Week 43 Sunday

Louder Than Words

Today’s scripture selection: Acts 9-10

Key Verse: Acts 9:26

“When he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples: and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple.”

The apostle Paul – before he was known as the apostle Paul – had quite a problem.

You see, he had a life changing conversion experience that set him on his path to become, many would say, the greatest apostle of all.  The trouble was – he had to convince others that he had changed.  He had to make it clear that he was no longer the man named Saul, who took great pleasure in persecuting the followers of the Way.

No doubt he was passionate in his preaching – ever bit as passionate as he had been about persecuting Christians.

No doubt his arguments were persuasive; and impressive – just as they had been when he prided himself on being a brilliant and well-trained scholar.

No doubt his energy and enthusiasm for his cause was unequaled.  It was just that those who feared him weren’t sure that at any moment he might turn all that energy and enthusiasm toward a renewed persecution of the faithful.

So – there was only one thing Paul could do.

His actions had to speak louder than his words.

And, little by little – people began to slowly trust him.  And, one, tentative step at a time, they moved toward each other.  Until, one day, he proved just what a devout follower and disciple of the Lord he had become.

Isn’t the same true for us?

In a world full of cynics and skeptics and fearful people – isn’t it true that we most deeply communicate Christ’s love by being a people who act consistently and powerfully in His name?

We can talk all we want about this Bible passage or that worship service.  But what really speaks volumes – is our action – as humble servants of God.

Prayer: Lord, when all the preaching and teaching and convincing has come to an end – may my actions, taken in the spirit of your love, speak loudest of all.  AMEN.


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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