Summary: There's work to be done and time is running out. I believe that the Lord is asking many within the church today.“Why are you standing around ?”

Why Are You Standing Around?

Matthew 20:1-7

In Matthew 20 Jesus tells a parable in which He likens the kingdom of Heaven to a man who hired servants to work in his vineyard. There was much work to be done and time was running out. When the owner of the land went looking for more laborers he saw a group of people standing idle and asked them, “Why stand ye here idle?” To which they replied, “No one hired us”. Why the group asked in the eleventh hour wasn’t hired earlier I do not know. Perhaps they were too busy doing other things to hear the call for workers when it came in. Maybe they hadn’t gotten dressed properly for work and weren’t prepared when the call came in. They might have stood in the shadows or behind others not really wanting to be asked to go work. Maybe they made excuses, claiming inexperience in field work. I really don’t know. But I know that not just at the eleventh hour, but four times the landowner seeking workers and found a number of individuals just standing around idly. Each time the question is the same, “Why are you standing around all day?” I believe that the Lord is asking the same question to the church today.

I. Why are you standing around? There is work to be done.

A. Jesus Christ was busy about the work of the kingdom.

B. John 9:4 “"I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”

C. He has called you and me to join Him in that work.

D. John 20:21 “…as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you”

E. God has called every believer to work through the church in the world.

F. As David told Solomon when giving him instructions on building the temple, “the work is great: for it is not for man, but for the LORD God.” (1 Chronicles 29:1)

G. A harvest is only produced after a great deal of work. Farmers must ready the soil by clearing it, tilling and breaking it up. It may require giving it nutrients. Once prepared seed has to be sown. The more abundantly sown the more abundant the harvest. As the seed is growing the field must watered and weeded. In due time the harvest will be ready. It’s hard work and a big job. The work given to us is great and requires work if we are to have a harvest.

H. 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building.”

I. As we have said so often, we have been called to serve and not to sit. You may be called to plant or you may be called to water: either way you are called to the work.

J. We tend to just watch other people play. We are “armchair athletes.” I’m afraid that there are many “armchair athletes” or “pew potatoes” in our church. This violates the Scriptures and the entire thrust of Christianity. God expects each one of us to find our niche in ministry. As our heavenly coach, God has expectations of us. Will we follow His game plan and serve the body of Christ? We are not lacking gifted people; we are lacking faithful people. What has God called you to do? How will you contribute? May we not complain; may we contribute. May we not sin; may we serve. - copied

K. Ecclesiastes 11:4 “He who observes the wind will not sow, And he who regards the clouds will not reap.”

L. (Pr 20:4) “The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing.”

M. 2 Corinthians 9:6 “But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”

N. “Many churches today remind me of a laboring crew trying to gather in a harvest while they sit in the tool shed. They go to the tool shed every Sunday and they study bigger and better methods of agriculture, sharpen their hoes, grease their tractors, and then get up and go home. Then they come back that night, study bigger and better methods of agriculture, sharpen their hoes and grease their tractors and go home again. They come back Wednesday night, and again study bigger and better methods of agriculture, sharpen their hoes, grease their tractors, and get up and go home. They do this week in and week out, year in and year out, and nobody ever goes out into the fields to gather in the harvest.” (Source Unknown, Lou Nicholes - Missionary/Author).

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