Friday, March 9, 2012

Sacrifice and pleasure

March 9, 2012

The Life of Jesus; read today: Darkness from 6th to 9th hour; Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44-45

BWE: Matthew 27:45. About midday, the whole land became dark and stayed dark for three hours.

There was darkness. The light of the sun was made of no affect because the light of the Son was being extinguished.  It was a sacrifice so I could gain heaven.

This causes me to think about my sacrifices.  My sacrifices are made so that someone else can receive happiness.  If there is not enough money and the kids want to go out to eat, I will take a smaller portion so that they can enjoy the time. When my daughter was little she used to love to play Uno, a game I did not care for. Because of my love for her, I would sacrifice my time so that she could be happy.

What happiness could be gained from Jesus sacrifice I wondered. God was not pleases with putting sin on His Son. The followers of Jesus were not happy at all that He was dying on the cross.

The happiness came from what has happened. All men can now enter into salvation and relationship with the Father.  If that sacrifice had not been made, we would all be dammed to hell. I am thankful that the sacrifice was made.

Read for next time: "Eloi, Eloi, Lamma, Sabachthani"; Matthew  27:46; Mark 15:34

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Last minute conversions

March 8, 2012

The Life of Jesus; read today: "…you will be with me in Paradise."; Luke  23:43

The third of the recorded words that Christ spoke from the cross.

NET: Luke 23:43. And Jesus said to him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

My daughter asked me a few years ago if she would see grandpa in heaven as she never knew him. He died many years before she was born.

I paused and thought before I said anything. My dad, if he had accepted Jesus certainly did not live the life of a Christian. He was an alcoholic who was only sober when he was in the hospital, and sometimes I wondered if he was then. On his last visit they told him he would die if he kept drinking, and he said I can not give up living to live.  He died two weeks later, in his recliner, a drink by his side.

Maybe somewhere deep inside, something that someone said came back to him that night and caused him to turn to Jesus and ask for forgiveness. I do not know. I only know that if he did, then like the thief on the cross, he would see Jesus in paradise that day.  I do not put down death bed conversions, Jesus died for people who put it off to the end just like He did for me. I can only think about how much richer and fuller both his life and my children’s lives would be if Grandpa was still alive today.

So my answer to her was I do not know. I can only hope that he is.

Read for next time: Darkness from 6th to 9th hour; Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44-45

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March 7, 2012

The Life of Jesus; read today: One robber rebukes the other; Luke 23:40-41

ESV: Luke Chapter 23
[40] But the other rebuked him, saying, Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? [41] And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.

In chapter 5 of his book ‘The Father Heart of God’, Floyd McClung Jr. tells one of the results of having pride in a person’s life:

Pride does not usually admit wrong or personal responsibility. When it does, it excuses it or explains it away, and there is no sorrow for the wrong done.

It is pretty clear that one thief on the cross had no pride at this point in time.  While the first one railed an complained to Jesus asking for what he felt he was entitled to, the second one took responsibility for his actions. He said, what I did was wrong, and what you did Jesus was nothing.  I stand before you with no excuses, give me the punishment that I deserve.

In dealing with people I sometimes get angry for what would appear to be no reason at all.  After the fact I realize this and will apologize, but will say something else like ‘I am the one responsible for my anger, but the actions that you did are what led to my anger.’  While I am taking responsible for my failure, I am also trying to point out the failure in the other person. I am trying to be their god and point out their failure.  I need to step out of the way and let God be God and not me.  I need to stop and just say ‘I am sorry’ and then shut up.  I need to say to myself it is my fault and try harder to not go there again.

Like the thief on the cross, I need to take responsibility for all my actions.  A hard lesson to learn, one I hope that I can learn well.

Read for next time: "…you will be with me in Paradise."; Luke  23:43