Are You Thankful for the Savior?
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
I believe the most memorable time for our family was 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 waterskiing are priceless treasures in the hearts of my wife and me.
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 and even the score between these competitive boys.
I remember when one of the boys was having a tough day hooking a fish and looked up at me with tears in his eyes and said, “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 feels 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.
There were days that despite our encouragement and instruction, the fish had other plans about who would bring in the biggest stringer. The boys would see the unequal treatment they received from dock attendants and spectators looking on while we took photographs of the day’s catch. Dan and Tom saw that the world’s view of success is capricious and unfair.
In Matthew 20, we find a wonderful parable given to the disciples by our Lord. This lesson taught them about the evenhandedness and equality of God’s love and grace.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard.” Matthew 20:1
As the parable develops we see the landowner hired people throughout the day with the last man only working for a one-hour period, yet he paid them equally. Many of the workers grumbled to the landowner because they felt he was being unfair.
‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ In response to their concern the landowner shared with them a truth that demonstrated his grace and generosity. “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Matthew 20:12-16
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 reading this book the opportunity to be forgiven of their sins and to enter Heaven as equal partners in Christ.
Have you accepted His grace?
The Power of Truth:
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Suggestion for Prayer:
As you pray today, stop and thank God for providing the ultimate sacrifice of His son for our sins. What a mighty God we serve!