Be a cheerful giver
S - MRK 12:1-7, 9-10 NASB
And He began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard and put a wall around it , and dug a vat under the wine press and built a tower , and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, in order to receive some of the produce of the vineyard from the vine-growers. They took him, and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another slave, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and that one they killed; and so with many others, beating some and killing others. He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But those vine-growers said to one another, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!' What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others. Have you not even read this Scripture: 'T he stone which the builders rejected , T his became the chief corner stone;
O - Jesus explained to his disciples that the parables where describing kingdom of God principles and those not called by God would not understand. After reading this parable many times today God has shown me this is his perspective of His creation. He created Earth as this fully provided for vineyard with all that was needed to live abundantly. He had very little expectations of his creation other than that they would have a greatful heart and would honor the creator periodically with a small return on the creation and provision. But we see that here the vine growers who have lived and flourished rent free won't even honor the owner of the vineyard with a portion of the harvest. God then sent many servants time after time to give the people a chance to honor their provider, this was in the forms of leaders and prophets which he sent to Israel, and despite that they eventually dishonored and rejected these folks. Eventually getting down to sending his only son, whom they also rejected and even killed. This describes for me how sad God must feel when His creation honors Him in this way. The parable ends with how God feels about those who have had a chance to know Him and rejected Him. This is why Christ formed the New Testament church, because even the old testament church of Moses eventually rejected Christ.
A - The application for me is to understand that I can be like the Israelites and the renters in the vineyard and reject a chance to honor God with a portion of what he has provided, out of a grateful heart. I can get prideful and start to think I earned it and worked hard for it, why should I give it away, when all along from the beginning it was a provision from God without which there would be no abundance. Today I reflect that opportunities to give to the church and honor God's servants I can't be reluctant or stingy, but give with a cheerful heart.
P - Dear heavenly father, thank you for today's parable, may this lesson be sealed to my heart. I pray father that you would help me to trust you and your provision and to be free from the hording of resources but be a cheerful giver. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.