day 2 - the KINGDOM IS LIKE...
Matthew 20: 1-16 (NIV)
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius (penny) a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ 5 So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ 8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ 9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’[b] 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.”
There is a common thread among those God chooses as Kingdom builders that is simply that most of us truly aren’t qualified to fulfill such a great commission. One must remember that God doesn’t look for “qualified” among those he calls. God looks for those who are willing and maintain pureness of heart then qualifies thereafter. This is the beauty of the Kingdom of God. We’re all deemed sinners and unworthy yet we find ourselves coming up from the waters of salvation, dripping in grace we could never have earned.
Humanity seeks for scales and earthly tangible factors in identifying what is eligible or deemed “worthy” of a particular outcome. Our generation is obsessed with measuring the worth of a person based on material possessions or earthly accolades. This has caused many to feel “less than” or “never good enough” but there is good news! God sees you and your role in His Kingdom as so important that He allowed His Own blood to spill down a cross at Calvary because YOU’RE THAT IMPORTANT TO HIM!
Our reading is a parable given by Jesus himself. Summed up, this story is an effort to ultimately portray that He does not measure the way we do. “The last shall be first and the first shall be last”… He can do a work in you wherever you are at. Don’t insult Calvary by believing or expressing that you’re not good enough or worthy… Your worth and role in His Kingdom was greater than life itself to our Creator!
Matthew 13:44 (ESV)
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Do you ever stop and think about what a treasure it is to know God and possess the blueprint for salvation? Over 7 billion people we share this planet with yet somehow out of all of them, you’re here living His truth and building His Kingdom…the thought is beautiful and sobering. This is why it is referred to as a “treasure” in our reading. There is not price tag that humanity could place on the value of being a part of “the Kingdom of Heaven”.
In 2016 the vision cast by Pastor Morton for our church was “Buy In” taken from our reading in Matthew 13. The goal as a body of Believers was to simply live out the “buy the field” concept. There is great treasure within the fields of God’s kingdom, but we have to be willing to buy the field. The purchaser must not stagnant, on the fence or have parts of their heart reserved for other temporal things…all in, laboring, doing and ultimately seeing the promises of God fulfilled in their life. There must be a “come rain or flood” tenacity within us that endures even in failure. If you fall get back up. There is treasure to be hewn out of the vast caverns of God’s Kingdom and you possess the tools. You matter. Your role is important. There is a cost but the Eternal reward could never be measured.
- What are some personal things you “treasure” within the Kingdom of God?
- Why do you think Jesus likened the Kingdom to a field?
- What are some characteristics of a person who has “bought in”?