (from Phil 2:4)
Living out our faith is vital, otherwise, as James warns, it is dead. (James 2:17; 2:20; 2:26) Living out our faith means having a faith that is alive and working; application of the Truth; obedient to God’s commands.
But, we must also be sure to follow Christ’s example and open our mouths to preach, teach, and give the Gospel. Go. Tell. He that hath ears, let him hear.
May I suggest two good word studies would be “tell” and “hear” and I hope you have been able to study the passages given in our first post, “Live Out Our Faith”!
It has been so powerful for me to see over and over again how vital it is for me to love others as myself. I am reminded of how young Katie Davis, missionary in Uganda, foster and adoptive (and homeschooling!) mother of 13 daughters, and the founder of Amazima Ministries, put it simply, “myself doesn’t want to be starving, so I don’t want others to starve.”
As one last admonition for you and I to live out our faith, I close with this from Jesus in Matthew 25:35-45. I cannot read it without a lump in my throat, and a broken heart. Please, if you can, read it out loud. It will be much more powerful.
35-36 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.”
37-39 Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?”
40 The King will answer and say to them,”Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”
41-43 Then He will also say to those on His left, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.”
44 Then they themselves also will answer, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?”
45 Then He will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.”
Let’s not forget to be a light in this dark world. People need the LORD!