Eager suitors sometimes despair that they will ever be thought worthy of the hand of the beautiful woman they are pursuing. Mid-level managers wonder if they will ever be thought worthy of executive rank. Bonehead sinners like you and me wonder if we will ever make it to heaven
We do believe in Jesus, but we still keep sinning. How depressing! What if he stops loving us? What if he finally gets sick of us? What if we are disqualified? When doubts and fears like these creep into your mind, let your eyes look at the evil criminal who was being crucified next to Jesus. In shame and urgency he cried out to the Man in the middle, “‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise’” (Luke 23:42,43).
What magnificent comfort! What an incredible display of the gospel! What priceless hope! This man had done nothing to earn his way into God’s favor. All he had was his sorrow and his confidence that Jesus had come to bring him the rescue he needed. Jesus’ mercy was greater than his evil. A lifetime of crime was washed away in the moment of his repentance and faith.
He was now Jesus’ friend. That very day the angels would come to bear his soul home to paradise.
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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