21 Day Fast Day 16

Today is Week 3 day 16 of our 21 Day Fast, January 23,2024

Matthew 20:1-16 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ 7“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also goand work in my vineyard.’ 8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ 9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ 13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Jesus is teaching about The Kingdom of Heaven. He is describing what The Kingdom is like and sharing the principles thereof. God owns the land, the vineyard, the fruit, He hires the workers, and He decides the wages (thank God we’re not receiving the wages of our sin, which is death, but the gift of God, which is eternal life in Christ Jesus Our Lord). This Kingdom principle of the first being last and last being first seems to be a raw deal for “the first” and a sweet deal for “the last.” The landowner could have paid the first, first, and the last, last, and there probably would have been no envy or grumbling because the first would have taken their wages and not waited around to see what the last received.  Why didn’t it happen that way? God has a way of testing devotion, hearts, and motives. A pure heart is important to the Lord.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. (Psalm 24:3-4)

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)

In outward appearance the first batch of workers to be hired were probably the brightest and best.  The desirability of each batch of workers probably diminished as the day wore on and the last batch to be hired at five in the afternoon (the eleventh hour) certainly would have been hired by someone else if they seemed to possess any worth as a worker.

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b) I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. (John 4:34-35)

God is raising up eleventh-hour vineyard workers to help gather the harvest. They may seem too young or too old or not fit for the task at hand, but we must work shoulder to shoulder with them, teach them the ropes and finish the job strong together. Let’s not be envious grumblers but thankful for the reinforcements.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You Are the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last and we are eternally grateful to be gatherers of Your Harvest and recipients of Your generosity. We’re thankful that the Lord of the Harvest is hearing our prayer for more laborers; we will receive them and run with them rejoicing that the plentiful harvest is coming in. It’s all about You and souls. “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1 Corinthians 3:7) AMEN!!

Pastor Angelo Sarna Senior

Here are our final set of Scripture verses to meditate on and memorize.

Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

1 Corinthians 13:4  Love is patient, love is kind.

Acts 1:8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Isaiah 41:10  So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Ephesians 2:10  For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

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