Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 8 - Workers In the Vineyard

Matthew 20:1-16

Years ago, a serial murderer was caught after brutally killing several people; he was convicted and was given the death sentence. While he was in jail, he repented and asked Christ into his life. While many Christians rejoiced over his salvation, others were upset and said he deserved to die after what he had done. I even remember hearing a person say that they couldn’t believe that this person truly had received the gift of salvation because he had done such awful things. The problem with that thinking is that the person forgot that salvation and grace are gifts that God freely gives to us – we don’t deserve it! He loves us so much that He wants to extend His grace no matter what is in our past. The parable I am looking at today helps us learn this lesson.

Jesus tells us about a landowner (God) who hires some men to work in his vineyard for a certain price. Throughout the day, he finds more men to go out and work in the field with the original workers. About an hour before they finished, the owner found more workers and hired them for that last hour. He paid all of them the amount he promised the original workers, which upset the workers. The owner then replies to them in verses 14-15, “I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money?” It is a good reminder for us that how God chooses to give His gift of grace is not our place to give commentary. We are completely blessed to receive the gift in the first place.

God bought us with a great price; He sacrificed His only son so that we could have life with Him! That sacrifice is worth the same for the person who received salvation as a child as it is for the person who received salvation on their deathbed. We can rejoice that God looks beyond our sins and still extends His grace. We are no more deserving of His grace than the person who killed many people, yet He gives it to us anyway. I am so thankful that God has drawn me to Him even though I have sinned!

Do you rejoice when someone comes to Christ no matter what is in their past? If you are new in your walk with Christ, do you believe that God has given you equal share in the inheritance? Praise God that He doesn’t play favorites!

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