Summary: This sermons helps us clarify ownership of all we own and why we owe it all to God
Who Owns the Vineyard?
((Tell the story))
What are the lessons we can learn from this story.
1. The Toughest Question
2. The Toughest
Toughest Question = WHO OWNS THE VINEYARD?
Well to answer that question you have to first identify the vineyard.
The vineyard is the world… everything in it.
Who owns the world? GOD!!!
But for this sermon the vineyard = the house you live in, the car you drive , the job you have, the savings account you have, the minutes in your day, EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR LIFE.
We have no problem with who owns the mountains or the oceans.
Ps 24:1 ”The earth is the Lords and the fulness thereof”
We struggle with who owns our time, our money, our rights.
That is what this story teaches.
God owns it all and has just let us use it to bless us, to make us happy.
He did not have to. He does not owe it to us. IT IS GRACE!!
Remember: Those people were unemployed… homeless… they had no food… nothing
And the Man comes to them and offers them a place to live, a job, partnership in HIS vineyard
What did they contribute? NOTHING!!
And yet he not only hired them… wages
HE MADE THEM PARTNERS IN THE PROFITS
But who owned the vineyard?
Why do they think they own it?
They have lived there for some time and the gratitude has been forgotten through toil, and sweat, and many hours in the fields.
They see their labor, their hard work… but they have not seen the master out here sweating or helping or breaking his back
They only see their work and thus they now see the owner as some outsider with no right to the vineyard.
We do the same thing…
We know WE are the ones who get up early and go to work, WE put in the hard labor, WE put up with the job, WE travel back and forth
So when the pay check comes… WE BELIEVE IT IS OUR’s… WE deserve it… WE earned it.
If God asks for HIS share… our response is to forget that it is HIS money.
Maybe we work hard all week… waiting for the weekend and when it comes we think IT IS OURS… we worked hard for it, we have planned for it… now if God asks for His share…
He is an intruder… stealing our time.
Any other area where God asks for our submission… obedience
We believe WE ARE THE OWNERS OF THE VINEYARD
Our time, our stuff, our choices
We FORGET that God is the owner of the vineyard
Job, house, time, tongue, actions
And when we forget that God is the owner… WE BECOME THE OWNER.
THAT IS SIN… to make yourself God
Sin is not lying… sin is not cheating… sin is not killing
Adam forgot that God owned the garden
Servants forgot that God owned the vineyard
SO DO WE
The First lesson = GOD OWNS THE VINEYARD
2. The Difficult Realization… GOD WANTS TO BLESS YOU… NOT TAKE FROM YOU
The day after they got the deal… they felt very grateful… loved him for it.
But now… they felt they were the owner… saw Master as taking 50%
Hated Him for it
When it was HIS They felt blessed
They were thankful
They were glad to give him his share
When it was THEIRS They felt robbed
They were ungrateful
They resented giving him part
GOD IS WANTING TO BLESS YOU
But He can’t put a blessing in your hand because you have closed fist
When God says, “Thou shalt not…” he is sending his emissary to collect what is His… OBEDIENCE
We feel Him trying to pry our hand open and we think He is trying to rob us of what is our’s
He is trying to put something in your hand
IF we still see God as the owner… we have no problem giving him what is His
If we think we are the owner… we see Him as a beggar or a thief
If He is a beggar… it is your choice to give and you are doing Him a favor
If he is a thief… you will resent Him
The most important question you have to answer is the toughest one… WHO OWNS THE VINEYARD?
It is a question that is not answered one time…. But has to be answered DAILY
I believe that is why Jesus said, If any man would come after me he must deny himself and take up his cross DAILY…”
Every day we have to decide… WHO OWNS IT.
Our natural tendency is to believe WE are the owner and God is the intruder.
It is hard for us to understand that God is the owner and he wants to share with us.