Weekly Wisdoms for the week of February 27, 2017
Everyone feels afraid many times during life. However, when the Bible instructs us to "fear not," it doesn't mean not to feel afraid; rather, it means to decide to press on even in the face of fear.
Several times, the Israelites were instructed to "be strong and courageous." For example, in Deuteronomy 31:6, Moses commanded Israel: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Even in the face of fear, we too must "be strong and courageous."
Indeed, we are encouraged in 1 Corinthians 16:13 to be men of courage; be strong. So, next time you feel afraid, overcome your feelings through prayer so that you can "be strong and courageous."
"Preach the Gospel at all times; when necessary, use words." That advice, originally given by St. Francis of Assisi, is applicable today, because how you behave tells the world what you believe. How you treat others, how you spend your money, how you maintain your house, car, and other possessions, and even how you drive all speak loudly about what you believe.
The world is hungry for something real; they're searching for answers to life. But the world's not reading the Bible; they're reading Christians. And they will recognize true Christians by their fruit, not their mouth, not their bumper sticker, not their cross earrings, but their fruit--their actions (Matthew 7:20).
Clearly, how you behave tells the world what you believe. In other words, your life is a sermon.
Therefore, it is very understandable that James instructs: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like (James 1:22-24).
Faith involves more than hearing and believing; faith demands action. Therefore, the best way to preach the Gospel is to live the Gospel, because how you live boldly declares what you believe.
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