“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”
(Ephesians 2:4-5)

Series Focus: “Thy Kingdom Come”

Have you ever felt insignificant? Like you’ve faded into the background? Like you are disqualified on every level? Thinking you have nothing good to offer? Or, even if you did, your value is not realized nor understood by others? Most of us have likely experienced these situations and the emotions they produce.

On the flipside, after being rejected, have you experienced a breakthrough of acceptance and provision? Can you recall the relief, the joy, and the comfort of being wanted?

Jesus shared a story about the Kingdom of Heaven that involves these very scenarios. Let’s read 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.”

The workers who were hired late in the day were paid the same wage as those hired first thing in the morning. On the onset, this doesn’t seem fair. Our finite minds might gravitate toward this thought. However, let’s examine the details a little further. Who would still be hanging around, waiting to be hired, late in the afternoon? Perhaps those who, upon appearance, would not be good workers and producers. The weak. The elderly. The very young. The inexperienced. The ill-equipped.

The master did not only hire the qualified and the equipped. He also hired those who perhaps appeared unqualified, but were waiting, willing, and in need. Likewise, God isn’t looking for perfect vessels. All have sinned, failed, made mistakes, have weaknesses, frailties, inexperience… The list goes on. All of us are in need of a Savior. Truly, God sees each one of us as worthy, welcome, and wanted. Just as the master hired every worker who presented themselves, God welcomes into His Kingdom all who call upon Jesus.

In the story, the master paid the same wage to all workers—the weak and the strong; the equipped and ill-equipped; the young and the old; the vitalized and the weary; the impressive and the seemingly insignificant. None of us will produce the same works. None of our abilities and gifts are the same. Some will serve God a lifetime. Others, maybe only mere moments. Regardless, the benefits God provides to all who believe upon Him, are the same. Salvation. Mercy. Grace. Forgiveness. Eternal Life. The promises of God are Yes! and Amen! in Christ.

Friend, you are hand-picked by God to enter His “vineyard;” and God has a “wage” already provided for you through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It’s the same wage across the board for all who believe upon Jesus. Nothing can separate you from His perfect love.

Are you waiting around the marketplace of life, feeling like you are disqualified, invisible, unwanted, unworthy, and unable to fulfill His purpose? Don’t hang out there any longer. The Master says, “You go into the vineyard, too.” God has a place for you. Answer His call and be confident in His promises for you. We don’t enter His Kingdom by our own abilities, merits, and works—but by His, and the finished work of Jesus. You are wanted. You are welcome. You are worthy. You are hand-picked by Almighty God.

Holding Fast to Hope,
Maryann

Scriptures: Matthew 20:1-16; Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 3:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2-3; Romans 3:23, 8:38-39, 9:15-16; Psalm 103:10-12; 2 Corinthians 1:20

Video will be posted on Friday following each Monday Morning Hope post.