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July 26, 2019 1:00 am
The story told of how a shepherd. A simple shepherd, was appointed by the Shah of Iran to be the prime minister of that country. The shop pointed him simply because of one characteristic and that is his faithfulness, and of course as natural. You can imagine the other cabinet members were indignant. There were angry, they felt they are the ones who come from the upper class they the ones who have received the higher education they are the ones who are refined and sophisticated.
They are the ones who are master politicians. They're the ones who should be appointed to the position of at least one of them, and out of jealousy and out of the NV they conspired to bring some sort of accusation against the king's own choice, so they watched his movements to watch the prime minister very closely. They watched this coming on their watch is going on in the microscope, but they found nothing objectionable except for one thing they noticed that one day a week. He goes into a great small room in the palace that he kept locked all the time and that he goes in there for one hour every week. This is how we caught him red-handed. We know he must be there in the small room seeing all the precious possessions the treasures that he has stolen from the King and they brought the accusations to the king and the king doubted their accusations but nonetheless a given permission to break-in and search that small room locked room into their utter amazement as he looked in that small room. They only found a small bundle that contained a dilapidated pair of shoes in a row and when they brought the prime minister before the king, the prime minister was asked why I had you kept these two items in the locked up room is what he said I wore those things when I was a shepherd and once a week I go into the room and look at them, lest I should forget what I once was and how unworthy of all the kindness and the honor that your Majesty had bestowed upon me a lot of challenges, but it is one thing that is going to pull you out of discouragement and out of your old gold room is to go back into your life's album and pull out your pastor where you were without Christ, look at where where your life was before the blessings of God and then you will remember where you have come from and soon you'll be sorry hi and I wanted to contrast this attitude of the prime minister of Persia with the attitude of the full day laborers that worked in the vineyard that the parable of the Lord Jesus Christ gives us in Matthew chapter 20. Turn with me please in your Bibles to Matthew chapter 20. This is a very significant and important parable, and please listen to me very carefully what Jesus is telling the people here it is something that is less common when you talk to the New Yorkers about traveling in the subway. It's a daily experience is like talking to the Californians about the traffic jams in Expressway. Having lived there for two years. I know what it's like. It is a common experience because daily man came and stored in a certain area is like a labor exchange and waited for some vineyard owner.
They waited for some bird keeper to come down and hire them for just one day, because that's all they could hope for.
One day at a time. One day at a time. That's all I wanted a normal working day back then began at 6 o'clock in the morning and ended at 6 o'clock at night when you think you got a tough please read that very carefully. We forget with manual laborers like the some people think that manual labor is a member of the prime minister of Mexico something is a strange language choice will live in such a day where the prisoners the inmates the criminals are behind bars suing the government with tax payers money. If there are screens melted.
Just think how far we have to get policeman for all of their 12 hour labor. They received the denarius or address, equivalent to today's money of 1/4 or $0.25 and with that they fit the whole family. Of course, is the most basic food, but they fed the whole family and Jesus said that the vineyard owner came first thing in the morning, 6 o'clock in the morning and he found a group of men were standing there said get up there and work in the vineyard that he come back at 9 o'clock in the morning and he found some more people, he said go work in the vineyard with the first group, he met an agreement is a copy of the notice that's a going right.
That's what they pay a labor for a day but you notice that the other groups of the hired later on he never told him how much is going to pay the visa just on work and I'll do the right thing by and by faith he went ahead and worked 12 noon he goes back to that labor exchange and spew woman was standing as a you go to and then at 5 o'clock in the evening with only one hour of work left. He goes there and he found some foreman and he said you do go on work in my vineyard now vineyards, mostly appointed on the tourist hill and the soil up there is not as good as the soil down in the valley and consequently many times these laborers will draw all the way down in the valley. Some of the good soil on their backs and go up the hill and deposit these good soil on the vineyard but the most important time for vineyard workers.
It was September, because that was the time of the harvest. They have to gather all the grapes before the end of September.
Otherwise would drop on the trees and September is a very hot months in the Middle East. If some of you probably know that usually laborers who worked in vineyards. They were near the bottom of the social economic level.
Normally, these people were working from job to job day to day because they were no guarantees of finding a job the next day because these people were unskilled. They were desperate for work. They often were vulnerable and were taking advantage of by the dishonest foreman and that is why God's word commands his people in Leviticus 1913 saying the wages of the hired man are not to remain with you all night till morning paying him on time and don't swindle him him on time and pay him the exact amount that he deserves it. Other words don't you cheat your laborers in Deuteronomy 2415. It tells us that if the poor man is not paying his wages at that night that he is going to cry. Nighttime is going to cry to God and that will be counted. Sin against you in this parable of the landowner when Jesus hard and did not offer them any amount of money only the first group the other people who could by faith that he's going to pay them something and to the rest of them. It was said just go go and work pay Tom K and the owner starts by paying the ones you work between 5 to 6. One hour he pays them first, and he pays him a denarius, one I wanted to just use your imagination with me just for a bit with the guys who worked for 12 hours they looked over there and install one denarius and that's what they were contracted to work for one day but he's paying those who work for one hour and they said hello Christmas come all of a sudden great. They whipped up there so law operated calculator understood what our denarius. We got to get 12 in the got excited and that were happy and there were joyful in the that's all in my imagination course. Linda looked down again and then they saw the land owner is paying those who worked six hours to give them to DENARIUS with those and it didn't take much of the knowledge of arithmetic to know that is going to be only two if that works out the same with them.
Six hours one dinars 12 hours must be to and then when they saw the laborers who worked for nine hours being paid one denarius to you can tell there's a sinking feeling was beginning to take place in the heart are all we really bent on the on the wrong amount here and you know what happened. Self-pity began to sit in.
Please listen carefully. Be careful when self-pity begins to take hold in your life. Be very careful of the first signs will self-pity in your life because it means that murmuring and griping and complaining are not too far behind. Be careful when you begin to hold.
I pity party you know I got news for you Jesus and can show up. He just does not show up at the parties. He will show up in victory parties without pity parties. He doesn't like pretty parties. Someone said that being overcome with envy and jealousy overcome will. Self-pity is like running into the ocean. The deeper you go the harder it is he going to be able to come back, but I don't believe is impossible for God to bring you back from wherever you are. So by the time those 12 workers were getting paid, they receive that one denarius and Mandy lashed out they just could not hold that anymore, then screw him. They said we have worked hard. We have worked long and we get paid exactly like the others who have just started working. Not so long ago we get paid the same amount of money you know what I personally think it's my hunch and therefore not that it's my hunch is not the word of God.
You can take and throw it away. If you don't want it but that's fine. Just my my hunch is that they were mad so much that they not necessarily because they want to be paid more, as much as they wanted the others to be paid less is my hunch. I want to put this parable in context to understand what Jesus is getting at here the last few verses in chapter 19. Peter was displaying the attitude of one of those 12 workers what you are saying to Jesus. Use of translation so you don't tell me your Bible doesn't say it. He said Jesus we have left everything and followed here. What's in it for us. What is Jesus do. He basically tells him that God is no man's data that God is going to reward you based on your faithfulness that God is going to return back to you multiples of what you have done for him. That is not a sacrifice that is lost.
He should not only in heaven.
You expect that, but right here on our God is no man's data. God is no person is sitting there and basically doesn't care how faithful you are. Yes he does, and that is why this passage has nothing to do with the believers rewards in heaven they gonna vary depending on how faithful you have been one time but this parable has everything to do with salvation. Jesus is talking about salvation. Please hear me right. This parable is not about the believers reward here that it is about those who are saved only in life, and those were saved late in life. The problem was some Christians who have been believers for so many years there've been walking with the Lord and be members of a church for a long time. The temptation is to get jaded spirit.
They develop an attitude of knowing at all.
There's nothing ago to tell me that I don't know for being that they go salvation for granted or think that there is something special about them that made them leave us in the Lord Jesus Christ. They can easily develop a self righteous pharisaic attitude about their faith. That is the temptation of many believers as they begin to think that they know God's sense of justice that they know God's sense of fairness and end up making mistakes. A.B. Simpson speaking to some of these type of believers about keeping good spiritual health.
He said one hour affecting will drain more of your vitality than a week of work. One minute of wrinkling jealousy and knowing envy will hurt you more than a drink of poison.
And so Jesus said to these ones who've worked for 12 hours those complainers, those who are murmuring those were discontented those who are dissatisfied. Those who were jealous Jesus is saying. Wasn't that out agreement with you for the work that you can work today for a denarius, are you questioning my grace are you questioning my generosity. I question my son wanted to do whatever I will, did we not have the agreement ahead of time so what is the point of the story. The part of the story is this God is a sovereign God safe with me. God is a sovereign God is about to advocate for you or anybody, and whether the person is saved is at the age of seven of the age of 70. Both are going to go to heaven. Those who see themselves as deserving more of God's grace because of the early salvation are blindly jealousy that are blind with envy those who see themselves to be far more deserving because of the length of the salvation history are ignorant of God's grace. Those only workers were jealous they were envious because of reason, but because of selfishness. We just ferment and I don't like what I'm going to tell you the swamp getting attention. The roots of jealousy is selfishness and selfishness and idolatry at the core of envy you going to find selfishness and self-centeredness lurking there in the dark. The accusation of the land owner being unfair is grounded not only love for justice but grounded on self-serving attitude.
What they have received was based on agreement that they made with the land on.
It is based on the contract that was signed jealousy and envy are very destructive to the Christian life.
Jealousy and envy can keep you from receiving the blessings of God in order to flow through you want to tell you is one way to test if you are jealous or envious? Is one way to do that. Find out whom you criticize the most whom you criticize the most when you get the answer you going to find that people always criticize the one whom they secretly envy, envy is the mother of the critical spirit I will ask you this, when you see someone who is more blessed than you are. Do you rejoice with when you see someone save later in life. Do you rejoice with them when you see someone is more gifted than you are I you glad when you see someone who is succeeding probably when you have not to give thanks to God about the Sunday school teacher who were I thought about these work workers of the 12 hours complaining and murmuring in the Sunday school teachers talking to a group of boys and he said no boys. What is the thing that God cannot do and the kids come up with all kinds of answers and find the little boy popped up and he said he can't please everybody and how true it is. He can't please everybody.
Somebody's going to gripe now, just in case some of your business think that this is how you going to go back and pay your employees. You think that I am giving you a or Jesus is giving us up some new economical business. Stop getting into the truck. That's not what he's doing here Jesus is teaching us a spiritual principle.
This parable is about the kingdom of heaven God the father is the vineyard owner, God the son, the Lord Jesus Christ is a formidable steward.
The vineyard is God's kingdom. The labors on all the believers that denarius eternal life in the work day is the believers lifetime of service, Jesus is not asking you to go out and run your business. Accordingly, that is not what he's saying here. But God's sovereign principal for salvation is very simple. Whosoever comes to the God the father through Jesus, the son will be saved will make it to heaven, whether their sins.
A beggar sends a small, whether they have seen for a long time or for short time whether they have long dedicated service for God or they had a bedtime conversion. They both going to go to heaven.
The apostle Paul was killing Christians persecuting Christian and yet James was basically committed to the Lord. From the moment he met they both are going to go to heaven.
The thief on the cross did not have a moment to serve the living God. But John lived until he was in his 90s serving God faithfully in Ephesus. They both are going to go to heaven they not going to get the same reward, but they both are going to have their both receive eternal life.
I want to remind you again. Jesus here is not talking about the believers reward is talking about salvation and eternal life, heaven, because according to first Corinthians, four and five and Revelation 22 and 12 the Lord will reward his faithfulness based on the degree of their faithfulness. The apostle Paul tells the Corinthians in first Corinthians chapter 3 verse 13 he said that the Lord in the last day will test the work of every believer is going to test it with fire and accordingly the believer will be rewarded. But that's not what Jesus is talking about here is talk about salvation is talk about eternal life, which will be awarded to everyone who comes in humility and brokenness and repentance and faith to God the father through God the son, and you know what, as I reflected upon this parable several times that I realize that from a human perspective, it seemed to be unfair, but from a divine perspective is perfectly fair. It is perfectly just. You ask why I'm glad you asked because I'm anxious to tell you because no one of us. No one is worthy of salvation because eternal life is a gracious gift of God, for which only the Lord Jesus Christ could have prayed for with God. There is no big sin, a small sin.
Sin is sin before you become jealous or envious of another Christian, ask yourself, where would you be without the grace of God where we have been without the grace of God, but for the grace of God you are bizarre now I know that some evangelicals and some believers think that because they have committed the laughter. Jesus Christ, on the basis of that decision they going to heaven, that's worse than works.
But before you ever committed your life to Jesus Christ God the Holy Spirit reached down to the paralyze with which you were born, but that will close the blind God the Holy Spirit reached down and he opened his eyes that you are able to see yourself as a sinner needed repentance agreed to turn the Lord Jesus Christ form is called irresistible grace is all grace of grace because I want to tell you the grace of God is the only basis on which we can get into heaven. When you go to heaven with Jesus.
I read a good decision, Lord Jesus, and I chose you. But my neighbors and yet he did not choose you hold that would be works and the Bible does not teach us salvation or justification by works but by pure faith in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I want to tell you that coming from good families could not and will not deliver you from hell that having higher education could never deliver you from hell that having a social status deliver you from hell that having a church membership.
I don't care which church it is, it can never deliver you from hell being sophisticated and suave and debonair could never deliver you from hell being successful in your business is successful in your profession could never deliver you from hell.
The only thing that can deliver you and me from him is the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ bless God. It is only the sovereign grace of God through the Lord Jesus Christ that will qualify you know qualify me to receive the denarius eternal life, and didn't you ever forget. I thought about this a great deal in the jealousy feeling sorry for yourself, self-pity, pity parties, and I want to give you my conclusion feeling sorry for yourself or living in self-pity weeps on the devil shoulder is like turning to Satan for comfort. Here is Satan's invitation.
Contrast that to the Lord Jesus that invitation. Here Satan invitation come unto me all who are grieved peeved miss used in disgruntlement victimize and I'll spread on the sympathy you will find me a never failing source of the meanest attitude on the most selfish sort of misery at my altar, Satan says you might feel free to fail when to fall. There you will sign a new friend there. I will feed your soul on fears and indulge your ego with envy and jealousy and bitterness and spite there.
I would excuse you from every cross from every beauty from every hardship permit you to you every temptation that Satan's invitation, but the Lord Jesus is invitations for different cast all the burdens of temptation for jealousy, envy, self-pity, victimization, whatever it may be cast all these burdens upon him, says the Lord Jesus, I will not give you sympathy I'll give you victory late in the week I saw something in this parable that I didn't see early in the week that tells me something that is so precious and so incredibly wonderful. Tells me this as long as a person has a breath as long as a person was breathing. There is hope for the salvation have you prayed for someone they haven't believed yet, even though they may be living in the 11th hour Descartes keep on praying God can bring them to the vineyard. Even at the 11th hour. Are you a person who is seeking and searching your personal problems beginning to think well it's too late for me is never too late in your life to the Lord today. Let the sovereign king give you his denarius give you his eternal life. If you seek him with all your hearts as the Scripture you will find the spirit of God brought you to a point of conviction, the spirit of God speaking to you is telling you that this message was for you that I had it prepared just for you that the spirit of God wants to talk if you just you. It's for you alone is the spirit of God spoken to you today are you sitting in your pity party get up Jesus wants is like to shine upon you.
He wants to give you his victory.
Nothing sympathy you a person who have never understood what it is to inherit eternal life, that it is all of grace, pure grace, nothing but grace and you thought that you have to work for it.
You have to make an effort forth to the spirit of God brought you to a conviction surrendering to the grace letter overwhelm you live overcome you.
I want to tell you there is nothing greater in the walk with Christ because the grace of God is sufficient for all your needs for all your life for all your family life or your business for everything with the grace of God overwhelm your today heavenly father. You know the heart of each of us. You know my heart Lord and only you understand the reasons. The purpose for which each of your servants of student and where our eyes are upon you, Lord Jesus is not upon other men and women refocusing on you right now because we know that our sufficiency is in you and you grace overwhelm us with the power of your grace that father. We may accept rejoicing in eternal life that you give us receive advice.
Faith like to serve your father with all of our faithfulness were your strength and in Jesus name, amen. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way.
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