Sermon Illustrations on Actions

Karl Barth

Grace must find expression in life, otherwise it is not grace.


Frederick Beuchner

Jesus Christ is what God does, and the cross where God did it

C.S. Lewis

Fine feelings, new insights, greater interest in ‘religion’ mean nothing unless they make our actual behavior better…. When we Christians behave badly, or fail to behave well, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world.

Mere Christianity

Peter Marshall

Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for we find that to wait is often harder than to work.

Eleanor Roosevelt

One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.


Dallas Willard

External manifestation of “Christlikeness” is not, however, the focus of the process; and when it is made the main emphasis, the process will certainly be defeated, falling into deadening legalisms and pointless parochialism. That is what has happened so often in the past, and this fact is a major barrier to wholeheartedly embracing Christian spiritual formation in the present.

Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ

American Christopher Society Motto

Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.


Thomas Carlyle

Our grand business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.

Miguel de Cervantes

Good actions ennoble us, and we are the sons of our own deeds.

Giuseppe Garibaldi

Give me the ready hand rather than the ready tongue.


John Locke

The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.

John N. Mitchell

You will be better advised to watch what we do instead of what we say.

Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.

Robert Frost

The best way out is always through.

John Locke

The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.

Meister Eckhart   

What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action.

Rick Warren

I’m looking for a second reformation. The first reformation of the church 500 years ago was about beliefs. This one is going to be about deeds. It is not going to be about what the church believes, but about what the church is doing.

Taken from James Davison Hunter, To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World, Oxford University Press.

Dorothy Day

I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions.

The Long Loneliness

Jen Wilkin

If we focus on our actions without addressing our hearts, we may end up merely as better behaved lovers of self.

In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character, Crossway

Elizabeth of the Trinity 

Let us ask God to make us true in our love, to make us sacrificial beings, for it seems to me that sacrifice is only love put into action.

Gary Badcock

A theology of response does not need to be Pelagian; it need only be a theology in which the reality of the human is taken seriously.”

The Way of Life, Eerdmans.

Eugene H. Peterson

Being in God’s story does not mean passively letting things happen to us. It doesn’t mean dumb submission or blind obedience.

Every Step an Arrival, The Crown Publishing Group.

Martin Luther

God does not need your good works, but our neighbor does.

Parker Palmer

Becoming totally quiet and unreachably alone are two of the signs that life has gone, while activity and lively communication not only signify life but help us evade the prospect that our life will someday cease.

 “The Monastic Way to Church Renewal,” Desert Call (Winter 1987): 8–9.

Martin Luther

God does not need your good works, but our neighbor does.

Darrow Miller

How you treat a person in the brief moment when you pass together through a revolving door tells the world what you believe about them.

See also quotes on Habits, Practices

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