“Only a fool would embark on the journey to heaven without giving his life to Jesus first.” – FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE (MOVIE)
There is no better presentation of the invitation to receive God’s love than Jesus’ word on the cross to the dying and remorseful thief as our title shows. As He said in John 15 verse 13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus didn’t consider that the thief had lived a selfish, dangerous and terrible life. At the last moment, this man saw and recognized Christ’s divinity and asked for the mercy.
What does Jesus’ words mean? The moment we truly give our lives to Him, we secure our position in heaven in the kingdom of God.
What was Jesus telling this dying sinner? What He said to him then is what He is telling us today;
I know your past – I care not for it;
I know your present – I am in it and therefore, YOUR ETERNAL FUTURE IS SECURED!!!
It does not matter how far you have strayed; Jesus is calling you home – you will never be alone because you are safe in His hands.
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us settle the matter, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Many of us have failed God several times…this message to come (Isaiah 1:18) is not only for those who are just giving their lives to Christ but to even those who knew Him once; who accepted Him and because of one challenge or experience or the other backslide or slacken in their walk with Him.
Jesus was very much serious when He said to leave your burden at His feet (Matthew 11:28). That burden of guilt of a sinful and ugly past or even an uglier present- leave it on the cross where the price was paid for all your sins. This is not an encouragement to be subject or slave to sin because sin connects us to the evil one (1 John 3:8-9) and we should not take God’s grace for granted (Romans 6:1-4;12-14) but a reminder that, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
This is a call to genuine repentance; are you a Christian and still struggle with all kinds of sinful lifestyle; Immorality, gossip, hatred, jealousy, cheating, etc.? Do not be ashamed to go to the cross and seek His forgiveness and the grace to go back to them no more. Shame keeps us away from growing closer to God and growing spiritually. Leave your guilt and shame to Jesus – our burden bearer and he will wash you as white as snow. He will give you a brand new beginning.
Listen no more to the Devil’s lies that you are unworthy! Once upon a time, we were unworthy but all that changed when we give our lives to Jesus to control and re-shape. Free yourself from guilt! Listen no more to the thought, “I cannot be forgiven,” because He said in Jeremiah 31:3;
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
Finally, trust in Christ’s promises because He went to prepare a place for us (John 14:1-3). He is doing just that which is why he is fixing us up through His love to come home. He said your sins I will remember no more! Accept Christ’s offer of salvation for a brand new beginning and reconciliation with God. I leave you with this scripture to meditate upon, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more,” (Isaiah 43:25.)
Good Morning and Shalom.