28But what do you think? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 29He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. 30And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31Which of them sons did the will of his father? They say unto him, the first. Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. Matt. 28:28
Maybe this story has nothing to do with my sermon this morning but maybe everything. I want start with the focus on a father that came to his two sons with a request. Then I want to focus on what the sons did with their father’s request. Lastly we will look at God’s participation in this all.
Faith of Others
Many years ago I came to Sedaven as a young boy going to st.5 or known now as gr.7. I had already been bad company to myself for quite a few years. Found myself three friends that would share this. We were quite a combination and the school knew about us. I had to drop out of Sedaven at the end of my gr.9 year. I moved on to another 2 schools before I finally left school at the end of gr.10. Faith of others very important – my mother. Tried everything and anything, no matter how much pain it caused her. Her faith never tired – kept praying, telling me how much she and God cared. I left for the army, my life did not improve – mother still praying. After 2years in the army I returned to society to start a life. Two years later I had already gone through about 8 jobs, one not even lasting a week. My last job I was working transit for Fidelity in Hillbrow, experiencing violence and death regularly of which I was part myself in some occasions. I was 20 and I had seen the worst of life outside and inside homes. In the meantime my mother was praying - faith. One agreement my mother made – Campmeeting(explain) once a year. My decisions always based on what will benefit me. Faith of my mother – faith in me, more important faith in God’s grace and love.
First question: Unreasonable request?
First son: Argue why he should work in the vineyard
Second son: Very prim and proper, want people to like him but not trustworthy
Their father knew them. Still came with the request, even when he knew their reactions. The father had faith: I fell into the category of the first son. In which category do you fall? Which kind of son or daughter are you to your earthly parents, to the people and the world around you. Are you the person saying I will not, but because of the faith of others you change and became true to the trust placed in you. Or…are you…Matt. 23:27
Which one is worst: Fake good, genuine bad? SAME!!! With each you need true conversion!! Faith of others should be part of our decision towards true conversion. The question you need to ask yourself is: why am I what I am? This brings us to the point where we are starting to have faith in ourselves to become.
Psychologist proclaim that when a person act somebody else than his true self then he has a very bad self-image. Becoming somebody else will never be you. You need to have faith in yourself. Others seem not always to have faith in you, but this must not change your view of yourself. Remember: Faith is not in the seen but the unseen. Faith is to become!! The first brother faith in himself – focus wrong.
oAggressive rebels when converted become aggressive followers!
The second brother no faith in himself – need to get faith. How do we view ourselves? Do we only see the negative things other people see in us…? Or …Do we see the negative in us as being transformed by the faith we have in ourselves. We need to see what God sees! Look at Peter, always in trouble, pretending to be strong but in actual fact so weak. Had no faith in himself. Walking on water/Cutting of officials ear/finally giving up his faith. Suddenly saw himself for what he really was, fake. Suddenly realized what Jesus saw in him, the potential. Acts 5:12-15
Suddenly looking back the past two years I realized I was going nowhere. Had to make a decision! I had only one option study, but had no matric. Sedaven seems to be only option because I was to old and they were private. Prayed first time earnestly hoping there was still hope testing if there is really a God. For the first time in my whole life I started to experience God’s hand knowingly.
Made me only a believer that there is maybe a God. I was accepted at Sedaven, promising them I would comply to the rules of SDA belief. Where previously I was aggressively honest about being a non-believer – son no.1 I now became a white tombstone – son no.2. I was called in a few months later and warned that my 2nd change was running out. I suddenly became very aware of God’s hand and my own true potential. Faith of my mother, faith of others of what I can be began changing my outlook on life and I began to experience the faith God had in me!
God’s faith is something we cannot comprehend. It sees things we will never see. It knows things we will never know. His faith in us is faith we will never understand. Why would a God as big and mighty give thought to one little rebel? I don’t know the full answer, but I do know the abbreviation: GOD IS LOVE! Have you experienced his love? YES definitely! More than 10years has past since my life changed, and God has never a dull day with me. I am probably on of His greatest challenges, and so might you also be. God will not give up. I enjoyed what Ps. Brian Sterley once said: God is like a bloodhound. I am not perfect yet, and sometimes it feels like yesterday I made my decision…But God has never lost faith, so why should I? Isa. 1:18,19
God wants to have a relationship. Relationship is two parties communicating positively! Are you in communication with God daily. Whether you knew it or not, God was always there trying to get your attention.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 Cor. 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.
Where are you standing with God? Remember, we are here because of the faith of our parents of our family and friends. Remember, we are what we are because of our faith in ourselves. Remember, we are to become something beautiful because of God’s faith in us. Are we going to keep on living the way we do, riding the highway of this world enjoying the pleasures of this life or… Are have we decided to take the golden Highway with heavenly pleasures starting here, taking us to God and the eternal life here after. All gears have been oiled, the motor is idling, the whole of the universe is waiting…waiting for you to make your decision. God is sitting on the etch of His big golden throne, His mighty hand guarding over you waiting, watching and calling. Can we keep on ignoring him? He has the grease to loosen our hearts’ door if rusted shut. Will we allow Him to love us. He cares like nobody else ever cared for you! Give Him a chance. Let us become like by beholding is my prayer.