By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, March 3, 2016

As a pastor, I work with words… a lot. I write articles like this one. I preach sermons. I craft devotional moments. I talk… a lot. Therefore, I am always looking for the right quote, the right word, the right story to embody an idea or to inspire action.

On Sunday, we will gather as a church family to participate in our first Hand in Hand mission project. Church folk of all ages will take part in helping foster families in Bibb County. After lunch, we will break off into groups. You will serve beside the youth and children of our congregation. You will make and pack and provide for these families in need. In the process, our best intentions for missions will be embodied. This is good and faithful work.

I was struck this week by a quote from John Wesley.

“Do all the good you can.
By all the means you can.
In all the ways you can.
In all the places you can.
At all the times you can.
To all the people you can.
As long as ever you can.” ~ John Wesley

Historians agree that Wesley never said it. It is one of those sayings that sounds like Wesley might have said it…. but he didn’t. It joins a chorus of misquotes and spurious tales that surround any historical figure. They have the ring of truth and authenticity and so they persist.

I don’t want our intentions to linger like quotes like this. We believe that we should be doing good. We believe that we should use our giftedness to serve our neighbors. I don’t want our intentions to merely have the ring of right intentions without the authenticity of action. Let us do more than name our intentions to do good. Let our work be more than the mere words, but embody and enact the word of God.