Deeds not words

Rather than the usual Verse of the Day for Day for July 23, 2017, the topic for today’s discussion could be described as the Phrase of the Day. This time the expression comes from Latin: Res non verba, translated, “Deeds, not words,” or “Deeds rather than words.” The phrase corresponds to the proverb “Actions speak louder than words.”

The Scriptures also speak of both words and deeds. Nowhere are these two elements more brilliantly displayed than in the Lord Jesus Christ described as “. . . a prophet powerful in deed and word in the sight of God and all people” (Luke 24:19).

Colossians 3:17 makes a distinction between what is said and what is done; however, believers are encouraged to maintain a grateful attitude, no matter what they say or do:

And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

1 John also points out that as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must express our love not only with the words we say, but we should likewise demonstrate our love by what we do.

1 John 3:18 (AMP)

Little children (believers, dear ones), let us not love [merely in theory] with word or with tongue [giving lip service to compassion], but in action and in truth [in practice and in sincerity, because practical acts of love are more than words].

This verse reminds us that with love, there must be a demonstration or manifestation to express the reality of that powerful emotion. An anonymous quote reminds us: “Love is a verb. Love is doing, saying, showing. Never think just saying you love someone is enough.” There must be corresponding action to show that we love. Every day should be “show and tell.” Another statement reiterates the same point: “Love is a verb. Without action it is merely a word.”

Throughout the New Testament we are encouraged to love God and one another expressed in the closing lines:

“A Single Image”

. . . .

there is
no fear
in love
so why
should we

we are His
He is one
so are we

one
plus
one
makes
one
in
word
in
deed
in
truth

As believers, once we have been reconnected to God, we must recognize that God has given us the privilege and the responsibility (that is, our ability to respond to God’s love), as 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 so clearly states:

18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.

The reference to both “word” and “deed” brings to mind Annie Johnston Flint’s poem that also reiterates the responsibility given to us:

Christ has no hands but our hands

Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today
He has no feet but our feet to lead men in the way
He has no tongue but our tongue to tell men how He died
He has no help but our help to bring them to His side.

We are the only Bible the careless world will read,
We are the sinner’s gospel; we are the scoffer’s creed;
We are the Lord’s last message, given in word and deed;
What if the type is crooked? What if the print is blurred?
What if our hands are busy with other work than His?
What if our feet are walking where sin’s allurement is?
What if our tongue is speaking of things His lips would spurn?
How can we hope to help Him or welcome His return?

In light of the intense times in which we live, the poem raises a number of critical questions regarding our “words” and our “deeds.” Dimitri Caver offers an upbeat musical version of 1 John 3:18, one of the verses associated with these two concepts:

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