Ever since childhood we are taught the earthly principles of input and earnings. If we work harder, we can earn more. If we put hours of effort into a task we receive a greater reward. Christianity does not operate according to the laws and principles of the natural realm – Jesus made this perfectly clear.
He used a parable about laborers in order to demonstrate the Kingdom’s principle of input and reward. A few laborers were hired during the day – some right at the beginning and some throughout the day until just before they received their payment. Those working from earlier on in the day expected more payment than those who started working right before they received their wages – yet they all received the same amount.
“Now when the first came, they supposed they would get more, but each of them also received a denarius. And when they received it, they grumbled at the owner of the estate, saying, These [men] who came last worked no more than an hour, and yet you have made them rank with us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day. But he answered one of them, Friend, I am doing you no injustice. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this man hired last the same as I give to you.” Matthew 20:10-14
The laborers showing up for work represent Christians coming to faith in Christ. All of them receive the FULL measure of grace that Jesus gave through the cross, as well as every gift of life, healing and freedom that comes with it. It does not matter how long you have been a Christian – if you believe, you receive the ENTIRE gift. God does not differentiate between ‘established’ and ‘new’ Christians. Every person is free to receive the complete, overwhelming experience of His grace – up until the very last second before Jesus returns!
As humans with many flaws we are quick to underestimate our value and worth. God wants us to understand how valuable we are in His eyes, because this will convince us of His love and provision in our lives. The first verse I want to quote:
“Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?” Matt 6:26
We are worth much more than the birds in the air. Yet we foolishly think God would take care of them but not of us! We need not worry about anything, for He cares for us. The second verse I want to quote:
“Again the kingdom of heaven is like a man who is a dealer in search of fine and precious pearls, Who, on finding a single pearl of great price, went and sold all he had and bought it.” Matt 13:45-46
We are that pearl of great price. God offered everything He had – His only Son, in order to save us and buy our redemption. He placed such high value on our lives that He did not even spare His only son (Rom 8:32). Christ purchased our freedom (Gal 3:13). Another verse comes to mind explaining our worth:
“You shall also be [so beautiful and prosperous as to be thought of as] a crown of glory and honor in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem [exceedingly beautiful] in the hand of your God.” Is 62:3
Never underestimate your worth. Realize what a costly price God paid in order to restore us to Himself. Boldly approach His throne of grace, realizing you are a precious pearl of great worth to Him!
It is not noble to think of yourself as a wretched, miserable sinner. Realizing this once is enough, until you hear the fantastic news that Jesus died for all your sins. Then, after this realization, you need to understand that your new position is one of righteousness. You are now pure, blameless and holy.
Becoming born again transfers you from darkness to light (Col 1:13), into a whole new dimension. In this dimension God sees you as He sees Christ, because of the amazing sacrifice He became. Can Christ be sinful, unholy or wretched? No! Remember that the one sacrifice was enough, you are now forever cleansed!
Walk in this mindset, and your life will change effortlessly. It will change from the inside out, not the other way around. It will come naturally.
“[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,” Col 1:13
“Yet now has [Christ, the Messiah] reconciled [you to God] in the body of His flesh through death, in order to present you holy and faultless and irreproachable in His [the Father’s] presence.” Col 1:22