Working in God’s Vineyard

Many are called to do God’s work. It might be something seemingly insignificant that may be behind the scenes or a small task or it might be something that will impact many others. Whatever work you do, do it as unto the Lord (because you are!) and do it wholeheartedly. If you are called to lead, be the shepherd God has called you to be and follow what the Holy Spirit tells you. Listen to godly advice. And leave pride out of it. And do not compare yourself to others. Again, let God be your guide. Let us remember that God is in control, not us. The leaders of Israel did not see it that way. When God sent someone to give a message, they would not listen. Pride got in their way. They wanted the power and prestige and didn’t want anyone to take that from them. Jesus told a couple parables that deals with the heart of those who are called to do God’s work.

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Vine and Branches

Many of Jesus’ parables relate to Israel’s way of life. Many people understood about sheepherding, vineyards and olive groves. That was their lifestyle. Jesus would teach with relatable stories. In this parable He teaches that our relationship with Him is much like a grape vine and its branches.

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Malachi: Honor God

In Malachi’s time, things seem to be going well. The people have returned to their land, the wall has been built and the temple was rebuilt. But the people have forgotten the goodness of God. They have become complacent. They question God’s love and faithfulness, but still go through the motions. How often do we do that today? Do we surrender to God, or worship Him half-heartedly? Do we praise Him when things are good, or just cry out to Him when things are not? Or do we question His love when things are not going our way? Malachi has a message. Honor God. Give of your best. He has a plan.

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Habakkuk: Questioning God

Often people ask why a loving God allows bad things to happen. Habakkuk was no different. He saw violence and injustice happening all around him and He was asking God why He is allowing this to happen. God didn’t shoot him down for it but answered. He had a plan. Today is not much different. We don’t understand why things are happening and why God is allowing it. Often our relief is far ahead of us but we cannot see it. But sometimes we need to be patient. God has a plan. And one day we will be with Him, where there will be no more evil, no more pain, no more tears. Those who trust in the Lord will be saved and will be blessed.

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Nahum: Warnings to Ninevah

Just about everyone knows the story of Jonah and how God called Him to preach a message to Ninevah. The people were practicing evil deeds, but after God’s message they repented from their ways and God spared them. This time He speaks through Nahum. Again the message is clear that evil reigns in the land and they were being wicked to the people of Israel and Judah. Assyria, of which Ninevah was the capitol, had conquered Israel and treated them harshly. But this time they did not repent. As we now know, the Assyrians fell to the Babylonian empire and Ninevah is no more.

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