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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of August 1, 2016

Preach the Gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.

"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.

Every action you take is a seed you sow, and every seed you sow is a harvest you'll reap.

Have you ever had a thought like this: "Nobody would ever notice"? Or this: "It's just a little thing"? But to God, every action -- big or small -- is important, because every action you take is a seed you sow.

For example, say that you tell your boss you worked eight hours when really you only worked six. But on the other hand, it's only two hours, and "nobody will ever notice." However, you're sowing seeds of dishonesty in your life that will reap a harvest of the very same thing.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8) Don't think that you can lie to someone (i.e. sow a seed of dishonesty), but yet expect to reap a harvest of truth in your life.

Proverbs 22:8 warns that He who sows wickedness reaps trouble.

Therefore, be very careful about how you act in every area of life, because every action you take is a seed you sow, and every seed you sow is a harvest you'll reap.