“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. Matthew 21:28-31 (NIV)
What Do You Think?
What do you think? About what? What thoughts do you let occupy your mind? I’m not sure what you’re asking. The thoughts that you have in your mind and entertain in your heart will guide the course of your life. Can you give me an example? I would be happy to. At one time you had it in your mind that you were pretty special. You thought you had the world by the tail. You didn’t think you needed any help from anyone. You were independent, headstrong, pride-filled and stubborn. Yes, I sure was. You were like your own little god. You certainly didn’t want or need me in your life. Yes, that is sad but true. You lived entirely for your own comfort and pleasure. You did what you wanted, when you wanted it. Yes, I did. Now, why don’t you finish the story and tell me how your thinking changed. Alright, I’d be happy too.
My life was really headed in the wrong direction away from you. I was living a dark and sinful life. Soon enough I began to suffer the consequences of my sinful life. The wages my sinful life paid was brokenness, pain and suffering. My life began to fall apart. I began to see that I wasn’t as strong and smart as I thought I was. My pain overcame my pride. I know that I needed help so I cried out to the only one I thought would help me. That was you. You answered my cry. Yes, I did. What did you do? I turned away from my sinful life to follow you. I asked you to be my Savior and Lord. Yes, you did. So your emphatic no to me became a yes to me, is that right? Yes, that’s right. Your change of mind and heart is now directing the course of your life. It sure is.
Do you see any possible dangers ahead to avoid? Yes, I do. What are they? First, let me say that I want my life to continue to be a constant day by day, moment by moment, yes to you. Why is that? It’s not because I’m now religious. It’s because I have a relationship with you. You love me. Yes, I do. My love for you gives me delight to do what pleases you. So, what’s the danger? I don’t ever want to slip into becoming a religious person that obeys you because I should obey you. What do you think would happen then? I’d stop following you and go back to doing pretty much my own thing. On the outside I’d probably still look quite religious but my heart would be far from you. Yes, it would. But, the good thing is that won’t happen. Why not? You tell me. We love each other too much to ever let that happen. That’s right. Keep loving me and delighting to do my will and you’ll never waver off course. Yes Lord, I will.
Lord, I know that there is a big difference between being self-righteous, moral, and religious and living a life of faith in you. I love you Lord. It is my desire to live for you and work in your vineyard, as I love, follow and serve you in this life. Amen
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