Scripture – Matthew 20:1-16
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity? ‘So the last will be first, and the first last.”
Wow. This is sometimes hard to accept. But we must.
Those who lead horrible lives, do horrific things to other people, with zero regard to God or his people (standing idle in the market place all day long), and then turn and repent at the end of their lives (at the eleventh hour) – are forgiven and receive the same eternal inheritance (eternal life in heaven with God) as those who believed from a young age and lives lives holy and passionate for God…
Sometimes, if I’m honest, I feel like some people (based on what they’ve done) should be passed over for salvation. Who am I to have an opinion about who God shows mercy and kindness to? Did he not show me incredible mercy and kindness by extending his grace to me several years ago?
Grace. It really is amazing. I repent of ever thinking or feeling that some people didn’t deserve Jesus to grant them salvation. It is by grace we have been saved, through faith, not by works so that anyone could boast.
Father, thank you for grace. Really. Thank you. Wow.