An upside down kingdom
We just celebrated Labor Day, a day set aside to honor working people, how did you celebrate? With a cookout or just a day of rest?
I took off both Sunday and Monday and spent time resting in the Lord.
The Kingdom of Heaven is an upside down kingdom. A good example of this upside down kingdom is in Matthew 20:1-16. The story of the vineyard owner that hires workers.
The Vineyard owner went out early in the morning to hire workers, he agreed to pay them the normal daily wage. At 9:00am he went out again and hired more workers, agreeing to pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. At 12:00pm and again at 3:00pm he went out and did the same thing, promising to pay whatever was right. Then at 5:00pm he was in town and hired those just standing around, promising to pay whatever is right.
Five times the Vineyard owner went out searching for workers to serve in the vineyard, each time he promised to pay whatever was the fair wage.
As the story goes, at the end of the day, the vineyard owner had his foreman call all the workers together, starting with those he hired at 5:00pm.
When each group of workers came forward to be paid they realized that each one was getting paid a full day's wage.
We can look at this story in light of how we feel about serving in the church and how we see others that serve or we can look at this story in a different way, in the light of how the Kingdom of Heaven looks.
The workers were all paid the same no matter the work or hours they put in.
This goes against what we labor for, we want to be acknowledged for the work we do.
Have you heard the quote “Work hard and you will succeed?” Was it unfair that each worker got paid the same amount of money?
This story is not about the workers or the pay or the amount of time that they worked, it is about what the Kingdom of Heaven looks like.
The Vineyard owner went searching for the workers, this is how God seeks us out no matter who we are or what we have done, right or wrong.
God did pay whatever is right, he gave us Jesus his only son. When Jesus willingly gave His life for all mankind, He paid the wages for sin and death, and gave us eternal life and the opportunity to love him.
EVERYONE is equal in the Kingdom of Heaven, everyone receives the same wage, and we all labor together to grow the kingdom. The last is first and the first is last. Upside down thinking compared to the way the world thinks.
Have you ever thought “ I can not serve in the church, for whatever reason? We are all equal and we are all qualified to serve and build the kingdom because we have the Holy Spirit in us.
Come and serve for a day, a few hours or a few minutes. Every act of love large or small builds the kingdom.
Are we building the Kingdom of Heaven patterned after the world's way of thinking? Or are we building the kingdom of Heaven, God’s way? Through prayer and seeking God’s guidance in all we do?
Matthew 23:11 Whoever is the greatest should be the servant of the others.
Pastor Kelly has excelled at this, I see him working in every area of the body, building the kingdom and I would like to say thank you Kelly for all you do, you have a true servants heart.
When I look at the kingdom at St. Pete Vineyard, I want to say to all our workers thank you and be blessed, you are loved. Your fair wage is Jesus and the opportunity to build the Kingdom of Heaven, so others can know that same love of God.
Blessings and love,