Friday, July 9, 2010
Notes to the Lord:Working in the Vineyard
1"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. 2He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
Lord Jesus--So I am in the field...and doing the work. Thank you that you have called me to meaningful work, an opportunity to make a difference. You have called all of your people to the mission. There are times when I feel overwhelmed and tired, but more times than not I am just grateful for the opportunity to work at your call and live because of your provision.
3"About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' 5So they went.
The key to this story is understanding that you are the one who calls and you are the one who provided for that call. Remind me of that Lord Jesus at the critical times when I would question. My job is to do the work that you put in front of me to do.
"He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6About the eleventh hour 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 the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. 10So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12'These men 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, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? 14Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'
Lord Jesus-- We are in the middle of a heat wave so these words take on concrete meaning and there is sweat that is seeping out the edges. I wish I was never the one with the questions, but still after all these years there are times when I want to say, “It isn’t fair! Why?” .
The up close and personal is simple really...You are the sovereign God you give and you take away,. You reward as you see fit. When I am at the place where it doesn’t seem fair I know that you are at work in my life. My questions you have anticipated and are already shaping me in the process. In the middle of the heat, I am running on faith. I have received such mercy, grow my faith in your protection and provision even during the times when it just is not fair.
"So the last will be first, and the first will be last."
Lord Jesus--This is one teaching that surfaces repeatedly...and there is both warning and blessing in it...those who can not accept your sovereign direction even through they were first will loose out, but those who trust in your mercy even when it doesn't really seem fair will find your mercy there when they need it.