The Privilege of Working in God’s Vineyard

So much of what we do in this world is measured by what we accomplish. Throughout my career, the work experience on my resume often determined whether I was given a job or not. It usually depended on if the people making the decision to hire determined if I was the best candidate for the job based on demonstrating my skills.

Sometimes I am guilty of carrying this same mentality over to salvation. Something inside of me tells me that I have not done enough to earn eternal life. I wonder if my resume of work for the kingdom is hefty enough to grant me entrance to heaven. I am like the jailer in Acts 16:30 who asked Paul and Silas, “what must I do to be saved?” To which they replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household (16:31).”

Could it be that simple? Too often I confuse what I do with my need to earn my salvation when it is what Jesus did that matters. I need to lay down my self interests and replace it with God’s interest. My work for the kingdom should be done out of a heart for God and a desire to help others know Jesus in a deep and personal way. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).”

Jesus told the lawyer who asked him, what he should do to inherit eternal life, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

This is the lesson of the parable in Matthew 20:1-15. It doesn’t matter if I’ve worked all day or one hour, the reward is the same in the end. I should not focus on how long I’ve worked, how much work others are doing, or if I should get paid more because I did more. The focus should be on the fact that God asked me to come work in His vineyard. I should feel fortunate that I was asked and humbly accept the work he gives me. I should be motivated to work because of my love for God, putting my heart, soul, strength and mind into His work. I should feel honored to work in God’s vineyard and privileged to help nurture and harvest the fruit.

© 2023, Chris G Thelen

I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. – John 11:26 (NASB)

if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. – John 14:6

9 thoughts on “The Privilege of Working in God’s Vineyard

  1. Amen! Chris, your testament fills with thoughts shared by many, including myself. I can never meet God’s perfection, but Jesus teaches me to replace my pride with humbleness.

  2. Nicely written, Chris! Looking forward to reading your book. God bless you!

    Pastor Paul Clark

  3. We are saved by God’s amazing grace. I’m so glad it does not depend on me or what mood I am in or what I have done. Praise our wonderful Saviour…. 🙌🏽🙌🏼🙌🏿🙌🏾💛

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