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Today You Shall Be With Me

April 16, 2017

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Today You Shall Be With Me

Sometimes people get  to judging others  and thinking  “that person”  will never get into heaven  because  they are a “sinner”  —  as if everyone isn’t.     The fact is  that everyone  who gets into heaven  is a sinner,  who in no way deserves  to be there.

Since God seems to have a way  of working things  so that we have plenty of lessons  to learn  from the history  He presents  in His word,  it seems possible  that one of the thieves,  who died with Jesus,  was led  to that moment,  just to teach us  the surety  of God’s grace.     The account is in   Luke 23:39-43.

And one of the criminals  who were hanged there  was hurling abuse  at Him,  saying,  “Are You not the Christ?      Save Yourself  and us!”

But the other answered,  and rebuking him  said,  “Do you not even  fear God,  since you are under  the same sentence  of condemnation?      And we indeed justly,  for we are receiving  what we deserve  for our deeds;  but this man  has done  nothing wrong.”

And he was saying,  “Jesus, remember me  when You come  in Your kingdom!”

And He said  to him,  “Truly I say to youtoday  you shall be with Me  in Paradise.”

This criminal did nothing  other than recognize Jesus  for who He was  and believe  that Jesus truly was  the eternal King  of the Jews,  as the inscription  above His head stated.

In spite of all his past sins  —  in spite of the fact  that he no longer  had a chance  to do a bunch  of good works  —  in spite of the fact  that he was not an upstanding member  in the synagogue  —  this criminal entered Paradise  the moment he died  that day.

Why?     Because he was sincere  in his testimony  and pleading request.     He believed.

Jesus did not say  that this criminal needed  to first go  through a cleansing punishment  for all his sins.     Jesus was paying  for his sins  at that very moment.     Without any further questioning  or setting up  of requirements,  this criminal  would go  straight to heaven.     He would get  to spend all eternity  with our Lord Jesus Christ.

This man trusted Jesus’ promise.     He did not start asking,  “Well,  what can I try to do  before I die?”     There was no surprised comment saying,  “Really?     Are you kidding me?”

He just accepted Jesus  at His word.     That is faith.     We all need  to take Jesus  at His word.     And,  Jesus’ word  in  John 3:16  says,

For God  so loved the world,  that He gave  His only begotten Son,  that whoever believes  in Him  should not perish,  but have  eternal life.

And so,  by faith,  we will be  with Jesus  in Paradise  the moment we die.     That is a most comforting promise  from the eternal Lord  and God  over all.

As we think about  all the words  of comfort  Jesus gives us  in His word,  we will say,  “Hallelujah!     Jesus’ promises  are sure.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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