January 13, 2021

Lip Service

Giving lip service to God is not the same as actually serving God. I have met lots of people in my life who may not talk a good Christian walk
A son honors his father, and servants their master. If then I am a father, where is the honor due me? And if I am a master, where is the respect due me? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my Name. You say, “How have we despised your Name?”
Malachi 1:6
father and son
When the year began with the admonition not to steal, we were reminded that God's commandments always have a deeper meaning—in this case not only not to take from another, but also not to withhold what is theirs, or even what might help them, if it's in our power. Today we're reminded of the Fifth Commandment: Honor thy father and thy mother. This commandment was given, of course, for the sake of obedience within the family, but it also pointed backwards to the four commandments that came before it—honoring earthly parents is a constant reminder of the love and honor we have for our heavenly Parent. 

Jesus talked to us in the Parable of the Two Sons about how we can't be quick to judge obedience to this commandment. Giving lip service to God is not the same as actually serving God. I have met lots of people in my life who may not talk a good Christian walk, but they certainly walk it. Unfortunately, I've also met plenty whose Christianity is in their speech only—there's no service evident in their lifestyle.

The best way to be a Christian is to honor God with my words and actions. But Jesus made it clear that deeds trump speech when it comes to being a good son or daughter of the Most High. 

What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went.
 Matthew 21:28-29
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Grant me the words, O God, to express to others my love for you. But more importantly, grant me the strength and the courage to show my love for you in actions that advance your cause in the world.
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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