My husband and I are part of an awesome little small group for couples. It is truly an amazing thing to be studying with brothers and sisters but to do it with your spouse is something a lot of us overlook. In our small group, we are galloping through the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew 20 is what I want to talk about today. This is a parable that simply leaves us, Americans, thinking that the Kingdom operates so much different than our American Dream. IT Does.
Read Matthew 20. Brace yourself you are going to step away thinking... how fair is that?!
The workers that only worked an hour got the same payment as a worker that worked 12 hours. Now, let me express that I am very familiar with this passage. It doesn't bother me at all because I know this passage is referring to salvation. I am also familiar with the gospels leaving me with a "so how are you going to respond" lesson but not telling me how to respond. Almost like, "Bobbi, how are you going to respond when the person who accepts Jesus tomorrow gets the same reward and rewarded before you?" So friends, I will ask you. How are you going to respond?
Verse 11 states, "when they received it, they grumbled at the landowner". This crowd was mad. Money seems to do that with people very quickly. But for the purpose of this, we are going to remember it is talking about salvation. So Jesus called you to work. He called you to full time Christian ministry, or to be part of a role of the church, or His call on you is in the moment but EVERY ONE of us are called to be a witness. It doesn't matter what He called you to do but imagine you have been working all day for His Kingdom. I've been here. I work hard because when I said, "Here I am, Lord! Send Me!" I meant it and He sent me. I remember one day recently, I spent my final day (we are moving 3 hours away) at the abuse shelter in town. Here over the course of 2 Bible Studies, five ladies gave their life to Jesus and were baptized. I went home from a very rewarding work in the "field". And a lady who was on my last nerve was knocking on my messages again. And it hit me if this lady gave her life to Christ fully she would have the same reward as me. It seems unfair almost.... but it also hit me with a how am I going to respond to this parable.
1) I am going to enjoy every minute working for the Kingdom because I am working with HIM. I am not alone. I am in the presence of the Most High. I am going to give Him my all and at the end of the day when I look down and my nerves are shot and there is a text message from someone else needing more from me... I am going to ask Him to fill my cup more. My joy is in Christ alone and I would rather be out in His field than anywhere else in this world.
2) Our God shows no favorites. And neither should I. I should not want to spend more time with ladies that I like but remember to show no favorites. That is hard for a social person like myself. I would much rather sit with my BFF and chat it up than sit awkwardly with a lady who really doesn't have much to say. But Jesus treats us equally.
3) I am going to rearrange my thinking. It is difficult for this all American girl to understand the "so the last shall be first, and the first last". We can sit there and whine about it. We can "grumble" like these folks did or we could change our view point. Instead of grumbling.... I am going to cheer them. I imagine all the people that I watched, maybe even helped, accept Christ go before me. Instead of grumbling about it. I imagine myself cheering them on!!!! "You go, Girlfriend!"... "I am so proud", "KEEP GOING"... and I am going to wait for my God's reward because HE promised me and HE IS WORTHY. He is so worthy that I am okay waiting behind the ones who just realized He is worthy because maybe He knows they need us behind them.... cheering. I think of new believers. Satan attacks quickly, doesn't he?! We have all experienced Satan's attempts to steal us back after we accept truth. Maybe the workers that just joined need us, seasoned workers, cheering them on. Perhaps, they do not need us grumbling that we deserve more because we don't. We deserve death and His GRACE covered it for us.... that is what we deserve. So instead of walking around with a "I deserve this" attitude we need to walk around living a life that declares "YOU need this". We need to live lives that make everyone else want to follow and work for our God too.
I am praying for you! Feel free to like and share! And join our facebook page! if there is anyway I could pray for you, shoot me an email at MomentsInTheWord@gmail.com. I am praying for you and thank God for you!
How are you going to respond?