9/20/20

Our scripture this week is Matthew 20:1-16.

For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 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?’ ‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ 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.’ The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘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.’ “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.

Unlike earthly resources, God’s gifts for us are unlimited. We often operate from a mindset of scarcity, worried that what we have will run out. God’s love and blessings for us aren’t bound by amounts, and He is always willing to provide the resources needed to accomplish His kingdom goals.

Our problem is seeing these as given to us. In fact our gifts are intended for others, to be used as part of God’s plan and not for our enjoyment or enrichment. It is by passing on these blessings that we are truly blessed.

Think of the power given to Jesus – did He ever use it for Himself? No, it was only for us that Jesus expended Himself, using all the gifts He was given to heal and save us. Our call is no different, to do God’s will by loving and sharing with others. That is the true use of all our gifts.

Gracious God, we have been so richly blessed, yet we have often held back what we have been given. Help us to use all Your gifts to us for their best purpose. Amen.

Published by Pastor Doug

UMC pastor, Retired USAF, husband, father, grandfather

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