Today’s Encouragement is Luke 23:43 (NLT) And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
You will be with me –
As these two men were dying an excruciating death, this amazing conversation was heard. One, wrongly accused and innocent; one clearly deserving his execution. One lived a life of blessing, caring for others, healing, teaching God’s Love and wisdom, loving and performing miracles; the other a relentless thief living a life of crime and selfishness. Both dying… in the final moments of life….
This thief teaches us humility, repentance, surrender, and utter dependence on the Grace of God. In just these few words, we see Redemption described. Luke 23:40-42 (NLT) 40 But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? 41 We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
This man recognized his guilt (we deserve to die), he recognized Jesus’ innocence (this man hasn’t done anything wrong) and finally he recognized Jesus as Lord (remember me when you come into your Kingdom)! This is faith my friends! They were both clearly and rapidly dying… and yet the thief believed! He believed that Jesus was going to come into His Kingdom! This is truly remarkable faith!
And Jesus responded with Assurance…Salvation… Hope…! Today you will be with me in paradise!
No good deeds done, no water baptism, no other acts of repentance nor other words… just a desperate plea!
Jesus! Remember me!
Father, Your Grace for us sinners, undeserved, unearned, is truly wonderful, amazing, and even… irrational. It just doesn’t make sense to our minds… Yet Father, like this dying thief… we believe in You!
How Love Wins (Thief)
Steven Curtis Chapman