“I don’t know what happened, but I’m really sorry,” Ricky said to us one morning. “I hate to have to tell you, but I don’t have any fresh coffee this morning.”
“I’m sure the world is not going to come to an end over not having any fresh coffee,” Stan replied, “and there’s probably a good excuse somewhere.”
“Thanks for your understanding,” Ricky replied. “The guy we order the coffee from said he would have it here before we opened this morning, but he didn’t come through.”
After Ricky left with our orders for breakfast, Stan said, “That happens a lot.”
“What happens a lot?”
“People don’t do what they say they will do,” he replied.
“Yeah,” I said, “the old saying about actions speaking louder than words.”
“Or,” Stan countered, “that words are cheap.” And then he added, “That’s also a big problem with our relationship with God, at least it can be with me.”
“How’s that?” I asked.
“Telling God one thing and then doing something else, usually the opposite. Jesus talked about that during His earthly ministry. And God still says that to me, probably a lot more often than He would like.”
“What’d Jesus have to say about it?” I asked.
“He said basically the same thing in a couple of different ways,” Stan replied. “In one instance, He equated love and obedience by telling the people that if they loved Him they would do what He said.”
“Oh,” I said, “like it’s easy to say, ‘I love you,’ but if my actions show a lack of obedience something is not quite equal to what I say.”
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “And another way that Jesus said basically the same thing is when He asked some people why they would call Him, ‘Lord,’ and then not do what He says.”
“Again,” I responded, “words are easy, but action backing up those words is a lot harder.”
“And a lot more telling,” Stan added. “It’s real easy for me to say that I love God and then not do what He wants. Or for me to say that Jesus is my Lord, but then act like He’s not.”
“Yeah,” I replied, “actions do speak louder!”
Bible verses to consider:
Beware lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today. Deuteronomy 8:11.
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15.
And why do you call Me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say? Luke 6:46.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving Jesus as the way to you for all of eternity, beginning while you keep me here. Thank you, too, for making it clear how you want me to obey what you have for me to obey. I confess that too often I choose not to obey, even though I know that I should, and even though I tell you I will. Please forgive the foolishness of trying to live this life while disobeying you. Help me to follow every step of your lead so I do obey, not just say that I will obey and then go on my own way apart from you. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious provision of life eternally with Him so you want to obey Him while He keeps you here? If no, why do you choose to remain separated from Him? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with obedience? Do you believe that your obedience shows your love? How about the “Lord, Lord” part? Do you call Him “Lord,” but not do what He says? If you sense the need for change in any of this, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?