Have you ever walked by a jobless person on the street and wondered: "What would God have me to do to help this soul?" Should I take the time to share the good news? Should I give them money for food, and then wonder if it will be used for strong drink? Or should I try to help them get a job? What would Jesus do? That is the question. Today I'd like you to look with me, from God's perspective, at the tragedy of unhired lives. In the parable of the landowner, found in Matt. 20:1-16, Jesus made His point clear that God hates to see people without a job. The heart of the parable is the landowner's deep agitation over unhired men -- just hanging out, wasting their lives in the marketplace. Read it with me;
"For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out to about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them; Go also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, Why do you stand idle here all day? And they said to him, Because no man has hired us. He said to them, Go also to the vineyard, and whatsoever is right, that you shall receive."
This parable goes on to illustrate that God rewards His laborers according to His standards, not by mans, which may seem unfair at times. Jesus summed up the lesson in vs.16, by saying that in the kingdom of God, "the last shall be first and the first last." But, go back to the marketplace with me for a moment and notice that at least 4 times the landowner went looking for unhired men. Why so much effort? Perhaps the landowner's crops were ready to harvest and he was desperate. I believe Jesus cares more for men than crops and He wanted us to understand that our work is important to our maturity. Bluntly, unhired lives are a waste, and poor stewardship is never rewarded by God. Thus, God hates unemployment, and promotes a work ethic because:
1. Work is dignifying. God wants us to be infused with human dignity, based on a job well done. To pay someone NOT to work is to rob them of their dignity and destroy their soul.
2. Work is fulfilling. The unemployed are unfulfilled and disconnected from God's purpose, which is to produce true wealth to bless others. To reward those who won't work is a sin.
3. Work is God's call. Overcoming unemployment requires hearing God's call in your life. We are each a vital part of the body of Christ and as such have a unique calling. Our job is to find out what it is and then do it! Notice, God is the original "anti-loitering" lawmaker. From God's perspective, there is so much work to do that He expects us all to do our part.
In conclusion, I ask, Are YOU among the unhired -- unsure of what you should do? Have you received a fresh revelation from God lately regarding your work or are you in a rut? May I suggest that you spend time in the Word. Knock on some new doors. If God is in control of your life, you need not worry. Pray with me now, "Lord we ask you for clear minds and open hearts to receive a fresh revelation of our calling today. Teach us to labor for your kingdom with all our heart, soul, and mind."