With Me In Paradise
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And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.
- Luke 23:43
Luke tells the story of the two thieves being crucified on either side of Jesus Christ. It depicts two characters:
A sinner with a God-fearing spirit that truly repents for his sins and gets saved
A sinner that, even though he is witnessing the salvation of the other sinner, he sees the world go dark and he hears Jesus’ testimony, chooses to join the world in mocking Jesus and rejects salvation.
Every day we make a choice. In times like these where we’re dealing with sickness and disease, crashing economies and financial strain, murder and crime; do we fear God and trust that He will come through for us in His own time?
Jesus turns to the second criminal and says: “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
While doing my research for this devotion I found a lot of arguments about this Scripture. Or more to the point: the punctuation in this sentence. But whether the comma is before or after the word ‘today,’ the fact remains that repenting (or turning away) from your sins and choosing to follow Jesus is the only key to salvation and to paradise (Heaven).
Today I feel that Jesus is saying to me that I can also be in paradise with Him today. Yes, today.
Now it doesn’t mean that I’m going to die today and go to Heaven, but that I choose to cast my burdens onto Him. I choose to repent and to trust in Him. That He will save us and that He will come through for us in the right time. I can choose to lead a Spirit-led life, filled with the Holy Spirit and thereby experiencing a tiny taste of paradise today.
But it’s all up to me, whether I choose to accept the gift of salvation that Jesus offers me and paid for so dearly.
Have you made the decision yet?
1. What is preventing you from experiencing a little piece of paradise today? What is worrying you? Fear and worry prevent us from experiencing the peace and freedom that comes with a spirit-filled life. Cast your burdens onto Jesus and allow Him to solve your problems in His time.
2. Are you unsure about your salvation? Have you accepted Jesus’ invitation? I want to encourage you to reach out to someone you trust that can pray with you today. If you have more questions about God’s plan for salvation, check out the Emoji Gospel HERE and feel free to reach out to us with any questions you have!
Father, we thank You for the gift of salvation and that we can experience it today still. Sometimes we find it difficult to accept that something that was paid for by Your Son’s life can be offered to us for free. Forgive us our sins, Father and we rebuke all uncertainties. We accept You into our lives, Lord, and we choose to follow You.
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