Summary: The beautiful part of Grace is that we don’t deserve it.
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“The beautiful part of Grace is that we don’t deserve it.”
Sunday Morning Sermon
Intro: (Start with title and text)
Every week I come up with insightful and intriguing ways to start the sermons. One preacher said this – My job is to speak, your job is to listen, if you get finished before I do – let me know. This morning – we are going to build the introduction for the sermon together – I need your help. If you were going to name some of the characteristics of God – where would you start? If you know a word that describes God – just name it. You will click 16 times, prompting the people to read off the names. Good, Loving, Perfect, Holy, Eternal, Patient, Wise, Protector, Powerful, Fatherly, Passionate, Understanding, Unchanging, kind, gracious… All of those words describe God – There is something beautiful about God – His grace. We use words like – Wonderful, Matchless, and Amazing to describe Grace. Regardless of who you are, what you’ve done, how far you’ve come, how much you’ve grown, or the way you make Him known in your life – we are all in need of the grace of God. Let me ask you this could the grace of God be ugly or unfair?
August 5, 2007 – Ben was baptized. Who wouldn’t offer little Ben the grace of God? You can’t get any cuter, you can’t get any sweeter than little Ben – that kind of Grace would be easy. If everyone who received the grace of God were like Ben – it would be easy. What happens when prison ministry works and people who have done some rotten things – come and accept Jesus? Is the grace of God still beautiful if it’s embraced by someone who is not? The short answer is yes – after all God loves everyone, right? So it’s ok that he loves those who are unlovable – those who are unworthy – and those who might even not do the things with his love that we would.
Open your Bibles to Matthew 20:1-16 (Read) (Advance)
This is a picture of something beautiful. It’s a horrible way to run a business. But an excellent way to deal with eternity. This speaks deeply about the grace we receive – I see three things this morning about the grace that we have.
I. Grace is from God to us (1-7)
a. Through the person of Jesus (Advance)
Titus 2:11-12 – (NIV) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
i. It teaches us – we learn when we apply God’s grace to our lives.
ii. It helps us grow – We grow when we apply God’s grace to our lives.
Chuck Swindoll said, “To show grace is to extend favor or kindness to one who doesn’t deserve it.”
b. The story – Jesus starts off with the kingdom of heaven is like….
At least ten times in the gospel of Matthew Jesus teaches us about the kingdom of heaven through parables.
c. The landowner – went out early in the morning to hire men to work his vineyard –
i. The Jewish work day – Began at 6:00am
This was probably harvest time – Late September – If the crops were late – the rush would be on to get the harvest complete before the fall rains.
ii. He agrees to pay the workers a denarius for the day –
1. It’s a bargain – the same wage as a roman soldier
2. It was a good fair deal – they accepted.
d. He goes back to the marketplace – about the third hour 9:00am
i. He hires more workers – “I will pay you whatever is right”
NCV ’If you go and work in my vineyard, I will pay you what your work is worth.’
ii. They agree – They head out to the fields and begin their work
He goes back to the marketplace – about the 6th hour – 12:00 (noon); 9th hour – 3:00pm; again at the 11th hour – 5:00pm and hires even more workers – One commentary suggests that the 5:00 workers are the ones no one else wanted, but this man isn’t picky. He’s probably trying to finish up the harvest. Their day started at 6am – it ends at 6pm.
Everything to this point seems normal – You have your landowner – a field of fruit ready for harvest – and workers that will harvest the crop – all very normal. If grace worked like that it wouldn’t be amazing and matchless. If grace were calculated or based on the goodness of those receiving it – it wouldn’t be Amazing and matchless. It wouldn’t be worthy of our singing, or our celebration. Here’s what makes grace amazing (Advance)