Friday, September 23, 2011

for Sunday (September 25) Gospel: the will

Scripture: Matthew 21:28-32 28 "What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, `Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' 29 And he answered, `I will not'; but afterward he repented and went. 30 And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, `I go, sir,' but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go 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 collectors and the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him.

What kind of future are you preparing for? Jesus encourages us to think – to think about the consequences of our choices, especially the choices and decisions that will count not just for now but for eternity as well.

The choices we make now will affect and shape our future, both our future on earth as well as in the life of the age to come. 

 Jesus tells a simple story of two imperfect sons to illustrate the way of God's kingdom.

 The father amply provided for his sons food, lodging, and everything they needed. Everything the father had belonged to them as well. The father also rewarded his sons with excellent work in his own vineyard. 

He expected them to show him gratitude, loyalty, and honor by doing their fair share of the daily work.

 The "rebellious" son told his father to his face that he would not work for him. 

But afterwards he changed his mind and did what his father commanded him. 

The "good" son said he would work for his father, but didn't carry through. He did his own pleasure contrary to his father's will. Now who was really the good son? 

Both sons disobeyed their father; but one repented and then did what the father told him.

 Jesus makes his point clear: Good intentions are not enough. 

And promises don't count unless they are performed.

 God wants to change our hearts so that we will show by our speech and by our actions that we respect his will and we are ready to do what he commands. 

God offers each of us the greatest treasure possible – unending peace, joy, happiness, and life with him in his kingdom. 

We can lose that treasure if we refuse the grace God offers us to follow in his way of truth and righteousness. 

Do you respect the will of your Father in heaven?

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