I was speaking to a group of about 30 men Saturday night. My talk was about Christian men and being a Real Servant. One of the points I made was from Mathew 21:28-31. This is the story of the two sons Jesus shared with some of the religious people of his day. Here is the Message version of that story:
“Tell me what you think of this story: A man had two sons. He went up to the first and said, ‘Son, go out for the day and work in the vineyard.’ “The son answered, ‘I don’t want to.’ Later on he thought better of it and went. “The father gave the same command to the second son. He answered, ‘Sure, glad to.’ But he never went. “Which of the two sons did what the father asked?” They said, “The first.”
This is a simple story about talking and doing. It’s about listening and being obedient. The first son was honest and said he did not want to go work, but later felt conviction and changed his mind. The second son was probably not being honest. Maybe he just wanted to look better than his brother. However he never followed through on his promise to go and do the work.
Our vineyard is whatever God is calling us to do. No matter how good your intentions, if you don’t do it or go, it’s all wasted. Just because I feel good when I hear or see a story of someone making a difference doesn’t make me a servant with compassion. Just because my heart breaks for the starving homeless children and families in this world doesn’t make me a person with compassion. I can think about giving more, going on a mission trip, leading a small group, praying more for the people in my life, shining brighter in my workplace, helping a friend that is hurting, but just thinking about it or even saying I want to do something is not enough. I need to actually do it. I need to make that step and go to the vineyard to do the work God is calling me to do.
We don’t have to go and do some huge, great thing for God. We just need to go do our work in the vineyard. There will always be more people willing to do great things for God than there are people willing to do little things. But those little things can help God accomplish great things. Instead of waiting to do something big, be faithful in the little everyday things He is calling you to do. The small meaningless things you are doing everyday is preparing you for the plan God has for you. Loving God means obeying God by doing what He says.
Which son are you?