June 30, 2013
Late Arrivals Welcome
by Randy Kilgore
Read: Matthew 20:1-16
I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. —Matthew 20:14
One night when I visited a nursing home, a resident named Tom slipped out quietly from his room, hoping to catch me to chat. After we talked awhile, he asked, “Won’t God be insulted if I become a Christian this late in life?” Tom’s question wasn’t a surprise. As a chaplain, I often hear it in varying forms from the elderly, from those who struggle with addictions, from former prisoners. They think they have a legitimate reason to believe it’s too late for them to know God or to be used by Him.
Tom and I spent time exploring people in Scripture who, because of their past, could have thought it was too late for them to know God. But Rahab, a prostitute (Josh. 2:12-14; Heb. 11:31), and Zacchaeus, a tax collector (Luke 19:1-8), chose faith in God despite their past.
We also looked at Jesus’ parable of workers in the vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16). The earlier the hire, the more labor they were able to give the vineyard owner (vv.2-7), but those hired later discovered they had equal value in the owner’s eyes and would be rewarded equally (vv.8-16). The vineyard owner chose to be gracious to them all.
No matter our past or present, God longs to show us His grace and bring us into relationship with Him.
Father, we are amazed at Your grace! Thank You that
we can come to You at any time for forgiveness and be
restored to relationship with You. Thank You that we
can now be used by You to touch the lives of others.
To give your life to Christ now is to keep it forever.
Bible in a year:
Job 17-19; Acts 10:1-23
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