And The Winner Is …

Thus the last shall be first, and the first last.

[MATTHEW 20:16]

We live in a day where first is first and last is last…and where it is deemed far better to be first. But Jesus taught that God’s scorecard is often a mirror image of our own. Why? Because He does not look only at the “bottom line,” He examines the heart. In the parable of the vineyard laborers, those who “signed on” at day’s end were paid just as much as those who worked a full day—a fact that angered many of the full-day workers. But God looks at each man’s heart, and judges accordingly.

A father had three sons, all of whom worked for a furrier. The father of these boys was a friend of the owner, and he was aware that all three boys had the same job, but were paid differently. When he casually asked the owner about the discrepancy, the man invited this dad to spend a day at his warehouse observing the three boys. When the father arrived, the owner picked up the phone and called the first son, who made about $100 a week. He said, “There’s a ship at the dock from Ontario with some hides on board; go down to the dock and see what they’ve got.” The son said he would check it out, and called back in three minutes. “I called down to the dock,” he said, “and they have 1500 seal pelts aboard.” The owner said thank you and called son number two, who made $200 a week. He made the same request: “There’s a ship from Ontario on the dock with some hides. Go take a look and let me know what they’ve got.” An hour later he reported in: “I checked on the ship and they have 1500 seal hides on board. They look good.” Again, the owner thanked the boy. Then he called son number three, who made $500 a week. Same instructions. Four hours passed, but at the end of that time, the third son had this to say: “I went down and looked at the pelts, and bought 500 seal for $5 apiece, then sold them for $7 to one of our customers. They also had 500 red fox pelts, which we don’t handle, but I know someone who does, and was able to sell them to him for a $4,000 profit. There were 39 minks on board, too. I know you like to examine those yourself, so I optioned them for an hour until you can take a look.” The president of the company said, “Thank you very much,” then looked at the father. “Do you understand now?” he asked him. “Yes,” the dad said, “I certainly do.” What kind of worker are you in the kingdom of God? Have you given him everything you have?

~ Dr. Ed Young ~

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