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Summary: The Vineyard. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: Matthew chapter 20 verses 1-16.

One of the first expressions we learn as children is, “That’s not fair.”

• One thing that life seems to teach us, is that this statement is right;

• Life doesn’t seem to be fair. In fact it seems to be quite the opposite of fair.


Just think about one area of life – employment.

• Many people have been turned down for jobs;

• That they were more than capable of doing because;

• They may have been disabled in some way.

• Or because of the colour of their skin.

• Other people have been turned down for jobs they have been more than capable of doing;

• Because they were considered too old.

• Others have often been denied employment because they were under qualified.

• Others because they were over qualified!

• Others were denied a promotion because they were the wrong gender.

• Or for other political correct reasons.


• We have a saying;

• It is not what you know in life but who you know that counts.

• Many have found good employment,

• Because of family ties rather than qualifications.


• There’s a story about a Jewish man;

• Who applied to work for First International Bank of Israel;

• That bank asked for a letter of recommendation;

• And the young Jewish man put down his Rabbi to be the reference.

• The Rabbi wrote, ‘His father came from the distinguished ‘Goldburg’ family;

• His mother was from the respected ‘Abraham’s’.

• Further back there was a happy blend of ‘Rosengurg’s, Stienburg’s & Levenburg’s”,

• In other words this young man is from good Jewish stock.

• Several days later the First International Bank of Israel,

• Sent a note to the Rabbi saying:

• The information supplied was altogether inadequate. It continued:

• “We are not contemplating using the young man for breeding purposes. Just for work.”

It’s true to say, that many have found good employment:

• Because of family ties rather than qualifications.

• The cold fact is; the more you examine life, the more you realise that life isn’t fair!


• But there is a problem;

• God’s ways our not our ways;

Quote: Isaiah the prophet who wrote (chapter 55 verse 9):

"My thoughts are completely different from yours," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts”.

• Don’t forget that God can see the big picture, he is omniscient,

• And that is something we humans can only dream about.

• Often, he doesn’t operate according to our limited understanding.

• But ultimately his way is always perfect, fair and right!


While on a trip to Switzerland,

• An America businessman was watching a Swiss clockmaker;

• As he carved out the case of an ornate cuckoo clock.

• As the businessman watched the clockmaker carve out the case,

• He was astounded at his slow rate of progress.

• The businessman finally said,

• “My good man, you’ll never make much money that way.”

• “Sir,” the clockmaker replied,

• “I’m not making money, I’m making cuckoo clocks.”

Question: Did you notice the difference in the two men’s goals?


• The businessman was after the pay check;

• And the clock maker was after the joy of a job well done.

• Like that clock maker God often has a different agenda to us;

• And being the craftsman, he works his way to create something of value!


• That is a quality that we struggle to understand as humans.

• God treats people in ways we never would.

Quote: A Definition:




• In a small cemetery of a parish churchyard in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England,

• Stands a granite tombstone with this inscription:

“John Newton, clerk [pastor],

once an infidel & Libertine, a servant of slavers in Africa,

was, by the rich mercy of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the Faith he had long laboured to destroy.”

• Not everyone remembers his name,

• But both Christian and non-Christian;

• Know at least one of the 200 songs he wrote as a testimony of his life:

• “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!”


• An artist once submitted painting of Niagara Falls to an exhibition;

• It captured the endless supply of water just flowing over the edge of the falls.

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