An Extraordinary Effort for an Extraordinary Hope
An "extra" merits extra. Extra hours of work must justly be compensated with extra payments. As a norm, labors beyond the working hours determined by law are required to be compensated with "overtime pay".
But in God's goodness, it is plausible that work done undertime be paid same as overtime pay!
1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard.
2 And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
Undertime, the opposite of overtime, is the difference between hours worked and the expected or contracted hours. In the example in Matthew, those who worked undertime called about the eleventh hour, received more than what they deserved. This story shows the goodness of the Creator. The hope is, anybody deserving will be compensated of what he really deserves!
What is hoped for by God is that men within the boundaries of their habitation will seek Him.
THE ACTS 17:26-27
26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
Traversing frontiers just to seek God can be considered something "extraordinary.” But there are people who will brave to crush the barriers and the unseen and unexpected to seek God for blessings!
ZECHARIAH 8:20-21 (RSV)
20 " Thus says the LORD of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities;
21 the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, `Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts; I am going.'
These people subject of this prophecy deserve the company of the God they are seeking and His blessings! He said, "I will go also!" And this favor goes with promises.
II CHRONICLES 7:14-16
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.
16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there forever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
To travel distances with the hustle and dazzle that go with it, to be in a place where God promises His presence to be, is worth it; more yet if it can be considered the trip of a lifetime!
A black commonly despised by other races and a eunuch at that (a eunuch is a castrated male) travelled from Ethiopia to Jerusalem and back to worship God and earn His favor.
THE ACTS 8:27-31
27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Isaiah the prophet.
29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
Members of the Church of God International will travel thousands of miles to join and represent their countries and places of origin in the International Thanksgiving to be held at Santa Catarina, Brazil soonest. This means they are "going beyond" boundaries of their habitation to seek God's blessings and mercy. Such is something that can be considered "extraordinary" especially for Filipinos who are poor. But they will bravely face the challenges of that extraordinary travel they are not used to in their homeland. It is because of faith and the extraordinary HOPE of receiving extraordinary favors from the Lord who abounds with extraordinary good things in His treasure chest!
I can only wish for your safety and your salvation. May God bless you!