At our New Kingdom Bible study last night we discussed procrastination, how we do not have time to waste in life. That discussion lead us to the topic of God's fairness and how we are all held to the same standard by God because we all receive the same reward. You and I won't have it any easier or harder because we are Christians and follow God, we all must work equally hard proclaiming the Gospel and growing God's kingdom on earth by winning souls.
After bible study I could not stop thinking about Matthew 20, the parable of workers in the vineyard so I have chosen this passage for devotion today:
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These 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.’
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
At first glance it looks as if the owner of the vineyard is being unfair or playing favorites. However just like God the owner is being fair and just to each worker. The ones that came early at 9 in the morning and the ones that came at 5 in the evening both are held to the same standard. Despite the time of arrival all are expected to work hard until told to stop. God responds to us the same way, despite when we start following God and living out our faith we are called to work hard until we are called home to heaven. Some of us come to God at 18, others at 32, some at 56 and still others at 71 but whenever we come to God we must work hard in the vineyard of the world until we are called home and then we all get the same reward. After all Fair is Fair, I have to go now it's time to get to work!
Today I pray God that you give all of your current workers the strength to work as hard as we can sharing the good news that you have given us with the world, so that many more will reap the precious reward that is promised to us. Amen.