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Summary: A message on how God provides for our needs.

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EMPLOYER—EMPLOYEE

Matthew 20:1-16

INTRO: What’s in it for me? That is the question you hear most often when you ask someone to do something for you. People are always interested in what they will get out of the things they do. This is the same question that the disciples asked Jesus in Matthew 19:27. Jesus responded with the parable we find in our text. Let’s look at Jesus’ response. In His response, we see two things that should characterize our lives of service.

I. HIS ANSWER DEPICTS THE GENEROSITY OF GOD TOWARD PERSONS.

The owner of the vineyard needed some laborers for his harvest. The common way of getting them was to go to the town square where the unemployed men would gather awaiting a Job offer. He hires some men, at different hours all throughout the day. He went to them. They did not come to him seeking work.

He gave each man an opportunity to do some work, and receive some pay for their labor. He does not make any agreement to pay different amounts for the work performed by the laborers. We would call this man a generous man.

God took the initiative to see out laborers, and pay them generously (Matthew 19:28f). Where else could you get such a return on your investment?

God always treat us better than we deserve. God is the owner of the vineyard, and the earth is the vineyard. We are the laborers. How well have we worked in that vineyard?

II. HIS ANSWER DISTINGUISHES THE RIGHT ATTITUDE OF SERVICE—GRATITUDE.

Some of the laborers calculated the expected reward on a legal basis. They felt that they were entitled to more wages because they had worked harder.

Others compared the number of hours worked with other laborers. Neither was the basis of reward. These people were not grateful for having a job for the day.

ILLUS: James and John asked Jesus to allow them to sit beside Him in glory. They wanted something special for their service.

How many of us have the same attitude of James and John, or the attitude of the complaining laborers. Many think that they deserve something special for their time and service. I have known people who would clock out at work and then go back to work on their own time. I have also known others who would watch the clock and those who would quit a few minutes early.

God gives us abundantly according to his grace (Matthew 19:29). He gives to each of us what he wishes. The vineyard is His. The wages are his. He can give them as he pleases. We are not to question what God does, or why he does things the way he does.

Gratitude is always to be our response to God for what he has done for us.

CONC: Jesus does not want workers who work for the reward they get. He wants people who work because they of the love they have for him. Is this our attitude of service?


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