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  • East Martin CRC

Well, Why Not

Matthew 21:23-32

Verse 30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.”

Yesterday we talked about the oldest son and his choosing to disobey. Today we look at the little brother.

The father comes to the younger brother and again tells him to go out into the vineyard to work. This brother speaks with respect enough to even call his father, “sir”. But respect isn’t enough. Obedience is the truest form of love and this brother didn’t follow through. He lied to his father and doesn’t seem to even give it another thought.

This brother chose to do what he wanted and never looked back. He was willing to give lip-service to the father but that was as far as he went. This proves his selfishness. He didn’t know if the father had also sent the older brother to the vineyard but he didn’t care if the work got done at all. He had plans and nothing was going to get in his way.

This brother is easy to emulate, isn’t he? How often do we give lip-service to others? Maybe we tell our boss that we will get right on the project but then don’t get around to it. Maybe our teacher tells us to study a topic we are struggling with and we never make the time. Or maybe we tell a friend that we will be praying for them but it slips our mind. All of these are just paying lip-service and in truth reveal that our focus is on ourselves instead of others.

Lip-service is something that also makes its way into our spiritual lives. How often have we told God that we would give our tithe and then found something else to use our money on? Maybe it is saying we want to study the Bible regularly but can’t find the time and yet we find time for the marathon of our favorite T.V. show or movie series. Or maybe we tell God we are totally His but live for our own desires. Is lip-service what God knows us for?

Making It Personal

What have you given lip-service to God about? Are you making excuses for your choices? What are you willing to be honest with God about today?

Making It Personal Kids

Have you ever told your mom or dad that you would do something but you didn’t do it? How did your parents respond? How do you think Jesus feels when you say you are going to do something but don’t?

Closing Prayer

Father, we are sorry for the times we have lied to You. Convict us anytime the thought of giving You lip-service comes to mind so that we can learn our weak points. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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