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Let's Let God Be God, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
September 1, 2021 7:05 am

Let's Let God Be God, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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September 1, 2021 7:05 am

The King's Ministry: A Study of Matthew 14–20

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Now here's an honest question. Ever feel disappointed with God, like He didn't come through for you? Well sure, most of us can point to events that didn't turn out the way we hoped. And when that happens, our natural tendency is to feel slighted by God. Well today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll is teaching from Matthew chapter 20. In this portion of our comprehensive study through Matthew's Gospel, we discover yet another attribute of God on radiant display, the justice or the fairness of God.

Chuck titled today's message, Let's Let God Be God. I'm going to be talking today especially to you who feel that some things unfair have occurred in your life. And you, truth be told, though you may have never put it in these words, you feel disappointed in God for allowing that to happen.

Why would it occur in your life as it has when there are so many others where that has not happened and a thousand other possibilities? We come to you, our Father, from all walks of life, from different parts of this country and from other countries as well. We come under this roof, one of the few places where your people are in the majority, and we come to listen, to learn, to change our minds so that they are aligned with your thinking and our wills set in motion in your direction.

The switch is difficult, the adjustment is not without disillusioning moments. And I pray today for those who struggle with their current situation, which is nothing like they thought it would be years ago. We tend, our Father, to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves with others. I pray that you will catch us up short before we allow that to continue and give us the ability to think things through from your perspective.

May we enter into the world of the landowner, the day laborers, and the way you dealt with all of them, and the way the story is told as to how it ties in with the way we live our lives. Give me the ability to say it and to say it in a way that makes sense. And deliver us from being preoccupied or set in our ways, or stubborn, so much so that before your truth has the opportunity to enter, it meets up with a stiff arm of pushback and is not allowed to enter. Give us soft soil in our souls to receive the good seed.

We pray this day for those who lead this country and we pray for wisdom from those who give counsel, those who make decisions. Ours is a world in turmoil, danger about us, threats occurring every week, and often tragedy unfolds in unexpected ways in unpredicted places. Give us, Father, the mind of Christ that we might see things from his perspective. Help us all, for we are, as we often say to you, we're all just humans.

And because of long-standing habits, we cling to what we have always believed, even though they may be wrong. So help us, we pray, to come to terms with what is right, as difficult as it is. Thank you for those who defend us.

Watch over them and give them safety that they might return to their families. Thank you, Father, for the privilege of making Christ known, and for those who take your message to places we will never go, and to serve you in ways that we can hardly imagine. Thank you for their sacrifices, for their willingness, their great hearts, senses of humor, love for family, confidence in your will.

Hold them close to yourself, keep their marriages strong, and their hearts warm. We're giving our gifts today, Lord, confident that you will use these gifts for your glory, and that you might, through these gifts, turn others as well as our eyes on Jesus, that we might look full in his wonderful face. It's in his name we give, and in that name we pray. Everyone said, amen. You're listening to Insight for Living.

To study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scriptures studies by going to insightworld.org slash studies. And now the message from Chuck, he titled, Let's Let God Be God. I read years ago the little saying, comparisons are odious. And I don't know what the word odious meant since I never used the word, so I checked the dictionary. It means to arouse hatred, disgust, and contempt. In other words, I spent a lot of my time comparing myself with others. It isn't long before I feel contempt toward others.

Here are some examples. Your health is failing while another who is older seems never to be sick. Your son has a disability, whereas the family next door has a number of kids, not one of whom has a disability. The tornado wipes out your house, takes everything you own. Next door, there isn't even a shingle missing from the roof or a window broken. Don't get lost in the trap of comparison, because that's a dead end street.

That'll build within you contempt and resentment and make you grow older, a negative person. I wish Monty Williams were here to hear this. I didn't know who he was either. I don't follow professional basketball that closely. You who do know that Monty went to Notre Dame, 6'8", basketball star, met Ingrid, ultimately they came together, five kids.

He went into professional basketball and moved into eight different cities playing the game and coaching and wound up in Oklahoma City. Monty and Ingrid with their five kids. The latest issue of Sports Illustrated tells Monty's story. I read every word of it and wish I knew Monty.

I would love to bring a little bit of encouragement if I could. Monty and Ingrid both find Christian people engaged in the community, in church life, in community work, kids doing well in school. Life unfolds in a rather wonderful way for them as he is in this sports world and their friends are athletes and you know what that must have been like. The morning of February 9, 2016, everything changed.

Everything changed. Monty's finishing what he's doing and Ingrid's already got the kids ready at 715 and she walks out the door with several of the kids behind her and making her way to school, doctor's appointments, ultimately games that she takes the kids to and church work she was involved in and this morning is different because Monty doesn't know it but he will he will not end that day as he began it. Little after 8 p.m. Ingrid, his wife, is driving north on a four-lane road downtown Oklahoma City in the family's SUV with Faith, then 15, Jana, 13, and Micah in the car. A sedan driven by a 52-year-old woman named Susanna Donaldson approached from the opposite direction during the preceding hours.

Toxicology reports would show Donaldson had taken a substantial amount of Metaphetamines. Police also believe she may have been cradling a dog in her lap while driving. By the time she approached the 1400 block of Southwestern Avenue, Oklahoma City, she was in the left lane going more than twice the posted speed limit.

The limit was 40. So she's going over 80 in the wrong lane. She swerved to avoid the car in front of her sending her vehicle across the center line. Impact with Ingrid's SUV was head-on.

Donaldson and the dog died in the scene. The Williams family was rushed to the hospital. The days following local television reporters stood by the road grim face noting the dark burn marks, staining the asphalt, the spray of glass, debris lying on the side of the road. Newscasts showed photos of Ingrid and Monty together, her face frozen in that familiar smile, and her at a Thunder game. Interviews rolled with NBA coaches and players.

They're all difficult to watch, warned a reporter. Monty clung to the fact that the children all survived without life-threatening injuries. For a while it seemed Ingrid might too, but the following afternoon she slipped away. Ingrid was 44.

Try to enter into Monty's world. Now has the responsibility of five children and the wife of his life, his best friend, gone. All his friends still have their wives.

All the players on the team still have their wives. Monty's thinking at the time, with frustration and anger consuming him, the Lord could do anything so why hadn't he moved that car? Why couldn't he have made Ingrid leave ten minutes later?

Why did, or a second earlier or a second later, why did three of his kids have to suffer through all that? It's a matter of seconds. You track me in this, you're there. Don't stay away from the story.

Enter into it. I was almost there the other day. I'm driving along a road 30, 35 mile an hour speed limit. I'm approaching an intersection. The light is green. It's been green. I don't hurry to make it green.

It's green. People on the other side are just coming across and all of a sudden, against a red light, a, I call it a Texas pickup, with wheels about the size of a man, coming along, whoa, right through his red light. Had I been there three seconds earlier, I wouldn't be here today. People on the other side, their car lurches to a stop.

Mine, the same as this guy, I guess it was a guy, speeds by. It's how it happened. These examples could be multiplied by the dozens, but I wanted to take the time so you would enter into this because you know little about vineyards like I do, and we know little about day laborers, and the story is about both, when in fact it's really about more, it's about life. It's about the fairness and the goodness of God.

So what do we have here? In every story, there's a main character, and in this case, the main character is the landowner. Verse one, he's out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work. So this is daybreak, or maybe even before daybreak. So the workers were promised, you work for me today, I'll pay you the denarius. That's a day's wage.

Got it. Now, nine o'clock comes, your Bible reads a third hour, we got another group. He was passing through the marketplace, saw some people standing around doing nothing, so we hired them. That's group two.

Telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. So they went to work in the vineyard at noon, group three. At three o'clock, group four. At five o'clock, group six, group five.

You with me? We got five groups of day laborers that are going to work the vineyard for this landowner. He pays the people whom he hired last first, and he pays them a denarius. You see that? Verse nine, when those hired at five o'clock were paid, each received full day's wage. Okay? They worked an hour, if evening is around six, then they got a day's wage.

And that's fine. And the next group came in, they had been hired first. So they were paid a denarius. And that's when trouble started. Before I go any further, I'll give you the main message, major words, the major message of the parable, God's grace is just and generous. So we come now to the group that's paid second, though they had been hired first.

And what happens? Verse 10, when those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed that they would receive more than the ones who had been hired at five. But they too were paid a day's wage. God's grace is fair and generous.

But when they received their pay, verse 11, they protested. Why? Comparison.

The five o'clock guys got a denarius, and we get a denarius? That's not fair. Look at the answer. I love the answer.

Verse 13. He answered one of the, he is the landowner. So the landowner says, interesting you bring that up. Friend, I haven't been unfair. Didn't you agree to work all day for the usual wage?

And isn't it a denarius? And don't you have that in your hand? Didn't I pay you that? Look at the next line. Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you.

Guess what? Last time I checked, I'm the landowner. I'm the paymaster. I determined what you're going to make. This is my right. It's my land. It's my choice. You don't determine what I will pay.

I do. Because you don't own the land. But by my grace, I have paid you for a day's work.

In fact, verse 15 goes on, is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? I love that. Should you be jealous because I'm kind to others? Great question.

Great question. When you compare your jealousy, you become jealous, envious. How come they've got a home at the beach and all we've got is this little dump in the swamp area where we live? How come they can drive a new car every three years and I can't remember the last time we bought a new one? How come her husband is never sick and my husband is very sick and he's a good man? You see, when I operate my life like that, I set myself up for one miserable existence.

What's the fault in it? I simply want God to be like my great-grandfather who's a good man and was always fair as I saw fairness. And he operated like this earth operate. God is not operating based on this earth. And how we view things, would you ever get that clear in your mind? You see, he's in charge of all the planets.

Earth is just one of them. You are one in the family of God by the grace of God as I am and he did not promise me when I married my wonderful wife soon to be 62 years ago that I would have her 62 years. I could have lost her when she was 30 or 40 or she could have lost me in that auto accident at that intersection. But you see, when you don't view your life as if you own it, then you're ready to believe. One life moves eastward toward pain and another's life westward toward gain. Regardless of how those differences are perceived, it's my acceptance of God's compass, not my feelings about fairness, that determines the reward I receive.

I don't know where you are in this and I don't know where Monty would be. He's come a long way since the article was done and these events transpired. Gosh, I wish I were close to him. I'd love to learn from him what he's learned through this, how he's coped, how he's kept from being bitter, his great Christian friends I'm sure. This horrific story about a senseless tragedy begs the question, how could God allow something so patently unfair to happen to this innocent family? You're listening to Insight for Living and there's much more we need to learn about the justice and fairness of God, so please keep listening. To learn more about this ministry or our Bible teacher, Chuck Swendall, please visit us online at insightworld.org. And then I want to draw your attention to a book Chuck selected for our listening family. Today's message contained a number of references to the justice of God and the fairness of his actions.

And in today's cultural climate these words are surfacing in our conversations as it relates to social justice and even the world view that's often called critical race theory. Well, when Chuck finished reading a new book called Fault Lines by fellow pastor Vody Bockham, he immediately wanted to share it with you. Chuck said whether you're a layperson who's trying to engage in sensitive conversations on race or a pastor who's grappling with a polarized congregation, you'll want to read Fault Lines.

You can purchase a copy right now by going to insight.org slash offer. And then in closing, I'll remind you that your generous donations are what empower Insight for Living to deliver these daily Bible studies. When you give, you're actually making it possible for someone you may never meet in places you'll likely never visit to have access to this life-giving Bible teaching. For instance, I just saw a note left from a gentleman who said, greetings from Czech Republic.

I am Albanian. Chuck's book on the grace awakening is a must read for this generation. And another note that said, I am a young man that loves what God has done with my life. I am on the island of Anguilla and I listen to your program on radio and online. Well, we're able to reach places like Eastern Europe and the Caribbean islands in part through your generosity. To give a donation today, call us.

If you're listening in the US, dial 1-800-772-8888 or give online at insight.org. You've heard him teach about the Holy Land using word pictures to make us feel like we're actually strolling through the old city. Learning about Jerusalem is fascinating for sure, but seeing the land of Israel with your own eyes is life changing.

In fact, it's absolutely magnificent. And now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll and the gracious hosts and experts assembled by Insight for Living Ministries. Join us on an unforgettable 12-day tour, March 6th through 17th, 2022. At special sites along the way, I will teach from God's word. We'll worship at the Mount of Beatitudes and share the Lord's table at the Garden Tomb. In fact, we'll sail the Sea of Galilee together and we'll visit places where Jesus walked and taught.

To learn more, call 1-888-447-0444. Just imagine walking along those sacred sites and seeing the Bible come to life before your very eyes. Mark your calendar for March 6th through 17th, 2022 and make your reservation by calling 1-888-447-0444 or go to insight.org slash events. Insight for Living Ministries tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend.

Join us again when Chuck Swindoll continues his helpful message about the justice of God, Thursday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Let's Let God Be God, was copyrighted in 2017 and 2021. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-12 02:20:39 / 2023-09-12 02:28:45 / 8

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