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BY GRACE ALONE  

"Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil because I am good?" Matthew 20:1-16 (15)      

A man had hired laborers to work in his vineyard. Some had worked a long day of twelve hours, some nine hours, some three hours, and some only one hour. At the close of the day they received their wages, each a penny, or about 20 cents in our money. That was the regular daily pay in Palestine at the time of Christ. Those who had worked only one hour received their pay first. They rejoiced to have received a day's wages for one hour's work. Immediately the others expected more, though none had earned more than a day's wages. They grumbled, not because they had received less than they had earned, but because some had received more. At this point the employer asked the question: "Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye-evil because I am good?"      

Every human being is on the way to eternity. Those who accept Jesus  Christ as their Savior have eternal life. They are working in the vineyard of the LORD. Some spend long lives in His service. They serve faithfully and well. Some serve a shorter time. Some are pulled like brands out of the fire, like one of the malefactors on the cross. Occasionally people sill say that a just God cannot reward the latter as richly as those who have served Him as believers all their lives. This remark shows a misunderstanding of God's grace. God does not owe us anything. The life-long believer can claim no greater credit for his works than the converted thief. Both are saved purely by  God's grace. Both should praise the goodness of God. "His merciful kindness is great toward us" Ps. 117:2      

Christian friends, God offers to give us what we can't buy, mercy, pardon, and a changed life infused with His presence. He invites us to "Seek the LORD while He may be found"  

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,                                                                 Freely bestowed on all who believe.                                                                          You that are longing to see His face,                                                                         Will you this moment His grace receive?  

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - God's grace accepted in God's peace experienced.          

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