The Next Year of Your Marriage Devotional
Day 4: Because God is lavish with His grace, I promise to be generous in loving you.
Ephesians 1:3, 7-10 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places . . . In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Matthew 20: 1-16 – For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, “You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, “Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ 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?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.
Have you ever considered the generosity of God? Salvation is the greatest demonstration—the dead receive life, the destitute receive eternal wealth, the sinful receive righteousness—all because God is generous with grace. He lavishes it upon us.
Generosity could not exist without a giver. The need for help, kindness, and benevolence exists in every setting of life—our communities, our churches, our workplaces … and especially in our homes. Without one who is willing to give, generosity would never take place. True generosity is one-sided, coming from the heart of the giver.
It is therefore a great mercy that God is generous, that He acts upon His loving nature rather than making us qualify for grace.
God’s generosity in salvation is illustrated through a parable in Matthew 20. Here a landowner goes to the marketplace one morning to hire some day workers. At 9 a.m. he hires several people who agree to work for the day for a certain amount of pay. At noon he goes back to the marketplace and hires more, and repeats this again at 3 p.m. At the end of the day, each worker is given the same amount of pay, regardless of when they signed on.
The workers who were hired in the morning were livid. How could it be fair to pay those who worked only a few hours the same as those who worked all day? Hear the landowner’s response: ‘Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ (verse 15).
Put yourself in the place of a worker hired at 3 p.m. and you begin to get the point. The hours worked had nothing to do with it, only the generosity of the landowner.
DISCUSS WITH YOUR SPOUSE
How can we show generosity to each other—and to others—through our marriage?
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