The Gift, No Matter When
Posted: Saturday, January 30
Verse of the day:
When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, ‘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.’ (Matthew 20:11-12)
This real to life story is about entry into the Kingdom of Heaven. It is by invitation from the Ruler of the Kingdom—God. The main point of this story is that each person invited into the Kingdom receives what is promised by the King; not according to work they have done. The one who enters Heaven at the end of their life by repenting of their sin and believing in Jesus receives eternal life, just as they were promised. The person who enters the Kingdom of Heaven as a child by repenting of their sin and believing in Jesus receives eternal life, just as they were promised. Each receives eternal life by invitation and promise, not by the work they have done.
The Apostle Paul makes this very clear to each of us today in his letter to the Ephesians. He wrote, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8-10)
We are not to begrudge God's generosity to those who enter the Kingdom of Heaven at the eleventh hour of their lives and receive eternal life as we who began to serve God earlier in life. Instead, we are to rejoice! Service to God is a blessing that comes after we are saved, not a burden used to earn our way into Heaven. Serving God for a longer period of time has its own rewards and is preferable to entering late in life and having no time to serve. The fields are ripe for harvest—there enough work for all as we focus on the prize, pressing toward the mark of God’s high and Holy calling.