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Let's Let God Be God, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
September 2, 2021 7:05 am

Let's Let God Be God, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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September 2, 2021 7:05 am

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

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Today from Chuck Swindoll, a lesson on fairness. As life unfolds, it is amazing how you were able to take words out of your vocabulary like, it's not fair and it's not right, especially if you live your life under the constant awareness of the sovereignty of God.

And you realize as you move toward older years, God was right all along. Few issues can ignite a firestorm quicker than equality in the workplace. After all, it's not fair when two employees on the same team are compensated at two different levels. Well today on Insight for Living, we're going to focus not on the hotly debated topic of equal opportunity, but on the much deeper spiritual issue of divine fairness. How does God keep everything in balance? Well Chuck Swindoll recounts a parable from Jesus found in Matthew chapter 20 about workers in a vineyard that are exposing the favoritism of their employer. Chuck titled today's message, Let's Let God Be God. Your life moves eastward toward pain, another's life westward toward gain, regardless of how those differences are perceived.

It's your acceptance of God's compass, not your feelings about fairness, that determines the rewards you'll receive. All this brings us to a story Jesus told spontaneously. There's no script. It rolls out of the dialogue with the rich young ruler and then a conversation with Peter who wants to know what they have to look forward to since they live broke.

And this guy's got everything you could ever want to buy. What's that about? And what do we have to look forward to and Jesus after a brief dialogue about that tells this story. Now it's a parable.

You'll often find the word as or like in a parable. You'll find that in verse one of Matthew chapter 20. The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner.

There it is. So familiar to the, by the way, when Jesus compared things he always went from the known to the unknown, always went from the familiar world that anybody could understand to the unfamiliar spiritual lesson that most people have not ever come to terms with. 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 and and sent them out to work. So this is 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 he 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 we're 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 and and they got a day's wage and that's fine and the next group came in they've 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 them that 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. That's 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 God's 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. And you are you are one in the family of God by the grace of God as I am. But you see when when you are not 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 rewards I receive. But where are you? Where are you in the parable?

You're in here somewhere. The grace of God been fair and generous to you? Absolutely.

You're living? You know the Savior? You have the promise of eternal life? Your sin's forgiven? Absolutely. You have a secure home reserved for you in heaven that you didn't build that he's planned for you?

Absolutely. That's called the grace of God. The grace of God. He found you when you weren't looking for him.

He saved you when you were so undeserving as we all still are. But if you're not careful your life will turn to a life of grumbling and begrudging. Grumbling personally because it not doesn't seem like you've gotten a fair shake and begrudging others because they have.

But that sounds like you're the landowner and you're not. As life unfolds it is amazing how you were able to take words out of your vocabulary like it's not fair and it's not right. Especially if you live your life under the constant awareness of the sovereignty of God. It is amazing how that adds oil to the gears how that adds oil to the gears that run day and night.

Amazing. And you realize as you move toward older years God was right all along. John Oxenham put it in these words, he writes in characters too grand for our short sight to understand. We catch but broken strokes and try to fathom all the mystery of withered hopes of death of life, the endless war, the useless strife. But there with larger, clearer sight we shall see this his way was right.

His way was right. This is hard truth. I know that.

It is one thing to preach it. It is very difficult to live this. I will tell you that.

I'm not always a model of living it well. My wife could tell you the times at night when she has whispered to me, just let it be. Just go to sleep. Just let it be. I want to know why Stan Toussaint has the stroke and 10 other people that are just sorry to the bone don't get a stroke. But you know what? God's way is right. You know who'd be the first person to tell you?

Stan Toussaint. That's why you won't find an ounce of bitterness in him and you know I just I just wanted Howie Hendricks to live forever. Forever. You never want a mentor to die and he died and you know who knows that better than anybody? His widow, Jean. And what a message she lives for all of us. His way was right. Not easy. Right.

When you embrace the sovereign hand of God, it is remarkable what it does to what we would otherwise label tragedy. Remarkable. Listen to A.W. Tozer. Don't fish for your keys while I'm going to read this to you. Don't leave.

Don't leave. Tozer from his book, The Root of the Righteous. It was the enraptured Rutherford Lord who could shout in the midst of serious and painful trials, praise God for the hammer, the file, and the furnace. The hammer is a useful tool, but the nail, if it had feeling and intelligence, could present another side of the story. For the nail knows the hammer only as an opponent, a brutal, merciless enemy who lives to pound it into submission, to beat it down and out of sight, to clinch it in place. That's the nail's view of the hammer and it's accurate, except for one thing. The nail forgets that both it and the hammer are servants of the same workmen. Let the nail but remember that the hammer is held by the workmen and all resentment toward it will disappear. The carpenter decides whose head shall be beaten next and what hammer shall be used in the beating that is his sovereign right.

When the nail has surrendered to the will of the workman and has gotten a little glimpse of his benign plans for its future, it will yield to the hammer without complaint. The file is more painful still, for its business is to bite into the soft metal, scraping and eating away the edges till it has shaped the metal to its will. Yet the file has in truth no real will in the matter, but serves another master as the metal also does. It is the master and not the file that decides how much shall be eaten away, what shape the metal shall take, and how long the painful filing shall continue.

Let the metal accept the will of the master and it will not try to dictate when or how it shall be filed. As for the furnace, it is the worst of all. Ruthless and savage, it leaps at every combustible thing that enters it and never relaxes its fury till it has reduced it all to shapeless ashes. All that refuses to burn is melted to a mass of helpless matter without will or purpose of its own.

When everything is melted that will melt and all is burned that will burn then and not till then, the furnace calms down and rests from its destructive fury. With all this known to him, how could Rutherford find it in his heart to praise God for the hammer, the file, and the furnace? The answer is simply that he loved the master of the hammer. He adored the workman who wielded the file.

He worshiped the Lord who heeded the furnace for the everlasting blessing of his children. The rest of this message is up to you, not me. What you do with it will be determined the next time you face the unexpected moment, the phone call in the middle of the night, the loss that you never would have predicted, the hardship that you would have never wished on anyone but has come on you.

It will be your move and I will tell you, you have a choice. You can grumble and complain. You can even begrudge another for not having had such loss or sickness or quote tragedy or you can say to your Lord and Master, I'm yours for as long as you wish to do with as you please, all for your glory, then take me home. Use me in the meantime, heartbreak, hardship, notwithstanding.

That's it. Please bow with me. These words may have aroused within you an awareness that you you have really been playing around with the things of God. You really haven't trusted in Jesus Christ as Master and Lord. You have talked religious things.

You've attended religious events and even made Christian friends but you've never come to the foot of the cross and turned it all over to Christ. Do that now. Please do that now. Trust Him. To forgive you and to use you and to test you and to test you and to teach you. As Job wrote, he knows the way that I take. When he has tried me, I will come forth as gold. My foot has held his steps. His way have I kept and not declined. Neither have I turned back from the command of his lips.

I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. Praise you, Father, for the hammer and the vial and the furnace. And so, our Lord, when we bow before you, we bow before our Master and we acknowledge that moment by moment we are kept in your love. Moment by moment we walk by faith.

Moment by moment we live this life and so little of it is as we would have planned it. Give us a deep sense of satisfaction in you and deliver us from the self-serving always, always focus, attention on what we want or what we expect. May we release and relinquish to you each moment for your greater glory. In the blessed name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Everyone said, amen. This is Insight for Living.

To discover the resources we have available for today's topic, please visit us online at insightworld.org. It's possible today's program has clearly addressed your current struggles. Perhaps you feel like that mass of metal that's exposed to blistering heat, the kind that A.W.

Tozer described. These are moments that test our mettle, and especially so when our suffering seems patently unfair. Well, Chuck is recommending a helpful book written by a pastor who has keen biblical insight on fairness, especially as it relates to our culture. It's called Fault Lines by Vody Bockham. In his book, Vody helps Christians understand the nuances of the social justice movement, and in particular, the implications of critical race theory.

Now, this isn't an academic book. Fault Lines is written for anyone who truly wants to understand how to engage in conversations about social justice from a biblical perspective, and to do so with grace and compassion. And whether you're a layperson or a pastor, you'll want to read Fault Lines.

You can purchase a copy right now by going to insight.org slash offer. Then let me add, when you give a donation to Insight for Living, your gift is channeled directly toward reaching other people with Chuck's Bible teaching, so they can benefit from life lessons just as you have. And your gifts are truly making a difference. One of your fellow listeners left this comment that said, I've been going through a particularly difficult time and find myself encouraged and strengthened as I listen.

Bless you for your faithfulness and for making this ministry available to those of us who listen. Well, these moments are sponsored by all those who give donations. And to contribute right now, here's the number to call. If you're listening in the U.S., dial 1-800-772-8888 or give online at insight.org. To give a one-time donation today, simply go online to our website.

Again, you'll find us at insight.org. In March 2022, Insight for Living Ministries is hosting an unforgettable journey to Israel. Carefully plan to deepen your understanding of the Bible and draw you closer to God.

Chuck Swindoll. For thousands of years, no place has been more meaningful to God's children than the land of Israel. The rugged landscape reminds us to find refuge in God alone. The fertile valleys invite us to follow our shepherd. Jerusalem's position at the very center of the world announces the good news of Christ to every nation. And now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll and Insight for Living Ministries March 6 through 17, 2022. Every time I visited the Holy Land, I've returned home with a refreshed heart for God and a renewed vision for the world.

Really, I mean it every time. And so I want you to have the same life-changing experience. To learn more, go to insight.org slash events, or call this number 1-888-447-0444. Insight for Living Ministries Tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. Join us when Chuck Swindoll presents what he calls a roadside reminder and reproof, Friday on Insight for Living. you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-11 20:02:41 / 2023-09-11 20:10:26 / 8

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