The First Will Be Last

Happy Wednesday! I hope the first day of the year was filled with joy and a desire to renew or expand your relationship with Jesus. Today, we will finish the parable of the Vineyard Workers. Enjoy today’s devotion and for some of you the first day back to work.

“9 When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. 10 When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. 11 When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, 12 ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’

13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’

16 “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.” ” – Matthew 20:9-16 NLT

Here in these final verses of the parable, we find the worker at odds with the landowner. The worker felt he deserved more, because he worked harder. Of course, two self-reflection questions were asked: 1)”Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage?”; 2) “Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?”

Brothers and sisters, if God asked us two self-reflection questions I can guarantee many of us would respond the exact same way. We expect God to do more for us, than someone else. We expect God to be judge over others, but not over us. God is a just God, who seeks justice and is also merciful.

Brothers and sisters, the day will come when we will stand before God and he will give us what He promised in His word (thank God for Jesus, it won’t be what true believers deserve). For some it will be the riches of the kingdom (eternal life) and sadly for those who refuse to believe and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior, it will be eternity in hell. Now before you get upset, each of us are given the same opportunity to repent and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. While one person in the eyes of many may believe their riches in heaven may be greater than another’s riches, God is the ultimate judge. God sees both the wicked and righteous. Brothers and sisters continue to work with humility and love for the Lord.

Father God, you are so patient with us. You seek us out, when we should be graciously drawing ourselves back to you. Lord, when we feel we deserve more, remind us of what you have already given us. Lord, help us to walk in the fullness of what you have given us. Lord, teach us to use our spiritual gifts to glorify your name and tell others of all the things you have done. Lord, thank you for being Lord over our lives. Lord, remove our selfishness and self-righteous behavior. Lord, help us to self-reflect on our attitudes and actions. Point out the things that you want us to work on this year. Lord, lead us and transform us this year to be more like you. Lord, we don’t want to be the same walking through or ending this year. Lord, we surrender our will to yours. Lord, we don’t care which place we are in, just as long as we get to live in eternity with you. Have Your way God. We trust You. In Jesus name, amen.

363 more days left in the year – Lord use them all to change and equip us for your glory.

Keep praying! Keep seeking! Keep trusting!

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