Some of the most joyous times for our family were the many houseboat vacations we enjoyed with our young sons at Lake Shasta near the California/Oregon border. The memories that were built while fishing, boating, and water skiing are priceless treasures in our hearts.
We were blessed with twin sons, Dan and Tom, who enjoy God’s creation with a passion. From the age of three they caught the fishing bug. They were equally gifted in talent and ability and quickly became proficient in the sport. By the age of eleven they were using bait casting reels with complete dexterity. My hardest job was to find fish that bit with fair and equal treatment for both sons. There were many days when we stayed out several extra hours to try to even the score between these competitive boys. I remember when one of the boys was having a tough day and looked up at me with tears in his eyes. He asked, “Daddy, when is it going to be my turn?”
Life sometimes has a way of dealing out circumstances unevenly. Dads and moms often try to balance praise and reward so that each child can feel fulfilled and encouraged. While discovering the distinct gifts and talents of each child, we endeavor to motivate them to explore and develop those precious abilities. As encouragers we try to be even-handed and fair with our appreciation in order that each child feels equally blessed and loved.
In the twentieth chapter of Matthew we find a wonderful parable given to the disciples by our Lord. This lesson taught them about the even-handedness and equally of God’s love and grace. As the parable develops, the landowner hired people throughout the day with the last man only working one hour. But at the end of the day, the landowner paid them all equally, regardless of how long they had worked. Many of the workers grumbled to the landowner because they felt he was being unfair.
Aren’t you glad that we have a loving Savior who doesn’t measure our success on how long we have been a Christian, or how often we go to church, or how many prayers we offer up to God, or how many good deeds we have done. While these things are important to our spiritual development, Jesus tells us in this parable that we all equally forgiven because of His generosity. The charity of His shed blood on Calvary’s cross allows everyone the same opportunity to be forgiven of their sins and to enter Heaven as equal partners in Christ.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 20:1-16
Personal Application: Think of a time when you thought life was unfair. How does that situation line up with this devotional? Consider God’s unbiased distribution of grace and mercy to you and all who call upon Him. What’s your proper response to His goodness in your life?
Wendell Morton and Jim Grassi, D. Min.
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5