Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Intro: Yes, I know, it’s what they call an “old saying.” Ever wonder where some of those old sayings came from? Saved by the bell? Out of the frying pan into the fire? A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush? The squeaky wheel gets the oil?
Well, most of them are from right from life itself. We have found by life’s experiences that some things seem to be true, at least they will be true more often than not.
However, some “old sayings” go deeper than human life experience. So it is with this one: actions speak louder than words. This one goes so deep it gets to the heart of being a Christian; to the heart of being pleasing to God; to the heart of being ready for heaven.
This passage is a parable of Jesus concerning two sons.
I. A Reasonable Request.
- From Father to sons- that’s not unreasonable- we expect fathers to make requests of their sons & daughters; to expect certain things of them. Every father and mother has made requests of their children; happens every day several times a day.
- To work in the Vineyard- that’s a reasonable request- its not like asking him to drink the Red Sea or move the Mt. of Olives to a new location; to work in the vineyard is Do-Able; not too hard;
not too much to ask. Especially when you consider he was a son. The father had to hire laborers to work in the vineyard but a son needs only to be asked. After all, the father’s vineyard is part the son’s too; part of his livelihood depends on it; he needs the income it provides; it supplies necessities for his life- this is a reasonable request.
Even when he is asked to work in it Today- this task is a priority- it needs to be taken care of right now. That’s not too much to ask.
II. A Rebellious Refusal.
“I will not!”
Hear the Selfishness? I will not. This is not what I want to do; not what I had in mind for today. I’m not going to change my plans to do what you want.
See the Disobedience? I will Not! I know you’re my father but I am not going to do what you ask; I’ll do what I want
Feel the Rebellion? I Will Not! This son is rebelling against his own father! He is selfish and disobedient; and responds with a Rebellious Refusal.
III. A Ready Response.
“I go, sir.”
Hear the Willingness?
I go! There was no argument; no sighing; no huffing or puffing; no debate; not even questioning why. This son sounds willing to do what the father wants him to do.
Feel the Respect? I go, sir. He replied respectfully to his father, called him sir. There is politeness and honor there. Talk about a Ready Response. This son not only sounds willing to do what the father wants, he is respectful about it.
BUT then notice:
IV. The Reversed Roles.
One said, I will not! But Then he Did.
The other said, I go, sir! But then he Didn’t.
The First responded with Selfishness, Disobedience and Rebellion BUT he Reconsidered- He repented- he was sorry for his attitude- his words- his disrespect.
He not only reconsidered and repented, he responded with the action of Obedience.
He Did what the Father had asked him to do.
The Second son first responded with willingness and respect BUT he Delayed.
Chances are, he was Distracted by something else. That he really meant to go work in the vineyard but something caught his attention and one thing led to another and the next thing he knew, the day was gone and he had never made it to the vineyard.
So, Jesus asked his hearers, “which one did the will of the father?”
It’s true, our words are important. We should always guard our mouth; our words should be Kind- our words should be Loving- our words should be True- our words should be Respectful and Obedient.
But the fact is, Actions Speak Louder Than Words.
You can make all the promises in the world to God. You can say you love him; you can claim to be saved; you can claim to be his child; you can profess to be a Christian and claim to be on your way to heaven; you can claim to be Holy Ghost filled and Spirit led. BUT if your actions do not support your words- its your actions that are telling the Truth.
If by your actions you deny the Lord first place in your life, your words of allegiance are wasted.
If by your actions you live a worldly life, your words of commitment are wasted.
If by your actions you love the world, your words of devotion are wasted.
If by your actions others are despised, your words of love are wasted.
If by your actions you are lazy and apathetic in your worship of the Lord, your words of adoration are wasted.
If by your actions prayer and Bible time are neglected, your religious words are wasted.
James 1:22 Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
James 4:17 To him that knoweth to DO GOOD and Doeth it Not, to him it is sin.
Mt 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
I’m sure that’s enough Bible proof that actions really do speak louder than words.
Have you been saying the right words but doing the wrong things? If so, you need to repent and respond with obedience to the Word of God and Will of God. Don’t just make promises to God- DO what you know to do.
Maybe you have been saying the wrong words And doing the wrong things, but if you are willing to repent; you can turn your life of rebellion and disobedience into a life of faithful obedience to the Lord.
When its all said and done, what you and I have Done will determine what is said to us at the judgment. Will you hear Jesus say, “Well Said but Lost,” or “Well Done”
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Bro. Dwain Galiher
Pastor of JHPC