Poor in Spirit • Devotion #2: 50 Years Young

Who would want to be last?

Matthew 20:16 says, ”So the last will be first, and the first last.”

Jesus tells a parable in Matthew chapter 20, about laborers who were chosen throughout the day to work. Those who were chosen first started work in the morning and others were added to the crew as the day went on. Workers were added at the third, sixth, ninth hours, and finally, some workers did not have to start work until the eleventh hour of the day. However, the parable says that all of them received the same pay. It did not seem right that those that started first thing in the morning would receive the same pay as those who were chosen last and had only worked a short time.

In the parable, those who were chosen first were upset to find out that those who were chosen last were paid the same as the ones who worked all day. The workers chosen early felt they had put in much more time and effort than those who were chosen last. They expected more compensation for their long day of work. Those who were chosen last received the same payment. This is a beautiful picture of God’s grace.

In Jesus’ parables, the story is an explanation of what He is teaching us. Here, Jesus is teaching us that salvation, whether we receive it earlier in our life or later, is the same free gift. This reward of eternal life is nothing that we have earned. Jesus died on the cross and took on Himself all our sins. He suffered for us and paid for our sins. Because of this, we can freely enter eternity in Heaven!

Romans 6:23says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 10:9 adds, ”Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

I gave my heart to Jesus when I was 50 years old. My wife prayed for twelve years for me to accept the free gift of salvation. She gave her heart to Jesus when she was just nine years old. Our gift is the same no matter how early or late we accept it. This parable shows that God’s mercy and grace are immeasurable. What is important in the Kingdom of God is not the length of our salvation, but what we have done with our time on Earth serving the Lord.

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