• Vagueness about the object of our praise inevitably leads to making our own praise the object (Michael Horton)
  • Most Christians want a thrill or joy, but do not want holiness or the purity of a Spirit-filled life (A.W. Tozer)
  • When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude (G. K. Chesterton)
  • The search for significance can quickly become a never-ending and all-consuming adventure.’ (Kevin Mirchandani)

Text: Matthew 20:1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard. “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 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?’ “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ “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.’ “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.”

As Blaise Pascal (1623–62) observed, “Put the soul at rest, and it longs for activity; put the soul in motion and it longs for rest. In neither does it find contentment.”, in 2006 the urge to share God’s inspiration with others set in. It started as encouragement to some family members in distant lands who in turn would share with friends. As the number of readers increased, the technological challenge of not being allowed to post message to many emails was real.  Talk about the word of God being lamp to the feet (Psalm 119:105) and literally more possibilities arose such as the website. I can confidently say like Abraham’s servant, ‘I being on the way, the Lord led me’ (Genesis 24:27b). Not sure of the next step or message but assured of God’s presence has been the weekly devotion journey. Tip toeing in the world of technology, I sometimes have found myself thrown off, not sure which way to go. It has taken a year since I found myself into some kind of Sabbath – that time of rest with God. The weekly devotion with beckyjohn is back.

The concept of being hired is critical because it gives meaning to one’s life.  ‘Who am I? Who are you? Who are we? Why am I? and Where am I going? These are fundamental questions that define our identity, mission, and relationships with God and with others. The thoughts/ideas formed is what makes the belief system upon which our actions and decisions are based, and these in turn determine the trajectory of our lives. The innate impulse to meet what matters for our existence becomes a map within us directing us. The normal inclination is to find value and meaning in external things, such as professional achievements, money, property, or influence over others. Marcus Aurelius observed: “The things you think about determine the quality of your mind. Your soul takes the color of your thoughts. . . Our life is what our thoughts make it.” If in all activities one is engaged in, great things, religious activities do not arise with a clear engagement by Christ, then it is in vain.   


Those who Christ has hired know and are secure. ‘Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God (John 1:12). The power or right to become a child of God is a determining factor of who is hired. Though the servants are said to have complained of the pay, they were fully engaged, fulfilled, and expectant of the Master’s pay. They woke up every morning with a clear sense of purpose and they rested in the evening having done the work. They knew they were going to their master’s vineyard; they knew who else was working with them and to whom they were accountable. That is what it means to be a Jesus disciple. That employment by Jesus colors every aspect of life. Once assured of Christ’s hiring, you use your intellect to know your Master because God wants His workers to “understand” him intellectually and then to “know” him intimately.

Do you remember Christ hiring you to work in his vineyard? Has Christ given you the right to become the child of God? No church, Pastor, friend, or family traditions can give you the right to become a child of God. As C. S. Lewis described it, “If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road . . . . Going back is the quickest way on.” In a world where change is inevitable, values keep changing, fear of the unknown remain deep seated. One can be so busy, with every day activities such as that which helps in matting daily needs, or  making a name, or adding to one’s estate of property of high value but not assured of what to expect as the days go by. An earthquake, a plague like Covid 19, age and depreciation remain an ever-ending threat. There is no assurance of payment at the end of time. ‘A journey only becomes a journey once you’re clear about the destination, otherwise it’ just aimless wandering’ (Corky Calhoun).

God ‘wants a child’s heart, but a grown-up’s head. He wants us to be simple, single-minded, affectionate, and teachable, as good children are; but He also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim.’ (C. S. Lewis)