• Today's Daily Devotion
How Many Days?
WHEN SERGEANT Jack Stoddard joined his unit in Vietnam he noticed the worn and tattered jungle uniforms of the old hands, in contrast to his own neat appearance. One of them ...

How Many Days?

My early military life also seemed to be an endless series of starting over at the bottom: military college freshman, drill team aspirant, Marine officer candidate, Ranger candidate, Vietnam BNG (brand new guy), etc. For years there seemed to be something about the military intent on making sure I never felt I had “arrived.”

Reflecting on this from a spiritual perspective, I believe Jesus had the same concern for his followers. He didn’t want them to get too comfortable, either. He told a parable about a man who hired workers at intervals during the day and paid them all the same wage at the end of the day. After admonishing those who complained, he made the well-known, but little understood statement:

Jesus is warning us about feeling as if we’ve “arrived.” The workers who have labored a long time are easily tempted to feel as if they have earned their place in his kingdom. The new arrivals are invariably more humble and appreciative. They know they have not earned a place but, instead, have received an amazing gift. No matter how long we’ve been on the job as Christians, we need the attitude of the new recruit. We have not earned our place. We are thankful for the greatest gift ever given any human being—being last in his kingdom.


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