Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 13, 2018

“I am generous”

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 20:1-16.

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.  When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard.  And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place;  and to those he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’  And so they went.  Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing.  And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing around;  and he *said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’  They *said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’  He *said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard *said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.’  When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius.  When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more;  but each of them also received a denarius.  When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’  But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong;  did you not agree with me for a denarius?  Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.  Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own?  Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’  So the last shall be first, and the first last.”  Matthew 20:1-16.

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Today’s Scripture may begin a new chapter, but it builds upon yesterday’s Scripture which is in a different chapter.

Yesterday’s Scripture (Matthew 19:27-30) starts by establishing God’s justice.  Jesus’ disciples pointed out that they had left everything and followed Jesus and asked what they would receive for such sacrifice and service.  Jesus assured them that they would receive rewards which would be even more than fair compensation.

Today’s Scripture teaches us that God is more than just;  God is generous.  Even in yesterday’s Scripture, we saw the generosity of God.  “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.”  Matthew 19:29.  But, in today’s Scripture we see a dramatic illustration of God’s generosity in Jesus’ parable of the laborers who only worked one hour in the vineyard receiving a full day’s wages.  And, in today’s Scripture, we read the question of the landowner representing God which further establishes the generosity of God by His own admission that He is generous:  “Or is your eye envious because I am generous?”  Verse 15.

What an encouragement these two Scriptures should be to us!  Not only is God just in giving fair compensation for our sacrifice and service;  God is generous!  If we are pleased to work for an earthly employer who is just in giving us fair compensation for our service, how much better is it to work for God Who gives us heavenly compensation AND that heavenly compensation is generous!!

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”  James 1:5.


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