What do you really deserve?
At mid-summer now, we are seeing lots of fruits and vegetables from local gardeners who have put in the hard work to grow them. I have been really enjoying some of them too! Jesus shared a parable, recorded in Matthew 20, about a vineyard owner and his workers. The vineyard owner needed workers desperately; there was a lot of work to be done! I wonder if it was time for the harvest? If so, the grapes needed to be picked or they would rot on the vine. So he went out early in the morning and hired day workers for one denarius - a generous sum, equal to the day wage of a Roman soldier.
Because there was so much work to be done, he went out again to hire more workers at 9:00, noon, 3:00 and even 5:00, agreeing to pay them “whatever is right.” When the day was over at 6:00, the vineyard owner paid the last hired first. Amazingly, the vineyard owner paid those who worked only an hour the full denarius. Those hired first were not happy about that; in fact they were envious, complaining to the vineyard owner that they had carried to bulk of the workload. But the vineyard owner paid all the workers same amount.
This is a story of amazing generosity and graciousness! Do you realize how remarkably generous and gracious God is? He offers you amazing grace through Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. All who accept Christ as Savior and Lord receive the gift of eternal life in God’s heaven. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9. This is God’s amazing grace!
Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. The workers hired later in the day didn’t deserve to be paid a full denarius, but yet the vineyard owner paid it. God offers all who follow Jesus the same gift of eternal life in His heaven. We don’t deserve it; we can’t earn it; we would never boast about it! It is God’s gift, offered through faith.
Do you believe?! Will you go to work for Christ’s sake because there is work to be done! Jesus said to His disciples: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Matthew 9:37. Let’s get busy! Are there people in your life right now who may be far from Jesus? Would you invest in them and invite them to come to know Christ; to join you for worship at Watermark? As we prepare for a new ministry year, would you consider serving alongside other Watermarkers? There is work to be done! For far more, listen to The Parables Part 4 - When the last are first.