How important is it to “finish well”?

 Providence of God  |  June 7

“… 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 he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went.
Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise.
And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’
They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’
So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’
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.
And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner,
saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’
But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?
Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.
Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’
So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”

Matthew 20:1-16

Father, we know, from Your word, that our good works and the length of time we serve You, are not, by themselves, the determining factors. We do not “earn” salvation, it is a gift, by Your grace God.

We can infer from this parable, Father, that whether we serve You for many years or for a short time, the reward is equal…eternity with You. We all need forgiveness for our sins, large and small, and here we learn that the atoning act of Jesus and Your grace and mercy far exceeds anything we should reasonably expect.

Jesus, thank you for teaching us that it is critical that we “finish well”. Whether we serve You briefly or for many years, help us, we pray, not to think of ourselves as more deserving than others. Take the pride we sometimes feel as we perform good works far from us and replace it with joy as we experience Your will for our life. In Jesus Holy name, we pray, amen.

Bruce Caldwell

The Sola Scriptura Project

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