For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them,‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.”
My most recent blog post touched on how essential I believe it is for women to gather around the Bible – not just Bible Studies. I figured I’d expand/explain a little.
Look, I love Bible Studies. I just finished writing one. But Bible Studies, like physical therapy or training wheels, are tools in my mind; means to another end. They can help you work through specific struggles. They can support you as you learn how to dig deeply in the Word, strengthening the muscles that know how to engage with God. But a good Bible Study will always push you to leave Bible Studies behind, challenging you to become strong enough to spend your mornings pouring over God’s Word, learning from Him with no mediator but the Holy Spirit.
Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the LORD? (Psalm 14:4 ESV)
Alright guys, time to stop eating up people like we eat food and instead call upon the Lord. I know, I know. You don’t think you eat people, but you do. We all do every single time we use people to fill a need in us that is designed to be met in God alone.
We feel anxiety and panic after that meeting with our boss or conversation with a friend, and instead of calling upon the Lord, we turn to people. We eat up their words, eat up their affirmation seeking to satisfy our hunger for approval.
Today’s sermon at my church struck a nerve. Following Jesus will cost you something. It is a Cross-bearing, death-to-self path toward joy. there is no way to get through the Christian life without pain and sacrifice.
And you and I have got to do a better job of talking about the hard parts; we have to tell more stories about self-death, because we are leading people astray with our version of Christianity where gaining Jesus threatens nothing else in your life.
I have someone who is precious to me beyond words. Even though we live thousands of miles apart we have spent hours these past months wrestling through our faith together.
There are sweet and confusing promises in the Word of God. One such example is this:
“For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11 ESV)