Old Testament Reading: Genesis 39 & 40
Psalms Reading: Psalm 22
New Testament Reading: Matthew 21
None of us really enjoy chores. There were many that I didn’t enjoy growing up that were very specific to me; one of those was mowing the yard. Since my grandfather had shown me how to take care of the grass at the age of eight, I was the one in charge of making sure it was cut every week. Now to be fair, I did prefer this chore over folding laundry or vacuuming (and I still do), but on our four-acre property growing up, it was a whole-day ordeal to finish. However, although I didn’t necessarily like it, and some days I protested (like all kids do), I made sure the yard was cut so that bugs and rodents were kept away from the house.
In Matthew 21, we find two sons who were supposed to go out and take care of their family vineyard. The first protested, but later regretted it and did as his father said. The second son initially said that he would go out, but wound up avoiding his chores. Jesus tells us in this story that the one who, at first, grumbled and complained about it, but still followed through, was the one who “did the father’s will”. This may seem obvious to us, but that’s the point Jesus is making; talk is cheap. Very few things are as disappointing as when someone doesn’t follow through on what they say.
This is true of our lives as Christians; we need to “walk the walk”, not just “talk the talk”. The book of James tells us that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17). If we are not willing to do something with what we believe, it is useless. We can say that we “believe in God”, or even that we are a “Christian”, but unless that translates into action, we are only fooling ourselves. Jesus says that those who will inherit God’s Kingdom are those who “produce the fruit of it” (Matthew 21:43). Does your faith stir you and make you move? Or are you just all talk?
The Christian life isn’t always exciting and can seem boring at times; there are weeks where we don’t want to go to church or read our Bibles yet again. But just like cutting the grass, unless we are willing to go out and put the work in, even if we don’t “want to”, it will get out of control. Our lives need constant, consistent maintenance, just like a garden or a lawn. Every week is not going to be exciting, but it’s still necessary; fight past your initial protest and do what you’re supposed to do anyway. It will be better for you in the long run.
- Which of the two sons are you more often like? In what area(s), do you need more “walk the walk” (perhaps even without protesting first) in order to do the will of the Father?
- What is the danger in not producing fruit? What fruit does God want to see you producing now?
- What do we learn about God from the teachings of His Son? What does God want us to learn about His Son?