God promised Abram that He would give him an heir. After waiting around for some time for God to keep his promise, Abram’s wife, Sarai decided to take matters into her own hand. She told Abram to have intercourse with her maidservant, Hagar. Hagar became pregnant, and this created quite the family mess. Abram finally had a son, but this was not the son that God had promised him. This always reminds me of how messy things can get when we want to control things and not wait on the Lord.
In our Gospel reading today from Matthew 7, Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but on the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” This would not be the only time that Jesus would speak of the importance of our actions. He makes it clear time and time again that lip service to Him is not enough.
Appearances are often very important to us. We want to look nice, say nice things, impress people. I’m sure you’ve probably met someone who is great at saying all the right things. But when it comes down to it, their actions don’t back up their words. I suppose to some degree most of us are like that. Sometimes we say things that we know people want to hear. Make promises that we have no intention of keeping. Well, God doesn’t fall for that nonsense. We can pray all the right prayers, say all the right things, cry out, “Lord, Lord,” all we want. But if we’re all talk and no action, it ain’t gonna wash. Let’s always be sure that we’re not just paying lip service to Jesus. Let’s make sure that our, “Lord, Lord,” is followed up with doing the Father’s will.
Father, forgive us for the times we pay lip service. Help us to stop living for appearances only. Give us the grace to do your will today. Amen.