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The Word for Today

by Bob and Debby Gass

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‘…Those…hired last…you paid…the same as…us.’ Matthew 20:12 NCV
In Christ’s parable five different groups of workers are hired. The first group complained when those who worked only the last hour got paid the same wages as those who worked all day. They are typical of performance-based Christians. They think that because they avoid certain sins, God’s getting a good deal. Instead of rejoicing with those who come late to the Kingdom, they’re resentful. They’re easy to spot because they’ve three characteristics. They show a complaining spirit. They overlook the good, home in on the negative, and seek out people who agree with them. What’s the cure? A good memory! Recalling what God has done for you, and all the grace-based benefits of His love you enjoy each day. Performance-based Christians have also got a resentful spirit. Instead of resting in God’s grace they act like duty-bound soldiers?conscripts, not volunteers. They struggle constantly for God’s approval, never feel like they measure up, and their hostility prevents them from experiencing joy. But the moment they begin to reflect on God’s goodness to them, their resentment begins to lessen. Finally, they show a judgmental spirit. ‘It’s not fair,’ they think. ‘I did the work and they get the credit.’ They forget that God dispenses gifts?not wages. ‘He does not…repay us according to our iniquities’ (Psalm 103:10 NIV), but lavishes us with grace and mercy. So who are these grace-based Christians? Latecomers with no contracts or merits; their relationship with God is based solely on grace. They’re happy with whatever He’s offering, humbled by His goodness, and motivated to work by overwhelming gratitude.

SoulFood: 2 Cor 9:1-11:15, Luke 22:24-38, Ps 24, Pr 21:1-2

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