TODAYS SCRIPTURE: MATTHEW 20:1, 15
Please read Matthew 20:1, 2, 12, and 15
(Verses 1-2) "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard." (Verse 12) 'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.' (Verse 15) "Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?"
An ad announced that, if you opened a new checking account at a local bank, you would receive a Snuggie Blanket. Sounds pretty good, but it got me to thinking.
What if I was a long time customer? Would I get a Snuggie? What if I went in and asked if they would give me a Snuggie for not changing banks? And if not, would I be upset? Shouldn't I be rewarded for being a customer?
I have seen this same incentive used in other ways. "Are you a registered nurse? Then come work at our facility and we will give you a $1,000 sign on bonus." "First time buyers receive free shipping." "First time buyers receive a discount." "Order in the next 24 hours and we will not only send you one, but two."
What if I was a nurse and worked at the facility for years. Why shouldn't I receive a "stay on the job" bonus? And what if I order after 24 hours, am I penalized and only get one?
Did you read all of Matthew 20:1-15? The complete parable tells that the person hired to work all day received a denarius. So did the person who started work at the third, sixth, ninth and eleventh hours. No matter how long they worked, they received a denarius.
The notes say, "This parable occurs only in Matthew's Gospel. In its original setting, its main point seems to be the sovereign graciousness and generosity of God extended to "latecomers" into God's kingdom. It is addressed to the grumblers who just cannot handle this amazing expression of God's grace."
Wow. I get it. God is so loving. So gracious. So generous. God offers His Kingdom to all that believe. Those that have believed for their lifetime. Those that find faith in their 30's. In their 60's. In their 90's. God offers His Kingdom to those that believe in the last minutes of their lives. He offers His Kingdom to all!!!
QUESTIONS OF THE DAY
Are you a grumbler? Do you complain or wonder why someone receives the same blessings as you do, when they have only been a Christian for three hours? Or six hours? Or nine hours? Or even those that believe at the eleventh hour?
Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.
LET US PRAY
Loving, Generous, Gracious God, Thank you that the kingdom of heaven is for all believers. Those that came early into faith and those that came late. I thank you for all those that came early into faith. They have been role models for me. By watching them, I have learned to walk through my troubles with the knowledge that You are with me. Thank you that they are there to celebrate my Christian life. Thank you for all those that came into their faith later. They show me childlike faith. I thank you, gracious, generous, loving God, that you are patiently waiting, eager to give each of your children their reward. Thank you for waiting for me. Amen