ACTIONS NOT WORDS – Part Two…


Matthew 21:28-32 – “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ 29 “And he answered and said, ‘I will, sir’; and he did not go. 30 “And he came to the second and said the same thing. But he answered and said, ‘I will not’; yet he afterward regretted it and went. 31 “Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The latter.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax-gatherers and harlots will get into the kingdom of God before you. 32 “For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax-gatherers and harlots did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.”  NASB

Yesterday, we considered the Father’s request and the basis for his plea.  Today I want to consider the Response of the Sons.  Each of the two sons responded differently.  The first son informed his father that he would not fulfill his request.  I can only imagine saying that to my own father.  The result would not have been good.  He said, “I will not!”  His words convey a spirit of selfish indifference and possibly entitlement.  After all, he was a member of the family who hired laborers for the vineyard, so why should he work.  It was beneath him, in his mind.

How many times have we put off doing what our heavenly Father asks us to do?  How many times have we said, by our actions, “I have something else that I would rather be doing and have no time for your work.”  Selfishness in a Christian is deadly.  A person professing to be a Christian and has no concern for the perishing millions or the Father’s will is living dangerously.  The words of this son reveal a rebellious heart!

The other son was quick to say, “I will do what you ask.”  His words speak of respect.  However, his actions reveal that he may have been consenting out of fear, not love.  His words are smoother than butter and dripping with the honey of obedience.  His quick decision and consent are what God desires in all His children.

But, the Actions of the two sons contradict their words.  I have found that there is often a vast difference between a man’s profession and his living or actions.  Saying is not doing!  When Jesus rehearsed the account to that crowd of dissenters and discontents, He asked, “Which of the two did the will of their father?”  That was a mirror that should have been impossible for them to avoid.

The Rebel repented and obeyed and the other that promised Obedience failed to follow through.  Those who fail to go into the field of service at the bidding of the Father are rebels.  The Bible tells us that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and there no peace for the wicked. 

Jesus said, in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.”  God does not need, nor does he desire bench warmers in His service.  You may not preach to multitudes, but you can share the Good News with your neighbor or someone.  God is less interested in our Profession than our Action.

Remember the words of Jesus in John 4:35-38 – “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. 36 “Already he who reaps is receiving wages, and is gathering fruit for life eternal; that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 “For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ 38 “I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” 

God is calling each of us today, what will our response be?  Will we be son or daughter number one or number two?  Our actions always speak much louder than our words.  God is looking for a little less talk and a lot more action. 

I pray that you have a fantastic day in Him as you discover more and more of His blessings in your life!