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Honor to whom honor is due…

When we consider any soldier who has died or been wounded in the service of others, and when we consider how many have paid that ultimate price, we have only begun to consider the inequalities of life…

Jesus knew we’d consider him and his Father unfair. He told a story about a landowner who contracted early in the morning with a group of workers to work for the day for a certain sum of money. Throughout the day that same landowner occasionally went out and hired other groups of workers with assurance that at the end of the day he would do right by them.

That evening the workers lined up for their pay. Yet to their amazement those who had worked only for an hour ended up getting the same wage as those who had worked all day.

Understandably, those who worked longer and harder felt the landowner was being unfair to them.  But he didn’t back down. Pointing out that they got what they had agreed to, he reminded them that it was his right to do with his money what he wanted—and that they were being envious because he was generous (Matt 20:1-16).

We are left to wonder about the full implications of the story.  But Jesus seemed to make one thing clear. God is aware of the inequalities of life, and by making his Son both the Savior and Judge of all, the One who died for us is in a position to– in the end– surprise us by his generosity.

If grace through Christ is God’s equalizer, he has also given us an entitlement smasher of our own. The God who says to give honor to whom honor is due, urges us to owe no one anything but to love one another… for all of the laws of God are summed up in one: to love our neighbor as ourselves. (Rom 13:7-10) (also Gal 5:14). “Who is our neighbor?” is a question Jesus answered with another story.

Is it possible that inequality is at the root of our existence to remind us of our dependence on the only one who is in a position to do right by us in the end?

Am wondering whether anything could be more honoring to those, and the One, who have given their lives for us… than to honor their memory by focusing on the needs of others rather than our own illusion of entitlements?

That’s how Steve from WV started to answer the questions I raised yesterday… I’m with him on this one. In the end, it seems to make more sense to go with what we’ve been given than to doubt the goodness of God over questions of unfairness he has not yet answered…

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35 Responses to “Entitlements”

  1. BruceC says:

    Am having PC connection problems again and it may be on my end or RBC’s. getting 502 Gateway Error for the last topic; but can log into this one. Go figure!

    Wanted to tell poohpity that she may have misunderstood something I said; but I was never in the military.

    I do not doubt the goodness of God or that He may not have answered questions of unfairness. Or maybe a better word is injustice. But on the other hand does He expect us to wait for His response in the end when he makes all things right; or does He expect us to work for or straighten out some of them ourselves and give Him the credit for doing so with His guidance, wisdom, direction, and for His glory?

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  2. SFDBWV says:

    Solomon also raised his observations as well as objections to the unfairness of life wondering why God allowed such things.

    In Solomon’s musings though the great equalizer seemed to be death.

    Jesus who conquered death is the sacrifice through whom God equally and without merit gives salvation to all who ask for it.

    Certainly where we honor our fallen hero’s by living for them and because of them, we also are to do no less for our spiritual savior through whom we can also continue to live, honoring Him by honoring His desires for us to live as He intended.

    When I ponder the heavenly realm and consider Jesus judging all the actions of all men and so by doing set straight all the wrongs throughout all the ages and rewarding all for their heart and their actions. I think of all the unknown unheralded hero’s whose time has finally come.

    These hero’s aren’t necessarily soldiers and sailors, though I am certain there are many, but ordinary people who did the right thing for the cause of others, unknown to any but God.

    The people who have dedicated their lives to giving to others, to comforting others, to love with out the concern of any return for their efforts.

    God has said that he will give new names to us, I have often wondered if these new names will be a reflection of our lives.

    I am ashamed often at what my new name may end up being.


  3. SFDBWV says:

    Bruce I too have been having connection problems and had to use my backdoor to get here now.


  4. poohpity says:

    How can one doubt the goodness of God no matter the circumstances when we realize we do not get what we deserve. What we deserve is separation from God that is what we are entitled to. It seems to me when we are to work out our salvation (Phil 2:12 NIV) that is saying is to show other people the forgiveness and grace we have been shown.

    For those that think even for a moment we deserve or are entitled to that salvation because of the life we have lived, following the law or good works, really do not pay attention to the real state of their humanity. Doing good because we have been shown what real goodness is gives credit to what we are not entitled to, God’s love and grace.

    As Christians are we to do right by others because they deserve it sometimes but the sign of the true heart for God seems to say to do good even when they do not deserve it. It is so easy to do good things for those we feel are worthy of having our love and those who love us back but to care for those who we may not know or that are our enemies or are unworthy, we are called to go beyond to love even those. Just like what God showed to us as undeserving as we are till the end of our lives, we are still undeserving and not entitled to a relationship with God but only through the blood of the Lamb have we been allowed into the presence of God, with hearts full of gratitude.

    Could this be applied to the government’s help regarding entitlements for our military. If we have neglected our job as Christians to care for the maimed, broken, homeless, jobless and sick. I am so happy that our government can. Is it their job? I have mixed feelings and thoughts on that one.

  5. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning ALL… I’m back from an incredible journey and just wanted to say Hello. I haven’t time to comment although I have much to share….I’m way behind in chores and gardening and already I’m booked for babysitting as well as babysitting right now…hope to catch up in a few weeks.. Love and hugs to all.. Pearl

  6. swwagner says:

    The Great Equalizer! It is shameful the way we zone in on what we think we deserve rather than thinking about what we have already been given. It is so true, that God is generous beyond measure. When Christ shall come, our silly, finite games of bean counting and whining will stop!

  7. poohpity says:

    Bruce does not being in law enforcement qualify you as serving as boots on the ground for the greater good of those you may not know. I think so. You laid down your life unless there was no possibility of losing it for protection of your community.

    What if we cared for, not a member of our family which many expect one to do, but a person from a different faith maybe a hated one, with different notions and ideas from ours and is maimed, handicapped, oppressed and homeless. We then bring that person into our home to care for them just like they were our own child. Or defended them and their country would that not be caring for a neighbor in love. Or do we only do good to those who think, believe and act like we do?

  8. poohpity says:

    Last time this happened I wrote to the help people to inform them about these same things happening. They thought my motivations were selfish about wanting my comments to be read. When I explained a little further they wrote back and said it was due to the comments being evaluated before they posted and I was OK with that but there was never an IT answer to why the current topics were not being brought up or the error reports being seen which many on here were seeing like now.

    Although I am not a conspiracy type person but the topic being “Entitlements” I wonder if big brother is not targeting differing opinions that do not go along with theirs? Just a thought on maybe the government intervention is going a little far. It is probably all in my mind, lol!!

  9. Mart De Haan says:

    There must have been network or site problems earlier this morning. I wasn’t able to get through to the blog either.

  10. poohpity says:

    Mart, just for giggles and grins, down the road try another word that may draw attention. I would really like to see whether my thought could be substantiated or not. I really hope it is actually in my mind.

  11. BruceC says:

    Thank you poohpity for the kind words. I truly appreciate it.

    And you are right about what we “deserve”. I will likely not forget the little statement following:

    Mercy is not getting what you deserve
    Grace is getting what you don’t deserve




    And yes I do feel it is the government’s duty to take care of wounded/disabled vets. Our government sent them in harm’s way to defend us so our taxes should be used for them. No doubt about it.

    God bless all!

    Soli Deo Gloria

  12. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon All –

    I also could not log on to BTA (from the toolbar) or from RBC.org earlier today. “Bad Gateway” is a close relative of “Bad Robot.” Both are not nice. ;-)

    Mart, you wrote:
    “Am wondering whether anything could be more honoring to those, and the One, who have given their lives for us… than to honor their memory by focusing on the needs of others rather than our own illusion of entitlements?”

    I have no entitlements. Certainly, by the time I might want to sign up, Social Security may be over – and Medicare as well…Some call these “earned benefits,” but I am willing to call them “illusions of entitlements,” Mart.

    The matter of entitlements for our war veterans – still living among us – is an entirely separate matter. Surely the United States of America owes vets a decent covering for residual mental and physical impairments resulting from combat duty. For those who can fly back stateside and hit the tarmac running – more power to them. I hope they can find jobs. But, for those who struggle with disabilities I believe that medical and psychological help is due. These are entitled. We may do it in remembrance of our fallen heroes – but those still alive are our first concern, it seems to me.


  13. BruceC says:

    Social Security was raided by the Johnson adm. to pay for the “war on poverty” and has never been paid back since. So now the government has a big mess on its hands due to one adm. trying to start another “entitlement”. I think the word corruption would fit what we have seen going on for decades. Just like the Roman Empire and even Israel before the captivity into Babylon. Some things never change and corruption of power is a trait of human nature. Praise God we have a Saviour that is PURE in power and always just and merciful.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  14. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon All —

    Bruce, I hoped my main point might turn out to be the true entitlement of our combat heroes who come home hurting and maimed.

    The Social Security and Medicare comments I made were not to complain or express bitterness. Surely the Lord provides…

    Though no expert on federal spending, I make it $3.4 trillion for 2012: biggest pieces being 929 billion military; 802 billion medicare/medicaid; 768 billion social security.


  15. phpatato says:


    May I ask …… How do you access this site through the back door? Could you explain how to do it so that we can use that “entrance” on the days we get Bad Gateway error codes?

    Welcome back Pearl! I was thinking about you and was wondering when we’d hear from you!!

  16. BruceC says:


    You are correct. We have a legal and moral responsibility to our vets. No doubt about it. We also have a responsibility to make sure that SS is intact and viable. People were given assurances by the gov. and they have not keep the bargain. I worked welfare fraud for a while. Any system that is instituted and run by the gov. is usually riddled with fraud and few care enough to do much about it. Again I refer to the Roman Empire, pre-captivity Israel/Judah, and just about any great nation/empire in history. It is a natural decline which again is from a fallen human nature. Just look at how far morally our nation has fallen since the 60’s. God help us.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  17. remarutho says:

    Hey Pat —

    Glad you are home safe. The granddaughters should have a great year being in such close touch!

    Just a thought on getting to BTA: You can start from scratch by going to your search engine — search for rbc.org. On the home page choose blogs. Choose BTA there. (BTA Articles is another category.) Then, log in.

    It was not working earlier today to simply go to the (bookmark or “favorite”) toolbar icon. That path took me to “Bad Gateway” instead of BTA. I honestly thought the whole website in Michigan was being worked on. Hope “Big Brother” is examining somebody else, not Christians or another innocent demographic. Hope the Klingons have not latched on! :o(


  18. BruceC says:

    I am not a one of those who see conspiracy around every corner. However I know that there is a conspiracy of evil in this world that will assist the rise of the anti-Christ to power. And it is also fact that Christian related organizations were also “targeted” by the IRS for scrutiny. One was an off shoot of James Dobson’s group. God tells us to be on guard at all times. He also says the gates of hell will not prevail against the church.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  19. SFDBWV says:

    Like rain at an out door picnic our technical difficulties became a distracter from our topic.

    Pat my back door is just another way to access BTA as after a couple days my normal method kicks me off the MSN Explorer site so I have to go to Internet Explorer to get back on, yesterdays technical problems caught up with that avenue as well and I was unable to reach RBC again so I quit trying.

    I said on the last topic just before this subject came up that the real hero’s of war don’t want parades and lavished attention, they just want to go home and rest in peace.

    It is here where the envious and the hitch hikers enter the picture that Mart explained as by Jesus’ parable.

    Speaking of war hero’s everyone in uniform does their part in order to produce the same results, the protection of their country. Everyone is a part of the whole military, even the old men in congress who work to fund it as well as the tax payer who sacrifices in order to do so.

    In war we are and should all be a part of the effort.

    However we generally see the veteran as the guy or gal in the front lines in the heat of action and in harms way.

    Still true many are not, many are as safe as safe can be in a war scenario.

    When we have our parades and honor our hero’s though all are encapsulated into a common group, veteran/heroes.

    Now as to the subject of entitlements and honoring those to whom honor is due.


  20. bubbles says:

    Odd. I can only access BTA on my PC, not on my iPad.

  21. SFDBWV says:

    Not wanting to make too long of a post I have divided it from my first post of the day.

    Being a veteran myself I am often angered by those who abuse the system of benefits in order to get something special for themselves that may not be available to others.

    Many were alcoholics or drug abusers or crazy before they entered the military, but use a system of benefits for those who were affected by combat to gain pensions, medical help and sympathy from a grateful populous that can not divide the hitch hikers from the drivers.

    As a result we may see inequality.

    Putting this in perspective as relating it to the parable Mart mentions; what we see is that God gives the same wage of salvation to all who come to the effort. Nothing extra nothing less, all gain the same wage of salvation.

    However there are rewards mentioned in Scriptures that are in alignment to our performance, a bonus of sorts that only God can give in perfect correlation as a result of our work and heart.

    So who is entitled and who is not? Not wanting to miss any we make all entitled.

    I think that all who have died in service to their country and God are honored in this way; by making life better for all and not forgetting their sacrifice.


  22. AmazedbyHis grace says:

    I have put my time in to advancing the kingdom of God all without pay so far. Not only that, He has allowed tremendous trials to conform me to get to these points. When I think of those standing side by side at heavens door sort of speak, my focus is still on Jesus not on my neighbor. I am thrilled that we will all be filled with full measure of His goodness.
    Please pray for my daughter who is still caught in the grips of bondage and also for me as I step out in faith.

  23. fadingman says:

    Some time ago, I did a quick lookup of all the ‘rights’ we had a Christians, and the only one I found was to be called a child of God (John 1:12). But even this right is something given to us entirely by grace. God gave it to us, we didn’t earn it – we certainly don’t deserve it.

    All the other rights we have (like being able to come boldly to the throne of grace) come through this right, and so all the others are of grace also.


  24. poohpity says:

    I would have to respectfully disagree Steve about our vets wanting to come home and rest in peace with no acknowledgment for their service. Vietnam and Korean vets as well as those from current struggles love to know we are thankful to them. There is no end to being thankful to anyone or there would be no memorial walls being built for our vets. Thank you and a positive acknowledgment, encourages anyone. Do they need it, probably not but it sure is nice to receive.

    Does Jesus need our acknowledgement and thanks? Probably not because He did what He did even while we were yet sinners but to have a grateful heart everyday, hour and minute keeps us humble, gentle, kind, thankful and filled with worship.

    Giving honor where honor is due helps us want to do kind things for others when our hearts are poised in a grateful stance. That shows our gratitude and loving our neighbor as our selves shows how we want to be treated. If that happened I wonder how many less wars, arguments, anger and hostility there would be.

  25. poohpity says:

    I wonder if we will be rewarded in heaven by the grace, mercy and love we have shown or by how good we think we are?

  26. poohpity says:

    What better bonus could we receive than living in the presence of God for all eternity, undeserved and unentitled except by the blood of the Lamb. Luke 18:9-14 NLT

  27. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… still having problems with site which for me does come up but is delayed just long enough to present an error message before connecting.
    Is it Big brother?
    I doubt it, but if it is I’m sure he won’t tell us and come clean. I’m also sure God is in control and all truth eventually comes to light as all evil is exposed.
    These are brazen times, no fear of the Lord as evil which used to be done in darkness now parades in the streets. God help us.
    AmazedbyHisgrace… prayers for you and your daughter.
    Knowing your debt is paid may be all the pay you need. :)
    Entitlement issues are all settled when all are entitled
    and all humanity is entitled to what they get.
    Not what they may deserve, but what they get.
    I never received any entitled praise for having gone on a missions trip, but I got my entitlement because I helped support those who were entitled to go, as my mission was clearly to be a sender.
    When we look at the church today, do we need to discern who are the drivers and who are the hictchikers?
    Or, do we not give any full on leadership without first testing or qualifing?

  28. foreverblessed says:

    Welcome back, Pearl, I am so looking forward to hear more from you.
    And Amazed I pray for you and your daughter.

    Life unfair? Almost all of us wrote about the fact that we do not get what we deserve, that is also the first thought that entered my mind: God is so full of grace, He doesn’t give to what our sins entitled us to, if we turn to Him.and then we should remember these words of Jesus.

    The story of a few topics ago, about Christ becoming like the snake on the pole as in the times of the Israelites in the desert, whoever was sick and lying there to die, if they looked up to the snake they lived.
    And so it is with us, if we look up to Jesus in faith then we are saved!
    What a story! It reminded me of the verse in Isaiah:
    Look to me and be saved!
    When i have a headache i tend to focus on the illness, where is the pain now, where did it come from, is it increasing, all these thoughts on the things that concern my body, and all the while the Word says:
    Look to Me and be saved! Isaiah 45:22 (KJV)
    It is a disciplining, because when I do look up, and the pain doesn’t leave, I know something is happening, because when looking up the Life of Christ flows through me and cleanses me, a process.
    Years and years of disciplining!
    And what a struggle,
    Think of others who just look up and are saved and in the Kingdom all at once!
    Maybe many of us will feel that way when the time comes.

  29. foreverblessed says:

    .. then we should remember these words of Jesus Matt 20:15

  30. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… I do not claim to know the origin or the solution for your headaches, but I’ll share this anyhow even if it looks as if it’s not any of my business, I’m certainly not entitled to offer any solutions foreverblessed… I do not claim to know the origin or the solution for your headaches, but I’ll share this anyhow even if it looks as if it’s not any of my business, as I’m not entitled to offer any remedy
    other than love for a sister, and I should not get involved but I’m already involved, so here goes…
    Have you ever been told that on the first possible notion of a headache onset, and you know what that is and how it presents itself for you, to immediately drink two full glasses of water?
    If so, how did it work for you?

  31. poohpity says:

    Is there any thing we can do to make God love us more or less? If that answer is yes that may lead one to believe they are entitled at some point or in some way.

  32. BruceC says:

    It is amazing that God has given us minds that can design and construct great buildings, bridges, vehicles that take us to the moon and back, medical research and cures that from it……..and yet that mind cannot truly wrap itself around the depth of God’s love for us in Christ. We get a glimmer. A tingle at times; showing itself maybe in goosebumps or tears. I think that love will always be amazing and just out of our grasp of understanding even when we are together in the new Heaven and new Earth. For those who trust Christ there is no bottoming out of His love.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  33. poohpity says:

    I think even for those who have yet to trust in Christ there is no bottoming out of His love. Christ just gives those who trust in Him a glimmer of that love we see now although at one time we were blind but it does not change His love for us.

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