Better Left Unspoken

The Tomb of John Wesley, Wesley Chapel, London

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:18-20 NIV

I found myself thinking today about where I’m going to be in 5 years time.

I was meeting with my new boss at a job I just started and of course all the generic job starting questions were asked. Among them was where I hoped this job would lead to.

I really had no idea where I hoped it would lead. I don’t know for sure what I’ll be doing next month, let alone when I graduate and beyond. What will I be doing? Will I be preaching from the pulpit of some church? Will I be sitting in an office making an image for some company’s ad campaign? Will I even be in this country?

This was all on the tails of having been really focused lately on a bunch of frustrations I’ve been dealing with. Between some things in London, figuring out my class and work schedule for this semester, moving into a new apartment, and realizing I will no longer be in college next year, I’ve been thinking a lot. This thinking led a lot to “where am I going to work?” and “will I have money?”

Until I realized how absolutely unimportant these questions really are. What do these things even matter? I mean sure, I’m going to work somewhere, but the actual, concrete plans just don’t matter. I realized that I didn’t know how long it had been since I had asked myself “What does God want me to do this year?” And even beyond that, “How can I set myself up to still be serving God to the greatest extent possible a year, five years from now?”

See, we set up these huge, long term, fail-proof plans for ourselves as if there is no one with plans for us other than ourselves. And that if we don’t ensure that we provide for ourselves, then we will fail.

“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”” James 4:13-15 NIV

We are pretty boastful people. Immediately after those verses, James goes on to say that anyone who knows of good things they can do and just doesn’t do them, sins. I’ve written about this before, but I think it’s worth repeating. Our business plans do not matter worth a flip. What are we doing with our lives that matters eternally? We have a few years to do good on this earth with what we have been given, but we end up just using the greatest portion of that time to make ourselves comfortable.

I read a blog not long ago that really hit me. It was not a Christian or even religious message, it was a political opinion on the healthcare system of our country. But in it, the writer stated what we all know is true but hate to accept. We like to believe that we are living huge, meaningful lives that are having a positive impact on the world. But for most people, the only lives we affect are our own. The writer said, “You’re probably going to die in a hospital bed in your sixties, seventies or eighties. The culprit will probably not be terrorism, China or the government coming for your guns. It will be heart disease or cancer.”

Yeah, every one of us is going to run out of time sooner or later. But for nearly all of us, it’s not going to be in a tragic accident that took the person with so much promise, it won’t be a homicidal gunman, and it won’t be in the trenches fighting injustice. Most of us will pass in our old age, wasting away in a hospital bed to disease. Having spent a lifetime clocking office hours and paying off cars and houses and boats and everything else.

But I tell you the truth, when you lie in that bed, in the quiet times you spend alone waiting for visits from family and still living friends, you won’t think about your cubicle. You won’t pray and wish you had been able to spend just a few more hours in the office, made just a little more money to afford some new luxury. You’ll wish you had spent the time you had making some small difference.

You’ll think about the time with your spouse, your kids, your friends. You’ll think of how you wish you had given more of the time you had to making life better for others, for those who couldn’t help themselves. And, I know this is harsh, but you’ll think about the coworkers, the friends, and the strangers you won’t see when you close your eyes for good because you didn’t have the guts to share the truth with them.

The renowned magician, Penn Jillette of Pen and Teller, was interviewed about an experience he had with a fan that attempted to share Christ with him. Penn is an atheist, but he shared an insight into what he saw in that man that really cuts deep.

“”If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell and people could be going to hell–or not getting eternal life or whatever–and you think that, well, it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward…How much do you have to hate somebody not to proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”

He went on to say it’s like you see a bus about to slam into a pedestrian in the road. How much do you have to hate that person to just let them get hit? This whole idea of “I’ll just live my life in a way that glorifies Christ, and that’s enough to be my witness!” is practically the same as saying your helping that pedestrian by letting them see what it looks like to not get hit by a bus… without ever telling them about the bus.

So, who are we letting get hit? Maybe we can’t save every last person, but when is the last time we took a dive to help out just one?

So, really, what are we going to be doing this year? Next year? In five years?
When we lie in the hospital bed, will we have more memories of offices spaces or mission fields?

““Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 NIV

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Who Do You Know?

Hanwell Green, Ealing, London

“This is what the Lord says:

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.”           – Jeremiah 9:23-24 NIV

Who knows God?
Do you know him?

If we both had a common friend, and I asked you to prove to me that you really knew this person, what would you say?
How would you convince me that you hadn’t just heard about this person, that you don’t just know about them?
What details would you share about this person that you couldn’t know unless you had really spent time with them? Which memories would bring a smile to your face? Which ones would force a tear from your eye? Which would prove that you have lived your life alongside this person?

So, if I asked you if you really know God, what would you say?

I think knowing the answer to this question is pretty important. Jesus said that there are  a lot of people who think they know God, but never really did. In fact He said, “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:22-23 NIV).

That’s some pretty harsh language, “you evildoers”. He’s not even talking about a bunch of church burning atheists here, either.  These are people who were evidently pretty deep into doing what we would call God’s work. Prophesying, driving out demons, performing miracles, and all in the name of Jesus? Sounds like these guys had it going on. Sounds like they did all the right stuff and were pretty successful doing it. But Jesus says, “I never knew you.”

So who knows God?

Last week, my friend, Armond, and I met with a man from Jordan named Ali. Ali met Armond on the street corner of Christchurch and Ealing Broadway in London after my friend stood on a box and talked about how much he loves Jesus. Ali thought some of things Armond had said were interesting and asked to meet him for lunch later. Ali also said he is a Muslim.

So Ali, Armond, and I are all sitting on the grass of the local park and munching on some subway sandwiches when Armond just comes out and asks, “Why are you a Muslim?” And Ali stares at Armond like he must be really dense and says, “Because my parents are Muslim.” As simple as that. Why does Ali believe what he believes? Because it’s always been that way.

And I think, in a lot of ways, we are a lot like Ali. Maybe the ways we came to Christianity might be a little different, but the way we follow it through has pretty much the same explanation. Because it’s always been that way. Maybe not for hundreds of years, but for as long as we’ve been alive, we do Christianity the way we were taught to.

But what’s messed up is that most of us have no idea who the guy we’re supposed to follow really is. Most of us just don’t really know God.  Most of us are just going by what someone behind a pulpit, or a stage, or a podcast tell us is Christianity. And so many of these people are just basing what they say off of what some other guy told them. And it becomes a translation of a translation of a translation.

Think about it, how many people do you know that have read the Bible cover to cover?
I was talking to an evangelical leader recently about when he first started his ministry. He was in a seminar he had organized with a guest speaker, and the speaker asked the group how many of them had taken the time to read the book they are basing their entire faith on. And he really hoped the speaker wouldn’t point at him because he knew that he hadn’t.

It’s like so many of us are in book club for a novel we never read. Only this book is supposed to determine how we live our entire lives and where we go when we die.

We take for granted that we can understand how much of what we are taught is true. But how can we do that when we don’t even know the guy we’re talking about?

Now I’m not saying that reading the entire Bible is the only way to know God. The disciples and the first church didn’t even have the New Testament and they did alright. But I think those guys did whatever they possibly could to get to know all they could about the person they called God. And I think that early church group made every effort to make sure that they knew God and not just knew about Him. They didn’t just follow Christ because it was the thing you’re supposed to do. They followed Christ, even to their own deaths, because they knew Him and absolutely believed that He was the person that was worth giving up everything for.

I believe that living for God can only come out of a place of intimacy with Him. We spend so much time serving God as an activity, instead of as a relationship. I think that when we really start to know God, then obeying Him isn’t a chore. When we start to understand His heart and His character, then we start to understand why He asks us to do certain things and not others.

Do you know God?

I think that when we seriously want to know God and seek that knowledge, the answer to the question gets easy.
And when we describe His kindness, His justice, and His righteousness on earth, it’s not because someone has told us about it.
It’s because we’ve lived it.

The Way We See

White African Rhinoceros, Livingstone, Zambia

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:7-9 NIV

It’s funny how much the way we see our life depends on what we trust.

Just over a week ago I was still in Zambia, and our survival depended on just how well our bus worked. That bus was our only hope of making it from one village to another. And I did not trust that bus.

Before we reached Kolomo, we lost a tire. Thankfully, we were only a few kilometers from the town and no one died. When we reached Livingstone, a rock lodged in the rear wheel well. Again thankfully, we were only a few kilometers from the town and no one died. But when our drive shaft cracked outside Bbilili, a hundred kilometers from the nearest piece of civilization, I thought we were all dead. I knew they would find our bodies huddled in the African savannah and it would make for a very sad and very exciting story in the Zambian countryside. However, the bus continued to move, albeit at a crippled and arduous pace. I still wasn’t sure we weren’t all dead. Again, I did not trust that bus.

In contrast, while in Livingstone we took a day long safari. At one point we stood no more than 25 feet from a herd of white rhinoceroses. I don’t mean we gazed at a family of rhinos and snapped shots lazily from the safety of a safari bus. I mean we stood, on foot,  in awe, mouths agape, not moving a muscle as a herd of multi-ton beasts stared back into our eyes. But we weren’t afraid. We weren’t afraid because at the front of this little group of easily-squashed humans was our guide, John. We weren’t afraid because we knew that John, even now, was perfectly in control and perfectly calm. We trusted John.

“You can tell they aren’t angry because the herd bull is still eating,” said John. “If he were angry, he wouldn’t keep eating.” We believed John. I don’t know anything about rhinos other than that they are heavy and fast and have a horn, but John knows about rhinos. And John knows about these rhinos. So, I trusted John. And no one died here, either.

You see the difference? Situation 1: I didn’t trust the bus, I was afraid. Situation 2: I trusted John, I was not afraid.

What changed here? Was one more dangerous than the other? Or did I change?
It’s funny how much the way we see our life depends on what we trust.

Now, in that verse up there from Joshua, God has said that He is always with us. He also says to be strong and courageous and not to be discouraged or afraid. He says this is because He is with us.

So do we ever have an excuse to be afraid?

If God is always with us, and we trust God, then why are we ever afraid?

Is it because maybe we don’t trust God?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m still scared. And I think that sometimes I get scared because sometimes I forget that God’s plan isn’t always necessarily my plan. And sometimes I see just how scary what’s in front of me is and I think “This can’t possibly work out for the best”, and that if I’m not in control then my life is out of control. But I think that might be the point. I think that sometimes we are faced with things that are so wildly outside of what we had planned so that God can remind us that we aren’t supposed to be the ones in control, after all. And maybe it’s during these times that we unclinch our grip on our lives and let the one who actually knows what’s best take over.

1 Peter 5:7 says to “cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you”, right?

But I also don’t think that God is with us so that we can be mega-courageous super heroes who stare down danger with steely gazes and live action movie star lives. It seems more like God has given us this courage and strength so that we can complete the rest of those Joshua verses. Specifically the obeying the Law of Moses bit, the part about keeping it on our lips, meditating on it, and doing everything written in it.

So where in your life or in your future do things look really scary? Where are you going or what are you doing that makes following God’s law look terrifying to you? Because I think that’s where God is going to be closest beside you. I think that’s where you can fully realize letting God be in control, where you can live in courage and strength from the Lord for the completion of His will.

And there, just maybe you’ll learn what it means for the Lord to be with you, wherever you go.

What is Broken, What is Beautiful

Village of Bbilili, Kolomo District, Zambia

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned,this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.  As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.  While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”” John 9:1-5 NIV

I spent the last 2 weeks in various parts of Zambia in Africa. We began in the capital city, Lusaka, and worked our way down to the Kolomo District. From there we left the roads behind and traveled through the dirt and savannahs to the remote villages of Simen-Kuli and Bbilili. The beauty of the African wild is matched only by the hearts of the people who live within it.

Often in these villages, everyone lives in small huts made of tall grass and wood. But, without fail, every village has its own church. In the middle of a group of people with barely enough to keep shelter over their heads, they always have standing building of stone, brick, or cement in which to meet God

I could write for hours about these humble, passionate villages.

But right now, I want to fast forward to the near end of our trip, in the city of Livingstone. Livingstone is a city of contrast. Livingstone is the only tourist destination in the country. People fly from around the world to see Victoria Falls and the National Game Preservation. As a result, Livingstone is like a grain of luxury in an ocean of desperate poverty.

Within minutes of the Falls and tourist shops, Livingstone quickly degrades into little more than sheet metal shacks and cinder block hovels. It was here that I met Ruth.

Ruth lived in a tiny, one bedroom shelter with her husband and her mid-twenties daughter. As is customary with the Zambian people, Ruth quickly ushered my evangelism partner, Abi, and I into her home when we offered to pray with her. She offered what little sticks of furniture she had for us to sit on, while she and her daughter remained standing.

Ruth went on to tell us that her son, who lived in Lusaka, and his wife were unable to have children. Most likely due to malnutrition or the immense amount of toxicity in both the air and water in the capital, every time the daughter-in-law conceived, the child died. Ruth’s face remained strongly dignified and stone willed while she told us this, but in her eyes one could see a glimpse of the anguish she felt.

But then something beautiful happened.

Not beautiful like Victoria Falls, or beautiful like the wonderful African village Christian music. But deep, powerful beauty. The beauty of two broken people experiencing pain together with an understanding that surpasses words. The connection of two people, knowing that though their cultures are worlds apart, they too feel the same pains, the same struggles, battle the same agonizing questions.

It was then that Abi shared that she was the oldest of 6. But that she would have been the oldest of 11.

And it was there, in that tiny Zambian home, that an affluent British daughter and a destitute Zambian mother cried the same tears. It was there two people who could not have been more different could not have become more equal.

That night Ruth and her daughter attended the service we had invited them to before we left. And after the message, during the final alter call, Ruth’s daughter gave her life to Christ.

I am convinced of this. Ruth’s daughter’s soul would not be in the love and care of Jesus Christ had Abi and Ruth not shared that beautiful moment.

“Who sinned, this woman or her son, that his children are born dead?”
“Who sinned, this girl or her mother, that her siblings did not live?”

Neither. But it was for the glory of God, from His perfect plan in all things, for the salvation and the demonstration of God’s power, and with the most beautiful connection of one soul to another that these people who were broken have been made whole.

So we know this much is true:
“And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him”  Romans 8:28 NIV

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I’ll Take Yours Upon Me, and You Can Take Mine

Ealing Broadway, Halal Shop

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:34

Sometimes life seems to crawl by, inch by inch, as though each day contained an entire lifetime.
Sometimes it goes so quickly we aren’t sure what country we’re in anymore.

Lately my life has been falling in the latter.

I arrived in London just three short days ago, and today I catch another plane to Zambia. I feel as though just as I am about to catch my breath, just as my head breaches the top of the water, it’s time to go right back in. But, honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. When we say that Jesus is who he says he is. When we tell God that we are going to follow his Way, with our whole hearts, for the rest of our lives, we aren’t checking in the Christ Hotel and Resorts. We aren’t trading in our past life for a ticket to the spa.

See, I think a lot of people read verses like Matthew 11:29 and think that following Jesus is a free pass to the easy life, to success, to fortune. But  when Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”, we’re still taking Jesus’ yoke. Now, this doesn’t mean we are taking on something worse than what we had before. Actually, it’s infinitely better, but it’s not retirement.

When Jesus says “yoke”, his mostly Jewish audience would have understood what that meant. A rabbi’s yoke was his teaching, his interpretation of God’s Law, his guidelines for how to live life as closely to God’s plan as possible. Up until this time, following a rabbi’s yoke meant a very strict and precarious adherence to the Old Covenant (think Leviticus and all those laws). Read Leviticus for about 5 minutes and you’ll see just how heavy this stuff is to follow exactly. Jesus is here saying that he has a new yoke, one that is easier, one that is lighter.

He isn’t abolishing the Law, but He is trading people for the weight of it. That’s the whole “salvation” thing. Jesus is taking the weight, the punishment, of the law on himself, so we can have his weight (he never sinned, therefore no punishment). And this freeing has an enormous effect on how we can live our lives.

Unbound from the weight of the old law, we are free to go out and really spread this freedom to everyone else. This “unyoking”, this lifting of the weight off of our backs and onto Jesus’ because of how immensely he loves us, is what spreading the Gospel is all about. But, what’s amazing is that we aren’t spreading his word, his freedom, because we have to but because we want to. When we live out fully with the knowledge of just how free we’ve been made, how can we want anything else than to let everyone else experience the same?

How can we keep this to ourselves?

Like Paul, shouldn’t we be willing to give up everything of our own so that even just one more person could be made free like we have? Shouldn’t we be willing to leave our homes, our safety, our comfort, to spread this good news?

Maybe you don’t feel this way, maybe you haven’t given up that old yoke yet. Maybe you’re yet to experience the maximum joy of knowing God loves you infinitely more than you could ever imagine, and he feels the same way about the stranger next to you.

Maybe someday you will, and then you’ll want to leave everything behind, too.

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Pastors and Pistols

South Hanwell at Ealing, London

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”  – Matthew 10:34 NIV

I think Jesus meant a lot of things by this passage, but I don’t think a literal sword is one of them.
On the plane ride to London, I sat next to a British couple, both in their upper 70’s. They told me all the things I needed to do and see over the course of my visit and we swapped all the details of our lives that had brought us to this particular flight. Over the next 8 hours I learned all about Babby and Eric’s trips around the world to visit their many relatives and children and grandchildren, about how they had driven from Atlanta to “somewhere up north, not quite Canada, but up there alright” to see Eric’s brother, the pastor. I told them that my father is also a pastor and I was headed to London as an intern with a local evangelical ministry. They smiled and nodded and kept up the pleasantries, quickly changing the subject to whether I would be having wine with my dinner or not.

When I asked if they were involved with a church in the area, Eric informed me that they were not religious. “If that’s what you like, it’s all fine, but I just have a few problems with it all,” he told me.
See, apparently Eric’s brother, the preacher, is a well-to-do upstanding professor of the love of Christ. But, Eric informed me, he keeps a loaded pistol under the seat of his pickup at all times. “Pastors and pistols,” Eric said, “I just don’t think it makes a lot of sense with the pastor and pistol, is all.”

I told him some on the spot thing about how I’m sure he never intends to use it, it’s simply escalation and blah blah blah. But really, I kind of agree with Eric.

Sunday night at the church I’m working out of, Reverend Shahki (or Shahk-Attack), spoke on patience and forgiveness and some other great stuff. One story in particular stuck out to me.
“A Hebrew man was once tending to his home, about to have a meal with his family, when a stranger appeared at his doorstep. As was custom, he let him in quickly and offered him a meal and a place to sleep. The stranger, however, sat down and hurriedly ate the food, without waiting for anyone, not even the man’s family, to grab a bite. The owner of the house, furious, kicked the stranger out immediately and cursed him aloud. Suddenly, God spoke to the man, rebuking him for his actions. ‘I have put up with you for 70 years,’ God told him. ‘Could you not put up with this man for a single night?'”

We’re pretty bad at putting up with people. Especially people who don’t fit right in with how we expect them to act. How quick are  we to judge and dismiss someone based on a single thing they do? How often do we outright condemn people for what they have done? I think the fact that most people, even pastors, keep loaded guns in their homes speaks pretty loudly about at least a couple things.

First, do we trust God to protect us and for his will to occur?
Second, do we value our own lives, our things, our safety (as saved individuals who win whether we live or die) over that of someone who so desperately needs God’s love?

It’s pretty tough to preach love and condemnation simultaneously as people who are equally sinful in our own ways. I think Jesus had something pretty good to say about this, as well.
Matthew 18 talks about a king who forgives a man a debt of what would be hundreds of thousands of dollars, all because the man begs forgiveness. That same man then turns around and refuses  to forgive a debt owed him of a measly few hundred, but instead has the debtor jailed till he can repay. The king, hearing this, has the first man locked away and tortured until his massive debt is paid in full. “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

I think that speaks pretty powerfully. How much forgiveness are we showing, how much patience, if we live according the standard of pastors and pistols? Maybe we don’t have to throw all of our guns away just yet, but where in our own lives can we be patient with people who aren’t like us? The modern tax collectors and prostitutes that Jesus would have invited to lunch, where can we seek them out? I can’t answer for anyone else, but I think it’s pretty important that we start looking, and act on it.

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Unexpected

Mt. 26: 6-16
From the words Jesus spoke to us, we know the characteristics of the Kingdom of Heaven. It  is not logical, but it is beautiful. It is not what we expect, but it is what we need. It is not our own vision of a kingdom, but it is so much more.
The perfume was worth a high price, other books say almost a full year’s wages. Would not the expected move of the church be to give such a large gift to the poor and celebrate it greatly? One would expect the good, Christian use of the gift would be as a donation, but God’s plan often differs greatly from our own.
Of course such a huge rift from the norm will anger those who trust the own sense of right over their faith that God is always in control. Evidently Judas was one of these people, as he does not go to betray Jesus until after this event. Judas trusted his own vision of the use of our gifts: the logical, expected, usual.
Therefore, have faith. For “wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will be told, in memory of her.”
We remember both. But who do we remember as good, Judas or the woman?

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Due Justice

Mt. 20: 1-16
What is justice? What is fairness? Are we so bold as to define these terms by our own experience?
This passage causes my mind to reel even as I read it. It appalls my sense of fairness. Why should those who have worked for so long, done so much more, be paid the same as those who have done almost nothing?
This is just proof of how flawed my ideas of what is “due” me, of what I feel I “deserve”.

What do I deserve? What do we all deserve? God has clearly told us our deserved wages. “For all men have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” “The wages of sin are death.” This is what we are owed, the true payment for our work. Because we cannot earn the wages we want. We fell short much too long ago.
The wages of the work we have done are pain, suffering, loneliness, agony, and death. So, if I ask God to pay me what is FAIR, what is OWED to me, I will reap my own destruction accordingly.
But, as is evident by Christ’s own words, God chooses not to pay us what we deserve. God gives us the exact opposite. If I want peace, joy, righteousness, comfort, and the kingdom of heaven I know I must quiet my flesh and open my Spirit.
For, this passage isn’t about the workers in the field. It’s about the mercy of the Master. A kingdom that’s upside down, where sinners are paid as kings.

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

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