The Proof is in the Doing
In Matthew 21:28-32 Jesus tells a parable about a man who had two sons. He came to the first one and said, “Son, go, work today in my vineyard." The son told his father he would not go, but afterwards he regretted saying that and went to work. The father went to the second son and also told him to go work in the vineyard. This son said, “I go, sir,” but he did not go. Jesus then asked His audience, “Which of the two did the will of his father?”
This seems like such a simple question that it doesn’t even need to be asked, but with this question Jesus is teaching an important lesson that we often fail to apply to our own lives. Jesus is reminding us that the proof of our love, faith, and reverence for God is in the doing, not the saying. How many times is this lesson taught throughout the pages of the New Testament?
- “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?” (Mt 7:15,16).
- “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21).
- “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).
- “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” (James 2:14).
- “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).
Every one of these verses is well known to us, but do they express a principle by which we live?
Do we claim to love Jesus, but yet fail to keep His commandments? Do we profess to love one another while refusing to actually do good to one another? Do we just give lip service to Paul’s command to give preference to one another (Romans 12:10)? When we examine ourselves do we do more than just acknowledge our weakness, or do we set about to affect change in our lives?
The point is this; make up your mind, today, to stop talking about what you need to do and get busying doing it! Pick just one thing you know you need to be doing and just do it. Maybe you need to be more hospitable; invite someone over. Maybe you need to be a better father; sit down and talk to you children. Maybe you need to study more; open your Bible and study.
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The reason this statement is true is because God doesn’t accept lip service; He only accepts true service from the heart. Don’t allow the guilt of past failures to keep you on the road of good intentions. Simply decide today that you’re going to travel the road of good works, for it is the road that leads to forgiveness, mercy, and eternal life.
by Simon Harris