Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Can You Stand For (Them) To Be Blessed?

Can you Stand for (them) to be blessed?

Matthew 20:9 “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.”

People get excited when they hear the promises of God spoken in their lives. Promises like, "you're the head and not the tail, the lender and not the borrower, the prayer of Jabez to expand my territory but the most quoted has to be 'the last will be first, and the first will be last.' I think it's because oftentimes we feel like we are in last place and it's good news to know that those in last place will get the same thing that those in first place will get. The problem with this promise is that fact that there is always somebody further back than you.

Jesus tells a parable about a man who owns a vineyard. He went out to hire workers none of whom had a job. They were just Glad to get a job. He went out early and hired a group and they agreed to work for a days wage. He went out about 12 noon, 3pm, 5pm and even 6pm to hire people to work. When it came time to get paid the owner paid everybody the same thing! The people who had worked all day got an attitude, some would say, rightfully so. They worked all day in the hot sun and some of these people came at the last hour to get paid the exact same thing. Where is the justice in that?!

The problem is that they agreed to the salary. It wasn't the injustice they were mad at, it was the generosity of the owner to the let people to get there that got them upset. Sometimes, God's generosity to others looks like an injustice to us. Can we really handle it when God blesses people who haven't been at church as long as we have? Can we handle it when the new person at work gets the same benefits that took you years to get? Instead of focusing on what other people are getting thank God for what he already gave you.

God told King David that his successor Solomon would be the one to build a temple for God. David could have got an attitude and said to God, "I'm the one who had to fight for my life, go against Goliath by myself, lose my wife, live in a cave for over a year, why does Solomon have to be the one who get's the Glory?" Instead, David prays one of the most humble prayers to God in I Chronicles 17:16, "Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?"

Every now and then we need to stop and thank God for what he's already done instead of getting mad at what he's doing for the late comers. Thank him for having a job. thank him for bringing you this far. Thank him for your benefits. Count your blessings, name them one by one and by the times you're finished you won't have time to complain about anything.

Dear God,

Thank you for being good to me and my family. Thank you for taking care of those behind me. Thank you that the battles I had to fight my children will not have to face. I'm okay with other people being blessed because it was your grace and mercy that kept me and I'm sure will lead me on. Thank you for hiring me.

In Jesus Name,


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