Lip Service: Matthew 21:28-32
“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.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. 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 prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.”
Jesus was talking to the religious leaders. They were the ones who were providing only lip service to God, “I go sir…but did not go.” Evidence that there is no true faith with these men. Faith is always followed by obedience, a sure sign of saving faith. Sinners, “tax-collectors and prostitutes” were honest about their rejection of Jesus but later they repented, “changed his mind and went.” They “believed him.”
Belief, a change of mind, and repentance are all signs of true faith, and these always lead to obedience to the Master.
So, self-examination time! Am I a true believer or am I just providing lip service?
Prayer: Father, please show me the areas in my life where all I do is talk a good talk but don’t follow it up with obedience. Help me repent of these and follow You more closely. Thank you for Your forgiveness, patience, grace, and mercy which you pour out on me daily. Amen.