LINE UP!

Matthew – God’s Purposes
 
Matthew 20 line upNothing I would do as a teacher would get a bigger gut groan from students than when I would turn their line around for lunch or recess! My purpose was to stop the running to be first in line. They would push and shove, knocking people from the head of the line. Some would run, knocking over chairs for the coveted title of “being first” to go anywhere. The first time the students tried this method of lining up, they experienced “the first shall be last and the last shall be first”. Yes, I would say this out loud as I went the back of the battered line of last people who didn’t make it to the front and lead them around the room and out the door.
 
Those first kids, now at the end of the line, groaned and signed, “That’s not fair!” Mm, is that right? I don’t think so. Those who calmly walked to the line were rewarded for doing what was right. That’s all. This moment brought to you by “teachable moments by Susan”.
 
Ah, but I cannot take the glory or credit for this moment. Jesus taught his disciples (and all of us) who were always fighting over who was the greatest with wondering what reward awaited them for their work with this parable.
 
Matthew 20, NLT
Parable of the Vineyard Workers
 
Matthew 20 greatness20 “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work.
 
3 “At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. 4 So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. 5 So they went to work in the vineyard. At noon and again at three o’clock he did the same thing.
 
6 “At five o’clock that afternoon he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’
 
7 “They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’
 
“The landowner told them, ‘Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.’
 
Matthew 20 not fair.png8 “That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. 9 When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. 10 When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. 11 When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, 12 ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’
 
13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’
 
16 “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”
 
WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
 
Matthew 20 last.jpgWhen we did deeper, it is most about those who receive salvation late in life. We should rejoice but our human minds wonder if they will receive the same reward of heaven. OF COURSE, they will. No matter when our friends and family accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, we rejoice! We should not think or say, “well, it’s about time” and then wonder about the reward. “When we ALL get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be…” Remember that old hymn?
 
We are all sinners in need of God’s saving grace. Praise God for not giving all of us what we really deserve. Praise God for His generous, reckless, relentless, unconditional, unchanging love, mercy and grace! Thank God for all He has done through Jesus Christ who brought us back into a relationship with Him! Thank God for His Holy Spirit that keeps us on the right road with focus on our Lord and His teaching. Thank God for His generous provisions, protection and blessings daily on top of all that! AND there’s an eternal home waiting for us, too when Jesus comes for His own!
 
There’s no need for groaning when Jesus turns the line around. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. Where are you in the line? Does it matter?
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you have done, are doing and will do in our lives. Help us to stop judging each other’s salvation timing and works. Help us to rejoice like all the angels of heaven when one lost soul find you and follows you…no matter when.
In Jesus Name, Amen
 
Now, I’m singing…When we All Get to Heaven…
 
Sing the wondrous love of Jesus
Sing his mercy and his grace
In the mansions bright and blessed
He’ll prepare for us a place
 
Matthew 20 first and last.jpgWhen we all get to heaven
What a day of rejoicing that will be
When we all see Jesus
We’ll sing and shout the victory
 
While we walk the pilgrim pathway
Clouds will overspread the sky
But when travlin’ days are over
Not a shadow, not a sigh
 
When we all get to heaven
What a day of rejoicing that will be
When we all see Jesus
We’ll sing and shout the victory
 
Onward to the prize before us
Soon his beauty we’ll behold
Soon the pearly gates will open
We shall tread the streets of gold
 
When we all get to heaven
What a day of rejoicing that will be
When we all see Jesus
We’ll sing and shout the victory
 
Songwriters: Don Wyrtzen / Emily D. Wilson / E.E. Hewitt

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
This entry was posted in Blessings, Christian Living, Christian Perspective, Embrace, Encouragement, Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, harvest, heaven, Holy Spirit, Hope, hospitality, hugs, insight, investments, Jesus, joy, Leadership, Listen, lost but found, Love, marriage, Mercy, ministry, Praise, Prayer, relationship with God, repent, Revelation of Jesus, Salvation, Searching, Teaching, Thanksgiving, Training, Transformation, trust in God, Truth, Uncategorized, Unconditional love, waiting on God, wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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