Late to the Party

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    The vineyard owner went out early one morning and hired workers for his vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16). He agreed to pay them the normal daily wage and he sent them out to work. At 9:00, as he passed through the marketplace he saw others who were standing around doing nothing and he asked them to also work in his vineyard. He also found other people to work in his vineyard at noon, 3:00, and even at 5:00 and he asked them to join the others working in his vineyard.

    At the end of the day, the owner of the vineyard paid each of them a full days wages. The ones that had been working all day got exactly what they agreed to and each one of the others was given a full days wage for whatever hours they worked. The ones who had worked all day didn’t feel like it was fair and thought that maybe they should have gotten more, however the response of the owner was correct. He told the workers that he paid them what he agreed to pay them. He wanted to pay the late workers a full days wages. It was not against the law and it was his money to do with what he wanted. He told them that they had no reason to be jealous just because he was kind to others.

    This story reminds us the great grace of God. In heaven there will be some who had been faithful Christians working in the Kingdom for their whole lives while there will be others who have only been Christians for a few hours. We as Christians are created to work in Christ’s Kingdom and it is a responsibility we have a Christians. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God uses our work in His Kingdom and has prepared a work for us to do. Our work can help others and lead others to Christ. However it is not our work that saves us...but rather His grace.

    If I spend my whole life working in the Kingdom and striving to d all I can in service to Him I still do not ever earn my salvation or home in heaven. Luke 17:10 says, “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.” Without His grace all of the work in the world could not save us. Grace comes through faith (Eph 2:8). Faith is our trust in God. Trusting His power, His salvation, His grace, His commands, His plan for man’s redemption. Grace comes not when we work expecting our salvation to be granted due to our work, but rather when we trust God’s grace.

    This story in Matthew 20 shows us the power of God’s grace. Whether we have been a faithful Christian for 50 years or 50 seconds we are saved by the same blood, the same sacrifice, and will receive the same reward in eternity! While this is sometimes a difficult concept, Christians who have been faithful for years should be excited when one obeys the Gospel...even if it is late in life. It is not a reason for jealousy, but a reason to rejoice.