Fourth Expression of Love...the Activist.

The Great Commandment

Mark 12:30 - Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.



Matthew, Mark, Luke, John,


You didn’t think we got to where we are

Simply because people prayed, did you?

Not on your life.

The early church didn’t just pray for God to move…

They did.

The book of Acts

Could have been the book of dreams, ideas , sermons, or prayers,

But we wouldn’t be here talking about this stuff today, now would we?

Nope, they didn’t stop with last words and best wishes…

They acted so that we could read Acts, not the book of Sermons.

“Dear children,

Let us not only love with words or with tongue,

But with actions and with truth.”

Have you noticed that Jesus didn’t go around

Telling people that he would be praying for them?

That’s funny since that appears to be the most

common expression among church-goers.

“I’ll be praying for you.”

I wonder if Jesus saw that expression as a crutch

For those who didn’t want to inconvenience themselves with action?

Believe me when I say that Jesus, of all people,

knew the power of prayer.

So I’m not downplaying intercession.

But it is thought provoking to wonder

why Jesus didn’t utter that phrase as he ministered, isn’t it?

The only time I remember Jesus saying he prayed for someone

Was when he told Peter, “I have prayed for you.”

But never do we see Jesus and his disciples leaving a scene

Waving to the crowd and saying, “You’ll be in our prayers.”

They did something about the need.

They moved toward the mess.

They entered into the ugly.

They acted.

Words leave people wanting.

Tongues, though golden, tarnish with time.

Moving mouths don’t replace moving people.

They never have, they never will.

The call to action has never seen a more desperate hour.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John,



The Bible speaks openly about the danger of the Artist, Aesthetic or the Academic apart from Activism. In some ways, some of the most scathing passages of Scripture are reserved for this particular topic. God was not ambivalent about his passion for Action within the Kingdom.

Artist without Action –

Amos 5:23-24

Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.
 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

Well Done is Better than Well Said. -- Benjamin Franklin

Aesthetic without Action –

Isaiah 58

2 For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God.

They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. 3 'Why have we fasted,' they say, 'and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?'

"Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please 
and exploit all your workers. 4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? 
Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD ?

6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. "If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins 
and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

“Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold—but so does a boiled egg.”

Academic with Action –

John 5:39-40

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

“The Word became flesh—and then through theologians it became words again.” – Karl Barth


You see, being Passional and Visional is all fine and good, but it is meaningless if it doesn’t become Missional. If we claim to be a Missional Church that is a part of the Missional Movement of Christianity, we must value and continue to champion the cause of actual action.

The word ACTual if you will notice has the word ACT in it. My fear is that until our faith becomes active, it never becomes actual.

That is why I’m much more comfortable these days calling people missionaries instead of members. Membership has its privileges, but Missionship has it’s responsibilities.

The reason this distinction is crucial is because of the Olivet Discourse of Jesus in Matthew 25 wherein he judges our lives on the basis of Activism, not our Passion or our Doctrine. Check out these telltale words as to the heart Jesus had for Activism…

Matthew 25:31-46

31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."


I John 3:16-20

16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20whenever our hearts condemn us.


It reminds me of the story of Irena Sendler...

There recently was a death of a 98 year-old lady named Irena. During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an 'ulterior motive' .. She KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews, (being German herself.)

Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried. She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.

During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save nearly 2500 kids/infants. She was caught, and the Nazi's broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard.

After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the children with their families. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.


A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.

Mohandas K. Gandhi


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