““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 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.
So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.””
Matthew 20:1-2, 9-10, 16 NKJV
There is sometimes a tendancy for mature believers to undervalue the ministry of those new to the faith. I am sure there are some who think that when we get to the Bema seat of Christ, that there will be some kind of an award for seniority. I am sure that many will be astounded when they see the baby Christian who went out and faithful shared the testimony receiving vast treasure.
As I read the passage in Matthew, I could not help but think of the many comments I have overheard as jaded, mature believers smuggly dismiss the babe in their midst, and the enthusiasm they bring to the sharing of the Good News.
Paul wrote to Timothy about the struggles he had as young pastor. I am sure he heard the grumbles of older, more experienced pastors. I can imagine his discouragement.
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.”
I Timothy 4:12-15 NKJV
He instructed Timothy to continue and be fully devoted to the teaching and preaching of the doctrine of the word of God .
Those of us who have weathered the storms should be about uplifting those who are young in the faith and focused on the Lord. Their enthusiasm should be a contagion for us, propelling us to go deeper, and become more excited about the faith to which we have devoted our lives.
We are all workmen, those of us who have come to Jesus for forgiveness of sins. When we come to know Jesus, we receive the full wage all at once, one lump sum, of all the power of the God that we need to live godly lives.
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
II Peter 1:2-4 NKJV
Let us always remember that sinners also receive their wages, leading to damnation and eternity in hell.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, let us ask the Lord to give us the desire that we once had, that we be made new in the faith, excited all over again. Think back to the day you first believed, when Jesus entered your life, and you were made new. One thing I pray for all of you, is that you have a spirit of revival, that you be rekindled, the fire burning bright.
The coming year will be filled with blessing and cursing, gain and loss, and many opportunities to lead people to Jesus. Let us be about the Father’s business.
Let us also encourage those amongst us who are new to the faith, and have the excitement to share. Let us who are mature uplift them, and celebrate their boldness. May we be humble enough to be like them.
“I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.”
I John 2:12-14 NKJV
Let us go to work in the vineyard, that the harvest be plentiful!
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