WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 05, 2022
TOPIC: LET YOUR WORDS AND ACTIONS MATCH
BY T. O. BANSO
“They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work” (Titus 1:16 New King James Version).
Many people say one thing but do another. They live one way but preach something contrary to how they live. When your words and actions match, it shows that you have integrity. Those who lack integrity don’t practice what they preach. You must take their words with a pinch of salt. They don’t mean what they say and they don’t do what they say. Talk is cheap. How many people walk the talk?
As a child of God, you must ensure that your words and your actions match. Don’t say one thing and do another. Don’t promise to do something but do another thing, either in your relationship with God or with fellow human beings. Don’t promise what you’re not going to do. You must live a life of integrity.
Talking about those who are defiled and unbelieving, Paul said, “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work” (Titus 1:16 New King James Version). In other words, their profession is contrary to their works – their actions contradict their words. They don’t match their words with appropriate actions. If they truly know God, their actions will prove so.
Jesus asked, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46 New King James Version). Such people don’t match their words with actions. They should prove that He is their Lord by obeying Him.
In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (New King James Version). What they confess means nothing unless they match it with the right actions. They cannot continue to call Him Lord but refuse to do His will and think that they belong to Him. This is self-delusion.
Those who are concerned about integrity try as much as possible to ensure that there are no discrepancies between what they profess and what they do. As regards fulfilling vows, Deuteronomy 23:21 says, “When you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you” (New King James Version).
Fulfilling the vows you have made is matching your words with actions. This is integrity. That was what Jephthah did in Judges 11. He fulfilled the vow that he had made though it was painful (Judges 11:30-40). Psalm 76:11 says, “Make vows to the LORD your God, and pay them; let all who are around Him bring presents to Him who ought to be feared” (New King James Version).
It is not compulsory to make a vow to God for Him to hear your prayers or do something for you. But if you make a vow, ensure that you match your words with action. “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed – better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?” (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 New King James Version).
The writer of Psalm 66 said he would go into God’s house with burnt offerings and pay Him his vows (verse 13). This is the right thing to do. Similarly, the psalmist says in verses 14 and 18 of Psalm 116 that he would pay his vows to the LORD in the presence of all His people. Also, David said in Psalm 56:12 that the vows he made to God were binding upon him and he would render praises to Him. Match your words with the appropriate actions.
Letting your words and your actions match is not only in matters of vows to God; it also affects everything about your life. Don’t be someone who says one thing and does another. Don’t preach something to others but you don’t do the same. Jesus told the people about the scribes and the Pharisees, “Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do” (Matthew 23:3 New King James Version). These scribes and the Pharisees were hypocrites. Practise what you preach.
When you say you love someone; don’t love by words of mouth alone. Let it show in your actions. True love goes beyond words of mouth. “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him” (1 John 3:18-19 New King James Version).
The Apostle James says in James 2:15-16, “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?” (New King James Version). It is hypocritical to pray for a hungry or needy person or wish the person well when you have the means to help meet his/her needs.
In Matthew 21, Jesus talked about the words and actions of two sons thus: “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go” (Matthew 21:28-30 New King James Version).
The first son changed his mind and went to do the right thing he had said he would not do. He went to obey his father. However, the second son didn’t obey his father as he had promised. His action was contrary to his words. Jesus compared the first son to the tax collectors and the prostitutes (Matthew 21:31). The religious leaders of Israel, who pretended to obey God, but did not do His will, are the second son in the parable. Jesus told the religious leaders, “For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him” (verse 32 New King James Version).
Speak the right words and match them with the right actions. If you have spoken the wrong words, change your mind, repent, and do the right thing. Don’t say because you have said the wrong words, you will go and do what is wrong, especially when it violates the Word of God. Admit that you were wrong. Repent. Inform those concerned or apologize to them and do what is right. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:16). “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45 New King James Version).
Be a person of integrity. Let your words and actions match. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:17).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of my wrong words and actions in the past. Forgive me, Father. I shall pay my vows to the Lord. Holy Spirit, help me to say the right words and match them with the right actions. I shall be a person of integrity in Jesus’ name. My words and actions shall match. I shall not be a hypocrite. I shall not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and truth in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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