Monday Message: Good Listening

This week's Monday Message is a repeat from July 28, 2014.

28 “What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’  29 He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go.  31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” - Matthew 21:28-31a

One of the ways our family attempts to encourage good behavior in our children is with behavior charts.  The theory is simple.  We create a chart that everyone can see that clearly lists the areas of life where we want the kids to focus.  That way both parents and children can realistically monitor and reward good behavior.
On our most recent chart, one of the behaviors we want to highlight is “good listening.” But this behavior by itself is insufficient.  Directly below “Good Listening” is the category called “Follow Through.”  This is our acknowledgment that merely listening is not the basis of full and healthy relationships.  We need to continue to honor each other with our actions.
In the parable of the two sons, Jesus lets us know that this is also true in our relationship with God.  God is intensely interested in full and healthy relationships with us.  God extends a gracious invitation to us to join him in the work of the Kingdom of God.  Our part in this relationship does not only involve knowing the invitation but also acting upon it.
This week, let us concentrate on the fullness of our relationship with the Living God.  Practice “Follow Through” by pausing to pray and by spending time with God in Scripture.  Then watch in your daily life for times that God invites you into actions of kindness, justice, and grace.  In this way, let us be active participants in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus, we thank you for the fullness of your relationship with us.  We are blessed by your constant and continual gracious invitation to us.  Help us this day to both listen and follow through with actions that bless that relationship and make known your kingdom.  Amen.