UV 1732/10000 Are We Paying the Rent ?
And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.
Mark 12 v 1
The Earth and all in it is the vineyard that the Lord God has planted. He has placed a hedge of protection around the vineyard- the hedge of His grace. We are His tenants given responsibility to tend the vineyard and to pay the rent thereof. Our best and first fruit is our rent. The rent we pay is our thanksgiving and worship, our adoration and love for the Lord. Those of us who have been landlords or tenants, know how vital it is to pay the rent on time to maintain a good relationship with the landlord. He has made us stewards of all that is on the earth. We need to be diligent in our work. The Lord has planted a fruitful vine. Our degenerate lives become fruitful when we are grafted by faith to the vine of Jesus who declared Himself and demonstrated that He is the true Vine that lasts forever. We need to be watchful against beasts, pests and predators that can harm the vineyard. We need to respect the messengers sent by the Lord to remind us to pay the rent- the prophets and men of God sent into our lives. We need to revere the Son of God, Jesus.
Instead of overindulging ourselves and getting drunk on the produce of our vineyard, we need to make provision to give to others. We should be faithful and honest in keeping the accounts and rendering unto the Lord His due. As wise stewards and workers, we need to produce a variety of fruit of the spirit, of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. We pay rent to the Lord out of such qualities that we manifest in our lives in real and practical ways. The tower set up by the Lord on the vineyard is the facility of prayer. We can reach out to the Lord anytime and all the time. We need to work hard to maintain the vineyard, to see that it is well watered, sheltered, provided fertilizers and manure.
We should aim to distinguish ourselves by the outstanding fruit of the spirit that we produce. We are to be “Eschol” or Hebrew for abundantly and amazingly fruitful. We should always be aware that the Lord is watching us. We need to see that the hedge of the Lord around our lives is never breached. Protection is as vital as production. We are entitled to the worker’s wages for our upkeep. We should be content with the portion or proportion the Lord has given us in terms of blessings, abilities and opportunities. Like Isaac, we should dig many wells and re-open the wells our adversary has closed in the past. We need to plant new vine to replace the old ones. We need to remove the weeds and wild plants that are striving to grow in between. The weeds are our negative qualities. The wild plants are our weaknesses and evil desires. As faithful tenants, we need to be grateful to our gracious Lord. Whenever He asks us to leave, we should be ready. We should also be prepared for the next visit of His Son Jesus. We cannot take over the vineyard by guile and force and become owners but we can become co-heirs or co-inheritors with Jesus by faith and grace.
Prateep V Philip