Never Too Late

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Coming into the ministry late in life, the enemy kept reminding that I was the oldest one who was attending the School of Ministry and Missions. The taunts continued, telling me that I didn’t have enough time to get things done. When my ministry didn’t develop on the time schedule that I had set, I began to feel that I was just to late. I was led to the parable, which showed me that it wasn’t to late for me, and it isn’t to late for you either.

Matthew 19:29-30
29. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.
30. But many who are first will be last and the last first.

Matthew 20:1-16
1. For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.” Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.” and he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace.” and said to them, You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you. So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, why have you been standing here idle all day? They said to him, because no one hired us. He said to them, you also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive. So when evening had come, the owners of the vineyard said to his steward, Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first. And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more: and they likewise received each a denarius. And when they had received it, they complained against the land-owner. Saying, these last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day. But he answered one of them and said, Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for an denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with mo own things/ or is your eye evil because I am good? So the last will be first and the first last, For many are called, but few are chosen.

Jesus began this parable while he was talking with his disciples. He had been sharing with them about the importance of being childlike when you enter the kingdom. They had asked him about what will happen to them since they have left their homes and families to follow him.

He began by assuring them that they will receive one hundred fold and inherit eternal life. Now let’s clarify one hundred fold. It is not one hundred times, it is one hundred times one hundred, far beyond what we have even imagined! Eternal life with God and Jesus was far and above anything they had ever hoped for.

He compared the kingdom of heaven like a landowner, who was looking for laborers. Everyone he saw early in the morning he promised to pay them a denarius for a days work. They were happy and eager to work for those wages. Later in the day he saw others who had not gotten hired, in his kindness, he hired them and sent them to their task. Mercy took over as the day was drawing to a close, he took the last men who had not gotten work, and sent them to the field. Can you imagine how happy those me were? All day and they had earned nothing, they would have to go home empty handed to their families, probably there would be no dinner that night.

He knew they weren’t working because no one had hired them, not that they were lazy; they just could not find work. His mercy continued when he paid the last laborers first to pay them. The ones, who had worked all day, complained that they should have been paid more.

The landowner said he wished to do good to the men who came last, and the ones who were first should not be evil about it. The last will be first and the first last. Many are called, but few are chosen.

Compare this parable to the current day: early in the morning all the available men went to the certain place to wait to be hired. They went in faith, in faith that they would get work.

The landowner had taken everyone that was there looking for work that he needed at that time. He did not select anyone in particular; he just took everyone he could see. I would equate this with the general population. We all have faith when we are in a group, say the church and the Pastor is there. We all know we will be blessed by the message.

As the day progressed, he noticed that there were still men wanting to work who were waiting. They were waiting in faith that they would be chosen. He then began to select specific individuals, ones that he chose by hand. He saw their faith, and out of kindness he chose them to go to the fields. These men were strong in faith, as they had waited several hours, believing against all odds that someone might come and offer them work. These men are likened to those who have heard the message and when problems arise (like no work), they stand strong in faith.

When the day was almost over, the landowner saw that there were still men standing waiting in faith for work. In his mercy, he told these last few men to go to the field for work. I’m sure their hearts jumped for joy at the news. These men believe against every possible hope that somehow God would provide. The circumstances looked dim, the day was almost over, and there was absolutely no hope left. These men are likened to those who have gotten a bad report from the Doctor, or they know their home will be repossessed by the bank, or many disasters were falling on them. They did not give up; they did not turn around and go home to cry. They stood believing that even as the day ended, they would be saved from tragedy. No one could have convinced them to go home, they knew deep in their hearts that if they waited on God, he would provide, even if it was at the last possible moment.

Let’s look at what the landowner did: First he chose out of need then out of kindness, then out of mercy. God first chooses us out of his need for our love, then he lavishes gifts on us out of his kindness and finally for those desperately in need, even if we don’t deserve it, he rewards us out of his mercy. He rewarded the last first, to show his love and mercy. He openly showed that he has no favorites. His plan was to be good, yet the general population saw it as evil. The felt cheated. This is the world’s view. God feels that all of us who are called should receive equal reward: one hundred fold return and eternal life.

He did not say if you were saved at 10 years of age or first in the day that you had more value to him than if you were saved at age 70 or were last in the day. God rewards his children all the same, when ever they come into the Kingdom, so remember to stand in faith, believing the Word of God is true, and you will be rewarded. Do not let the enemy convince you that if it seems as if you have been left waiting, that God does not love you. Just use your faith, believe and wait and then the Last shall be first!

If you have been waiting to get your reward, and you have felt left out, now is the time to stand in faith and let God choose you. Let him pick you out and bring you to the vineyard of Heaven, even if you are last to enter the Kingdom of God here on earth, you will be first in the eyes of God!

Early in the morning all the available men went to the certain place to wait to be hired. They went in faith, in faith that they would get work. Things looked good for them, they were convinced that they just had to show up and they would be hired. Soon the landowner hired all that he needed at that time.

He did not select anyone in particular; he just took everyone he could see. I would equate this with the general population.

We all have faith when we are in a group, say the church and the Pastor is there. We all know we will be blessed by the message. As the day progressed, he noticed that there were still men wanting to work who were waiting. They were waiting in faith that they would be chosen. He then began to select specific individuals, these were hand selected.

He saw their faith, and out of kindness he chose them to go to the fields. These men were strong in faith, as they had waited several hours, believing against all odds that someone might come and offer them work. These men are likened to those who have heard the message and when problems arise (like no work), they stand strong in faith.

When the day was almost over, the landowner saw that there were still men standing waiting in faith for work. In his mercy, he told these last few men to go to the field for work. I’m sure their hearts jumped for joy at the news. These men believe against every possible hope that somehow God would provide.
The circumstances looked dim, the day was almost over, and there was absolutely no hope left. These men are likened to those who have gotten a bad report from the Doctor, or they know their home will be repossessed by the bank, or many disasters were falling on them.

They did not give up; they did not turn around and go home to cry. They stood believing that even as the day ended, they would be somehow they would be saved from tragedy. No one could have convinced them to go home, they knew deep in their hearts that if they waited on God, he would provide, even if it was at the last possible moment. Let’s look at what the landowner did: First he chose out of his need then out of kindness, then out of mercy. God first chooses us out of His need for our love, then he lavishes gifts on us out of His kindness and finally for those desperately in need, even if we don’t deserve it, he rewards us out of his mercy and grace. He rewarded the last who had stood in faith, against all odds, to show his love and mercy. He openly showed that he has no favorites. He loves us all the same.

He did not say if you were hired or saved at 10 years of age or first in the day that you had more value to him than if you were saved at age 70 or were the last one hired. God rewards his children all the same, when ever they come into the Kingdom, so remember to stand in faith, believing the Word of God is true, and you will be rewarded. Do not let the enemy convince you that if you have been left waiting, that God does not love you.

Just use your faith, believe and wait and then the Last shall be first!

And here is the miracle of this parable, the men hired at the 11th hour, at the last possible minute stood in faith, and they received their miracle: And they didn’t even have to work for it! Their faith was the strongest……….they never gave up.

That is it, you don’t have to work for anything, just stand in faith, and let God do the work for you. If you have been waiting to get your reward, and you have felt left out, now is the time to stand in faith and let God choose you.

Let him pick you out and bring you to the vineyard of Heaven, even if you are last to enter the Kingdom of God here on earth, you will be first in the eyes of God, and you will receive the miracle of Eternal life living in the Kingdom of God. AMEN

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