But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. – Matt. 21:38 KJV
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The Devotional today is a sequel to the Devotional titled “Prepare For His Visitation-1” where the importance of producing fruit that will be commensurate to the level of the divine investment in everyone was discussed. Just as on that occasion when Jesus Christ communicated the teaching with the tool of a parable, he gave another parable that remains relevant, not only to the people of his time but which is also important to the Christian today, to drive home the teaching.
In this parable, he referenced a landowner who planted a vineyard, fenced it round, dug a winepress and built a watchtower on it. With everything in place and practically nothing but tending of the vine and production of wine to be done, he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went on a journey – Matt. 21:33.
Like all investors, he sent two sets of servants on two different occasions and his son on the third occasion, asking for the product of his investment but on the first two occasions, the servants were either killed, beaten up or stoned and on the third occasion when he sent his son with the belief that he will be respected and his request will be granted, the tenants, in the scripture that is the foundation of today’s Devotional, and in a premeditated action, chose to kill him with the belief that killing the heir will put them in good stead to take over the vineyard for themselves – Matt. 21:35-39. His listeners were unanimous in agreement with him that the vineyard owner will throw all the tenants out and replace them with others whom he believes will give him his share of the crop at harvest time – Matt. 22:40-41. He thus concluded that, that will be the fate of all those who will not produce fruit as it will be taken from them and given to others who will be ready to produce fruits – Matt. 21:43.
It is simply impossible to enjoy the grace of God in vain which is what it will be when one has been provided everything necessary for comfortable living. Such a personality probably believes that he/she owes nothing to the one that provided all the comfort. Ranging from comfortable means of livelihood to a peaceful home, to enjoying all the good things of life, it should be made clear to anyone who cares to know that all those luxuries of life were not obtained because the one who possess them is the most hard-working person, or because such is very perfect or whatever human reason but simply because the Almighty God allowed such to be successful. Just like what the man who is arguably the wisest man that ever lived said, the race is not for the swiftest nor the battle for the strong, nor food to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned, but it is time and chance that happened to them all – Eccl. 9:11. This time and chance is the grace of God that has been made available to such people in such situations. The Apostle Paul was referring to this grace when in advising the brethren in Corinth, he told them that without the input of the Almighty God, both the effort of Apollos and that of his will be in vain – 1Cor. 3:6-8. Indeed, if God does not build, all those who try to build will be labouring in vain – Psa. 127:1. The one who is accessing this Grace will however need to understand that such grace was not given with the giver not having an expectation which must be met.
The Almighty God regards the Grace he makes available to man as an investment that must yield a reward which is simply the winning of more souls into His kingdom. Any divine gift that does not increase the numerical strength of souls going into the kingdom of God is either not of God or can be regarded as a wasted investment but what should always be clear to all, believers or non-believers, is that account will be rendered on how every Grace was used and how much the Return on Investment meets the expectation of the one who did the investment in the first place.
The Christian today may claim not to have killed any servant sent by the vineyard owner just as such may equally claim not to have killed the heir, but failure to meet his expectation of soul winning after granting all that comfort and refusal to change even after hearing all the messages delivered by his servants can tantamount to them as they are made to look like they never existed and such reaction will only incur his wrath.
There can be no excuse for not being fruitful because the record of all the messages of the Prophets of old sent to the Christian today remain available just as the coming of Jesus Christ for the purpose of providing good support for the one who desires to be fruitful remains available and accesible. Lack of fruit production is the result of the decision of the individual to remain outside Jesus Christ just as he had said that whosoever desires to be fruitful must remain in him – Jn. 15:5. The one who desires to be fruitful must be in Christ as it will always remain impossible to be fruitful outside of him.
Everyone has been endowed with an investment by the Almighty God, just as in the case of the three servants who were given talents by their master. The inability of one of them to be productive was mainly due to his attitude of lacking contentment – Matt. 25:14-30.
The life that man is enjoying is in itself the first major grace that God has made available as so many people who are better than those who are still living have since passed on and these were people who probably did not take the kind of risk that those living are taking and yet they are still alive. Lack of fruit production will either be due to lack of contentment with what one has or attempts to produce fruit outside of Jesus Christ.
Producing fruit is not a choice that man may make it not but it is a divine expectation that must be met if man is to avoid pain and distress in this realm and in the life after life. This is because the one who granted the Grace will surely return to demand for the commensurate fruit of the investment and lack of it will have very negative repercussion for such an individual. No excuse will be tenable to save such an individual as all the following should be expected.
- Deprivation of the Grace that was conferred on such an individual since such is not productive with it – Matt. 25:28-29.
- Experience of very negative and difficult situations as such would be put in a state of spiritual darkness where there will be pain and sorrows – Matt. 25:30.
- The loss of position in the kingdom of heaven as such will not be permitted into the kingdom – Matt. 21:31-32; 43.
In that situation, every good deed done in the past will be wasted as it will count for nothing.
The vineyard owner is surely coming at a time that no one expects and all he will be looking out for is the profit of His investment in your life. This will not be the number of houses you have built or the number of children that you have, or the number of cars that you have bought. It will not be the level of success you have achieved amongst human beings both in your immediate community and the entire globe but it will simply be about the number of souls that his investment in you won into His kingdom. Every other achievement will mean nothing to Him. He will not tell you when He will come but He will surely return. It will be better for you to prepare for that visitation by ensuring that in every situation you find yourself, what remains paramount in your thoughts must be how that situation can win souls into His kingdom. May God grant us all the Grace to be profitable servants worthy of His kingdom in Jesus name. Amen.