The Only Way You Can Win By Being Last

by Kevin on February 20, 2011

Matthew 20:1-16 (Simplified Cowboy Version)

“The Boss’ ranch in heaven is like a ranch owner that went to the feed store early in the morning to hire some day workers to help with brandin’ that day. 2 He agreed to pay them one hundred dollars for their work that day.

3 “About 9:00 a.m., he went out and saw some other cowboys hanging around the livery stables and not doin’ anything. 4 He told ‘em, ‘Y’all head out to my ranch and help with the brandin’ and I’ll pay you what is right for your time.’ 5 They saddled up and went.

“He rode out again at noon and then about three o’clock to look for more cowboys. 6 At about five he rode by the saloon and found some cowboys just sittin’ there playin’ cards and drinkin’ whiskey. The rancher asked them, ‘Why have y’all just been sittin’ around here not doin’ anything all day long?’

7 “ ‘Because no one gave us a job today,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘Y’all ride out to the ranch and help them with the brandin’.’

8 “When the sun went down that night, the ranch owner called his cattle foreman over to him and said, ‘Call these cowboys over and I will pay them. Start with last ones to ride up and end with the cowboys that have worked all day long in the sun and dirt.’

9 “The cowboys who had been playin’ cards at the saloon and drinkin’ whiskey all day walked over and the rancher paid them one hundred dollars. 10 When the cowboys who had been there since the sun came up walked over to get their wages, they assumed they would get much more, but they too were given one hundred dollars. 11 When they saw that they had received the same amount for working all day as the last cowboys got for workin’ an hour, they began to grumble and cuss about the rancher. 12 ‘These cowboys came up and only worked for an hour and barely broke one bead of sweat. You’ve paid them the same amount as us who’ve worked all day long in the heat, the sun, and the dirt!’

13 “But the rancher said to one of them, ‘Cowboy, I ain’t cheatin’ you out of anything. You agreed to work for me today for one hundred dollars and that’s what I paid you. Take your wages and ride on out of here. I want to give every single cowboy that worked for me today one hundred dollars, regardless of how long they worked. 15 It is my money isn’t it? I can spend my money however I want. Or do I need to ask you how to spend it? Are you bein’ jealous just because I am generous?’

16 “The last to ride with me will be the first to enter the gate and the first will enter last.” —Simplified Cowboy Version

Have you ever been jealous of what God did for someone?

If you’ve never “rode out to the ranch” to work for God (be saved), how many times will he have to ask?

Have you ever agreed to do somethin’ for God and then been disappointed with what you received?

How do we keep from thinkin’ this way? (Don’t throw the standard goody goody answers out! We’ve all felt this way.)


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  • Don Coyote

    Well, you said no goody goody answers so here goes.

    When ever I find myself ponderin’ on what God is doin’ or has done fer somebody else, my standard is a graphic visualization of a well worn cowboy boot landin’ a solid kick in my hind-quarters and hearin’ the words of Coyote 1:1: “Ain’t nunna yer durn bidness!”

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  • Don Coyote

    Well, I’m glad that’ll be a help. I just had ta put it in practice a few minutes ago, not over the subject at hand, but over feelin’ sorry fer myself due to a major setback that was basically my fault.

    That kick lifted me 2 foot off the ground!

    Thanks for pointin’ out my site, I hope it’s all to God’s glory, and maybe a help and blessing fer some folks.

  • Have you ever agreed to do somethin’ for God and then been disappointed with what you received?

    That is the question that has me goin around the mountain every so often concerning my grown children. They’re not at all where I want them. The stay at home mom dedication I put in seems like it ran off into the gutter sometimes. And then there’s the neighbors who didn’t care about their kids at all – lived ungodly – and the kids chose God and the high moral road anyway. Shaking my head.
    Still hopeful and waiting but I do have to go to God with the blank stare sometimes.

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