MATTHEW 20:1 "For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. 8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day."

In the verses above Jesus tells the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. The householder went out early in the morning and hired laborers to work in the vineyard. He agreed to pay each one of them a penny for a day's work. He went out at the third hour and hired more workers then again at the sixth and eleventh hour. He told them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. When pay time came the workers who started early thought they should receive more pay than the ones who only worked a few hours. The last ones hired only worked for one hour, yet they were paid the same as the workers who had labored all day in the heat. They didn't think it was fair that they should all be paid the same. But, on the other hand, the late comers were thinking what good fortune they were having to be paid so much for so little work.

We complain when an unqualified person gets a promotion or raise before us or a neighbor who never fertilizes his grass has a beautiful lawn while we spend money and time on ours and it isn't nearly as pretty. We cry "unfair." But what about the person who doesn't have a job and the homeless who have no yard. We never think about our car that runs perfectly for years when a friends gets a lemon or the man down the block dying with cancer while we haven't even had a cold all year. Life is unfair but sometimes that unfairness works to our advantage, we just fail to se it when it does.

For every person who has something bad happen to them, there are millions who are not suffering the same fate. For every person who has cancer, there are millions who don't. For every person who loses a job, there are millions who are working. For every person who just lost a loved one, there are millions who's whole family is alive and well. We only see our misfortune and never think about our fortune. In most cases the good we are given in life far outweighs the bad. The next time bad luck comes knocking on your door, try to focus on all your blessings and what all God has given you. It just may change your whole outlook on life!



MATTHEW 20:13 "But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

Here the householder assured the workers who had worked all day that he had done nothing wrong. They had agreed to work all day for a penny and that is what he had paid them. Even though the other workers had received far more than they deserved, they had still received a fair wage for their labor. Jesus is assuring us in this parable that no matter when we give our hearts to Christ we will be welcomed into the kingdom of heaven with open arms, whether 7 or 70. But I'd be afraid to wait, for I might face death before I had time to pray!



I hope you will count your blessings this week instead of your misfortunes!



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