InTouch.org with Dr. Charles Stanley
Friday, November 05, 2010
Read | Matthew 20:25-28
Laborers in the Vineyard
1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2“When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3“And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place; 4and to those he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ And so they went. 5“Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing. 6“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?’ 7“They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ 8“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.’ 9“When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. 10“When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11“When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, 12saying, ‘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.’ 13“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? 14‘Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15‘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?’ 16“So the last shall be first, and the first last.”
Death, Resurrection Foretold
17As Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and on the way He said to them, 18“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, 19and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.”
20Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. 21And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” 22But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to Him, “We are able.” 23He said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.” 24And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers. 25But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26“It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Sight for the Blind
29As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. 30And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 31The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 32And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 33They said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” 34Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.
According to Scripture, work is to be part of the believer’s life. We all have daily tasks, and many Christians hold jobs outside the home. Some people view these as drudgery. Others wake up excited to face the day’s challenges. What is your outlook?
There is an important biblical principle to follow if you are going to enjoy your work: View yourself as a servant. This might be hard if you feel unappreciated or your coworkers are difficult. But consider the example that the Lord set for us. He was rejected, tortured, and crucified. Yet Jesus was willing to serve even His tormentors with His attitude and, ultimately, with His life. Colossians 3:23-24 states, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men . . . It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
When I was in college, this proved to be a valuable perspective. I worked in the bleachery, which was the hottest and most uncomfortable job at the local textile mill. At first, I focused on how much I disliked this position. But I decided to change my attitude and look for opportunities to serve Jesus through my work. For the first time, the heat did not bother me. In fact, I was eager to share my faith with those around me. People listened and responded because they noticed my demeanor.
No job is perfect; each position has negative aspects. But we can find joy and excitement even in the most menial task when we decide to work for God. Choose to serve Christ in all you do. After all, why face each day with dread when you could experience excitement and anticipation?