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Bark or Bite

January 17, 2020

For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. 1 Corinthians 4:20

What do these phrases have in common?

· All bark and no bite
· All foam and no beer
· All icing and no cake
· All shot and no powder
· All hat and no horse
· All lights and no show

Yep. You’re right. They are all ways that different parts of the country describe someone who is a big talker but is a disappointment when it comes to delivery. There’s little to validate the big claims. At a conference, I had to laugh when a Texan drawled about another man who had been swaggering and talking smack in a large group. As the braggart walked away my friend said, “That cowboy is all hat and no horse.”

Paul tells us that the Kingdom of God is exactly the opposite. The Kingdom of God in us is not identifiable by the big claims we make, the knowledge we display, the lofty and eloquent prayers we pray. Those things may sound or look impressive, but they don’t prove anything. The proof of the Kingdom of God is living by God’s power in everyday life.

The Kingdom of God is seen in the daily choices I make to surrender my rights, to serve sacrificially, to give radically, to love unconditionally, to forgive readily. Those are the things that exhibit God’s power because they are not natural—they are supernatural.

Francis of Assisi, a saint whose life exemplified the sharing of the dynamic of the Kingdom of God, said, "Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words." That’s the way to avoid being all hat and no horse. The Kingdom of God is not primarily the testimony of my talk. It’s the power of my life.

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 1 John 3:18 NASB

  • Pray: Lord, may the testimony of my life be compelling and irresistible because Your transforming power is evident in me.