“For we are God’s fellow workers” (1 Corinthians 3:9).
To be God’s fellow worker is a wonderful occupation to have. The thought of serving as co-workers of the almighty, holy God whose many works are full of love, should fill us with deep reverence and awe.
God’s work field is very large. Jesus commanded His disciples to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). And in John 4:35 the Lord says: “lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!”
The whole world is a mission field for God’s children. The Lord compared the field to a vineyard. He compared the kingdom of heaven to: “A landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and […] Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise” (See Matthew 20:1-16).
Without any doubt, the Lord of this vineyard has already come to you and invited you to work for Him. Have you ever looked around God’s vineyard to see what there is for you to do? The work is multi-faceted and no one is superfluous. There is much to do for every child of God. The Lord is deeply interested in getting you involved. But you can’t just jump in and do whatever pleases you. You must work in unity with God’s Word and His Holy Spirit. God will only bless the work which is done through Him.
Maybe you have your own opinion of what things you would like to do. Perhaps these jobs are somehow convenient or comfortable for you. But this kind of working is not pleasing to God. Certainly, at some point you felt God was calling you to do a certain task. You can’t withstand this voice. A complete surrender to the Holy Spirit’s leading will protect us and help us to submit to His will.
The wonderful thing in God’s kingdom is that the Holy Spirit Himself distributes gifts to His children. “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:11). It does not concern our own intentions or wishes. But it involves the wise provision of our great God who sees beyond what we can see. He places His workers where He wants them to be and equips them with His gifts.
Are we willing fellow workers who submit to His orders or do we want to work alone? If the latter is case, then God’s blessing is not upon us. Oh, may we learn to work together with God as He intended and may we not hide our light under a bushel! Remember that we are responsible for the talents that our loving God has entrusted to us.
Every child of God should work for the Lord as long as it is still day and as long as God gives life and the necessary health. When time on earth has ended, nothing more can be done. In John 11:9 it says: “Are there not twelve hours in the day?” Which hour is it for you at this very moment? Are you still in the morning of your life, in your youthful strength? Then you are blessed! You can still do much for your Lord. He asks you to: “Go and work in my vineyard.” God willing, you still have a whole day of work ahead of you. Make use of the time for it passes by so quickly! Therefore, allow yourself to be equipped for work in the school of the Holy Spirit. My dear young Christians, the Holy Spirit calls especially you to begin working. You are called to continue building His work and to tell others about His love. Come, you have an especially great privilege. He calls you in the first hour!
And you, the ones who are called about the third hour, you also have a blessed privilege to serve God. Listen to what the landowner says: “You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right” (Matthew 20:4).
At the end of the day, around the eleventh hour, the landowner went out and found others standing idle. Then He said to them: “Why have you been standing here idle all day?” (Matthew 20:6) Don’t we hear the sound of astonishment in the voice of the landowner here, when He asks why they have not found work this whole day? How much work must the landowner have that He is willing to send everyone into His vineyard? They answer Him: “Because no one has hired us” (Matthew 20:7). But, see, the landowner would not allow them to stand around simply because the day was almost over. Instead, He invites them by saying: “You also go into the vineyard” (Matthew 20:7).
Yes, dear friend, even if the eleventh hour has come for you, there is still something for you to do. But, get to work quickly, for the end will soon come for you! O come, so that you will not stand before the Lord empty-handed. You also will receive your reward.
This passage goes on to say: “And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’” (Matthew 20:8-15 ESV)
The landowner establishes a seemingly unusual standard here. But if we carefully consider His answer, we realize that it is the right one. “Did you not agree with me for a denarius?” Doesn’t His statement: “Or do you begrudge my generosity?” point to the danger of us having similar temptations or doubts?
What does the standard look like with which God rewards His children? In 2 Corinthians 5:14 Paul writes: “For the love of Christ compels us …” This is the blessed secret of those who fulfill their duties out of love for the Lord. This love was also the motivation in the life of the apostle in all of his efforts, battles, and sufferings. They made his work comfortable and worthwhile.
God’s fellow worker! These few words contain so much! They should cause us to ponder and reflect. May we be found worthy of this calling! “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:5-6).