Louder than words

Today is the day — today there are needs in the earth — there are needs in the brotherhood.  And there are so few who take these needs to heart. When James and Peter and John met with Paul and Barnabas they no doubt discussed many things.  But when they parted company they asked only one thing of them — that they remember the poor.  We will be held accountable for whatever ways we treat the poor.  For Jesus not only said that when we help the poor, we are doing it to Him, He also said that if we don’t help the poor, He in turn will say to us, “Depart from Me…” (Matt. 25).

The world will know we are disciples of Jesus by our love for one another.  And how will they know? by seeing into our hearts? or by witnessing our actions?  And how will our actions convey our love for one another? through sentimental professions of concern? or through tangible deeds of kindness?  If a family is in need of food, is it enough to simply offer to pray for them?  Isn’t that dangerously akin to saying, “Be warmed and be filled,”?  They don’t need our sentiment — they need food.  Actions truly do speak louder than words.  And love can always be heard in the tangibility of its actions.

Children of God must shun all tendencies to judge the poor, for who are we to judge the servants of another?  We must also shun the popular notion that we need only give when God speaks to us and specifically tells us to give, for in so doing we declare His written Word to be null and void.  We must run from the love of money and from the love of the world, for if we love the world, the love of the Father is not in us.  Hence, ‘Whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?  Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.’ (I John 3:17, 18).  Anything less is hypocritical and adulterous, and inflicts injury on already fainting hearts.

Please judge for yourselves whether or not these are the true words of God.  Judge carefully — the standard of measure you use will be measured to you.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant