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The Christian Palette, Issue # 21, Don't Limit God
September 20, 2016
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Don't Limit God!
The parable of the landowner and the vineyard reminded me how easily I fall into the trap of limiting God. As artists, who depend upon Him for all our resources, perhaps what I learned may help you.
We unknowingly create boundaries for our lives and future. Since all matters of faith are intertwined with our noisy thoughts, I grew aware that learning to think correctly was critical.
While faith is not elusive, it does require the ability to envision a future that is often contrary to logical thinking. It is not a future that I conjure up, but one consistent with what God describes in the Bible - a future that is far from ordinary!
Working diligently to renew our minds with the words in its pages will help us live the good life He intended.
Let’s look at it in the light of the parable of the landowner and the vineyard that Jesus taught.
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.
He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard."
He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard."Mat 20:1,2
The Savvy Laborers
This first group of workers discoursed with the landowner and agreed upon a wage. Bible scholars agree that it was the going rate at the time for a days work. Sounds fair, right? The laborers assessed the worth of their labor based on the currency of the day.
The sentence structure seems to suggest that it was the laborers who requested those specific wages to which the landowner agreed.
The next four groups of laborers were different; they were hired later and only told that they would be paid whatever the landowner thought was fair.
He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ Mat 20:4
These laborers had to trust that the landowner was a man of integrity. It required faith. Hiring workers as the day progressed was unusual. They had to ignore their suspicions that someone could use their services, despite the lateness of the day, and trust that their labor would not be in vain.
What happened next somehow seemed unfair until I grasped the generosity of the landowner (God)!
Those who came later received the same reward for their labor as those who served all day long at their agreed upon wages.
• My labors in art are never in vain.
• God is unexpectedly and exuberantly generous.
▪ Calculating your worth by the world’s standards can be foolhardy— would you prefer a static daily wage versus unexpected, significant gains of His choosing?
▪ Agreeing upon a measurable wage (even if only in your mind) will cripple you to receiving that and nothing more.
• Open yourself instead to limitless abundance from God because generosity is a reflection of His nature.
• Trusting Him for your reward requires faith (but don’t worry, faith can be developed!)
• His payment is always worthwhile; in this parable it was far more than the prorated daily wage.
While the thrust of this parable is about salvation and His kingdom, I catch a glimpse of an enormously generous God, giving me confidence that He can be implicitly trusted.
He will bless you wherever you are, whenever you begin to serve Him with whatever ability you now possess.
It is far more exciting to look for His unexpected rewards than being on the prowl for that which is tangibly measurable as daily wages!
So how has He encouraged your labor lately? Cherish it as wages, dear friend, and press on.
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Consider the Lilies: An Adult Coloring Devotional Journal
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