We are robbing God of his glory. We are the greatest thieves, on 15, 30 to 80 year crusades full of heists, stick ups, and are ignorant of the inevitable; you can’t outrun God. The irony is that whether we acknowledge Him or not God will be glorified. God is glorified as much in his rewarding of the righteous as his condemnation and judgment of the trespasser, the robber, thief, murderer, and immoral,;ie the wicked.
Let me however speak a little to the christian; to myself. Time is allotted to each human in different measures. In the allotted time that God has given,he allows us to experience his wonderful creation; but ultimately it is to experience him. This experience it meant to shape us and conform us to his image and his likeness. We were made in his image, but marred by sin; to where the glory that once reverberated through all creation has been blocked out by the roaring of sin; it has become a fleeting shadow at the setting of the sun. Only those who notice the light from the son are able to see the flickering shadows in the background. As David writes in his light we see light. Yet time ticks on, and we continue ignoring him, shutting our ears to his invitation to join him as his ambassadors for the redeeming and the great reconciliation of mankind.
In the words of our Lord, He who has ears let him hear.
In Matthew 20 where the Lord tells a parable about a great Lord who is hiring labor for work in his vineyard. He begins with a beautiful image
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard”
The home depots, and Uhaul locations where I live are always surrounded outside by day laborers. Its rare occasion where in my trip in side these places I am not solicited by throngs of men of all ages who are in quest for a day’s work. This group is usually composed of hard working men who are desperate for work, trying to provide for their family or simply themselves. There is no guarantee of work, but every day these men wake up go to the spot and hope to be called to work. Sometimes they are fortunate to grab a day’s work, while other days they are simply left to stand.. waiting. It is a very humbling experience, one in which you rely on the generosity and the need of casual strangers.
Now imagine if a millionaire decided to get a couple of men to outside the Home Depot to work on his mansion, he promises them not only work for life, but food and an opportunity in the future to live with him in his elaborate house. Now lets say he provides the working attire, breakfast for them, and lays out the instructions for the day; and as soon as he departs they begin dancing and clowning around. These men who were once desperate, hungry, now become complacent, lazy and defiant. How would the master view such workers?
You see when the Lord saves us he hires us into his vineyard. He calls us to work for him. This call is not just limited to the clergy; the ministers, priests; and counselors; its a call to everyone skilled and unskilled, young and old, male and female; a call to serve him. Isn’t it a shame that we expect God to provide for all our needs; to pay all our bills and expenses and we refuse to work for him. I challenge any sane person to go to the HR department and tell them, you know I know you want me to work, but I am just not in the mood, I think I am going to call in sick forever, I’m not sick, but I just want to get paid.
This is what we do to God. The thing about the Lord is that he is so generous; he knows our plight, and many times it is out of his mercy that we have our needs and sometimes desires provided for. But lets look at the two characteristics of the laborer in the vineyard. The first quality is desperation, and the next one is availability. It is natural in most jobs to get comfortable, especially if you develop a good connection with management, or HR. When you first get hired, especially after having time between jobs you are energetic, on time, and speak well of everyone. You are so excited that you have a job and want to make a good impression, you are on your best behavior. Its often funny because a lot of times the older workers will look at you funny because in their minds they’re thinking, “rookie, it doesn’t take all of that” .If you are given any instruction you listen and follow through without any visible signs of attitude or back talk, while the veteran will will respond” that’s not my job”,” who do they think they are telling me to do that”, or come up with a litany of excuses and complaints. I know this does not apply for all workers, but I know many of us can relate to ourselves or someone we know.
How many of us our desperate to work for God? You see I have a personal problem with being disciplined, and waking up everyday at the master’s gate and saying Lord what do you want me to do today? Lord I am available use me, Lord not my will be done but yours. Sometimes working for God means working your 9-5 like you were working for him. It means talking about Christ and what he’s done when the opportunity arises, or even creating those opportunities. It means serving the needy,giving to the less fortunate, befriending the friendless, helping the single mom, being the single mom, or dad. It means being a good mom, dad, son, daughter. It means being a good friend, coworker, being punctual, loving, not grumbling or complaining but thankful because your reward is not your paycheck, but honoring the one who called you into his service. There’s a concept working for the glory, honor and name of the one who called you.
There is no unemployment in God’s kingdom. I repeat their is no unemployment in God’s kingdom, he has a job for you.
You see we clock in to this life when we are born, and the clock is reset when we are born again and clock out at our deaths, but how much time do we live serving, seeking, communicating with the King, our Lord and master. How much of that time do we really serve him; seeking to become like him, to minister to the world in our sacrificial giving up of our dreams our plans, hopes, goals aspirations; and for us young Americans entertainment, for his kingdom purposes. We can read blogs, sports, news, gossip tirelessly, but faint a minute into reading Genesis; and 3 seconds into Leviticus.
The question I must return to is the simple question that Malachi poses. Will a man rob God? How often do we rob God by our refusal to leave our Judah and go to Nineveh. How often do we rob him by hording and hijacking him of our time, energy, and talent, and then boast about the crumbs we offer him on Sunday. Will a man rob God, the simple answer is a resounding yes, and in the words of Malcolm X we do it by any means necessary.
It is time to stop. Some of us need to repent, we need to stop calling in sick with God. We need to pray and ask God, Where do you want me to go? What do you want me to do? and the even better question who do you want me to serve? For those of you without a job, work for God because his pay is out of this world.
Blessings in the name of Christ.