Refreshment in Refuge
by Gina Burgess
The Kingdom of Grace is like a man who went to gather laborers for his vineyard. If we dig a little deeper, we'll see what Jesus is describing according to Robert Hawker:
Kingdom of Heaven = Kingdom of Grace, not the Kingdom of Glory after the end of ages
The Owner = God in Heaven
The vineyard = the Church
The day of hire = earthly life
The workers hired = all those called and chosen by God to enter into Grace
The different hours = the different seasons, ages of the world, and ages of life
The marketplace = the world
The wages = the gift of God. Not full, fair payment, but a gift.
This penny given for the day’s wages is given to every person hired regardless of the hour of hire. If some of us think that being a lifelong Christian deserves more grace than someone converted on his or her deathbed, let’s think that through.
In the daily humdrum of life, do we do everything we possibly can to bring glory to God? Are we totally obedient? Do we live the life of worship? Does doing any of that actually earn Grace?
Grace is that unmerited favor. We are definitely laborers, and the fields are white for harvest. But are we sitting idle in the marketplace, or are we laboring to bring in the abundant harvest? Jesus said that the harvest is bountiful, but the laborers are few (Matthew 9:37; Luke 10:2).
Each person receives the same gift regardless of how long they labor. Does that seem unfair? Consider this:
A man throws his five children off a bridge. In prison, he meets Jesus and repents.
A young girl runs away from home, and is seduced by a whoremonger. She lives a life of prostitution. One day she meets Jesus and repents.
A boy meets Jesus when he’s seven years old. He devotes his life to living for God, but when he is called into the ministry to be a pastor he rebels living his life as a business owner.
A seventy-five year old man, riddled with cancer, finally gives his heart to Jesus, and dies the next day.
A young girl gives her life and heart to Jesus, hears His call to be a missionary and becomes one. She dies on the mission fields when she is sixty-five years old.
What is the real difference among these believers?
Only that one of them spent more times with Jesus on earth than the others did. There are different degrees of sin, but no matter the sin even one without Jesus to defend you in Heaven sends you to Hell. Regardless of what time of day we go to work, we still have Grace. The problem for a lot of believers is that obedience thing.
Obedience and laboring does not purchase our grace because grace is the gift. The equality of the laborers wages illustrates this because one person does not hold greater merit than another person. God is no respecter of persons. Only Jesus was perfect.
The Vineyard, the Laborers, and the Harvest are all the gift of God the Father purchased by God the Son, and cultivated by God the Spirit.
God has given each believer (laborer) the strengths and abilities to do the work, but these are all God’s. The whole belongs to Him because it is not by power or might, but by His Spirit says the Lord God (Zechariah 4:6).
When the day draws to a close will you be holding the penny, or are you still standing in the marketplace?
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She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.
If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection
Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and eBookChristian.com
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