Read thru New Testament – January 29, 2017

January 29

 

Matt. 20:1-16

Matt. 19:13-20:28-Teachings on the Kingdom of Heaven (cont’d.)

Matthew 19:30-20:16-The Offer of Grace to Enter the Kingdom

Matt. 19:30-20:16-This parable begins and ends with the same phrase…just in the reverse order (19:30, 20:16). Jesus tells a parable about a man who hires workers throughout the day...and at the end of the day he pays them all the same amount.  It is a parable about God's grace.  He extends it equally to everyone...to those who are quick to receive it and to those who do so at the last minute.  Salvation is not a matter of us, or what we do...it is a matter of God's grace that is extended to everyone equally.  “God’s grace and generosity know no bounds, and man’s ideas of merit and earned rewards are irrelevant” (Ryrie).  We should be pleased at any time, when anyone truly receives the grace of God.

There is another lesson to be learned from this parable. Why do we serve God?  Is it only for the reward?  Or, do we do so out of the sheer joy of knowing Him, and as an act of thanksgiving to Him?  The rewards in Heaven will be great.  But, the greatest reward of all is to find oneself serving the Lord because in doing so we bring praise to Him.

There is one more lesson for us. Recognize and accept the calling of God on your life.  Don’t be envious (:15) of others and the recognition that they receive.  The quickest way to kill your joy of serving the Lord, is to compare yourself to others.  Not only that, it reveals a basic distrust in God’s sovereignty.  God knows what is best suited for you, and what you are best suited for.  Wherever He chooses to have you serve is the place where you will receive the greatest blessing and bring Him the greatest praise.

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for allowing me to serve You. It is such an incredible privilege to in Your service.  I pray that You would use me to bring You glory and honor.  Help me to keep my life pure so that there is nothing that would bring dishonor to Your name.

 

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