Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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Reflections for November 22, 2016

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Reflections for this date are based on the following scripture passages:
Luke 3

Words Without Fruit

What is the value of words? In a world that is constantly bombarded with words in various forms, it would seem we are a society that gives great value to them. TV, social media, talk radio, etc are continually giving commentary on everything imaginable. Everyone wants to be heard and broadcasts their opinions for any and all to read or hear. But of what value, really, are all these words? Is anyone paying attention to what people actually do?

Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as saying, “Your actions speak so loudly, I can not hear what you are saying.” Is what we do of at least equal importance to what we say? Jesus often spoke of fruit. Speaking of false prophets in Matthew 7, He said, "You'll recognize them by their fruit." (Matthew 7:16) In other words, if their actions did not support their words, their words were of no value.

John the Baptist also spoke of fruit in his message of repentance: "Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance." (Matthew 3:8) When asked by some of his followers what they should do, he gave them practical examples of fruit that was consistent with repentance. To someone who had plenty he told them to share with others. To a tax collector he said not to collect more taxes than was authorized, in other words, be honest. And to a soldier he said not to take money from anyone by force.

Words of repentance without change of actions is not repentance. The words without the actions is of no value.


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