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Devotionals 2011 - 2012

Empty Words
March 5, 2012 By Ed Wrather

03.05.12

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. - 1 John 3:16-18 NKJV.

The Chinese communist party newspaper, the People's Daily, says that the government will remove the current harsh slogans about enforcement of China's one child policy in force since 1979. The policy will remain the same, but the words will change. Here are some of the slogans that will be removed: "If you don't receive the tubal ligation surgery by the deadline, your house will be demolished!" "Kill all your family members if you don't follow the rule!" "Once you get captured, an immediate tubal ligation will be done; should you escape, we'll hunt you down; if you attempt a suicide, we'll offer you either the rope or a bottle of poison." Instead of the harsh slogans there will be softer, kinder messages used such as these two: "Caring for the girl means caring for the future of the nation." "Please get rid of the alcohol and cigarettes before you plan to be a father." However, the policy will not change, only the words. (Orange News 02.28.12)

There has been an increasing outrage from the world toward the Chinese one child policy, and their harsh enforcement of that policy. Now that the Chinese have changed their words, will that be enough to soothe world opinion? Will continued harsh enforcement of the one child policy only with kinder, gentler words, be enough?

The apostle John is speaking about those who through their words are kinder and gentler without any change in their actions. The apostle John is talking about people who act like the Chinese government. They change their words, but keep on doing what they have always done.

When we have it within our abilities, and resources to help others, are words enough? For the one who needs the help, words alone are useless. To make a difference in this world, words are nice, but actions are what are needed. Our actions, demonstrate our love, or lack of love. Jesus has given us an example. Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Jesus did not say one of His followers ought to die for the sins of others, instead; He "died for us." The actions of Jesus, prove that His words of love toward us are not empty promises.

Are your words, are my words, empty words, empty promises? Will you do what you say? Will I do what I say? If you have failed to follow through with what you have said, maybe you should do so now. If you have failed to follow through with what you know God would have you to do, maybe you should do so now. Jesus told this parable of two sons in Matthew 21: "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. Which of the two did the will of his father? They said to Him, 'The first (Matthew 21:28-31).'"

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