“A man…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 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.” [Jesus asked,] “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” Matthew 21:28-31 (NIV)
Jesus told this parable to remind us that God calls His people to a life of obedience.
The difference between these boys is not that one was bad and the other was good—both of them sinned against the father. One was defiant, while the other was disobedient. The difference is that one son was sorry for what he had done and changed his behavior. He became obedient, and then he went to the field to do what the father asked of him.
Jesus makes it clear that who we are is revealed not in what we say but in what we do. Saving faith is the bond of a living union with Jesus Christ, and that union changes not only what you believe but also how you behave. In fact, Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15).
If you have become comfortable with something in your life that God calls sin, hear this challenge: If you are at peace with God, you will be at war with your sin. But if you are at peace with your sin, you will be at war with God.
What do you know about war with your sin? What do you know about loving Jesus? How are these two things related?