Tag Archives: Luke 23

How Crazy is it?

The closer I get to Easter, the more my mind reflects on the cross. And the more I reflect on what God did that day the more I have to say that it’s got to be a crazy love that would be willing to do what Jesus did that day. When I look at the world we live in I think to myself “Why on earth would you have saved this wicked and rebellious generation?” For which I am one. I know my heart and how I can turn on a dime toward something sinful and ignore the Holy Spirit within in me that gives me more than enough support not to fall into it. And yet I do. And yet He still loves me. That’s crazy! But what’s crazier than His love is those who fail to accept it.

The Love of Jesus is Without Condemnation

While sin is not ever acceptable it is no less inevitable. 1 John 1:8 says If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” There is a difference between condemnation and conviction. Jesus will not condemn the child of God for the sins they’ve committed. That crazy day on the cross He died to cover every sin ever committed by His children. Is not that a worthy payment? Of course it is. Does that mean we can sin and not understand there should have been a penalty and yet may still be repercussions? Of course not.

If a store is robbed there is an earthly expectation of the penalty that freedom should be lost. If I hurt a friend without regard for them or our friendship I may lose that friend. But when I sin, regardless of the depth of the sin the penalty is paid in the eyes of God, and the relationship is restored the very second I turn to Him. That’s crazy love, but it’s how He works.

Sin is without condemnation but it is not without conviction. The Holy Spirit reveals to the child of God when sin is in the house, we know better. We may still fail but He has given us the power within us not to. If we fall into sin it is our choice.

The Love of Jesus Cannot be without Declaration

Matthew 10:33

But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Professing Christ is more than just saying that you know Him. Satan knows Him. The demons of Hell know Him, but they are not children of God. I knew Him in my head from the time I was a child until 1996. But not until I declared Him as Lord of my life and trusted in Him to save me did I know Him in my heart. It was then that I truly felt the Holy Spirit guiding me and putting that conviction upon me when I wasn’t going in the right direction. It was also when I began to declare my love for Him. Even when the world thought I was crazy.

My friend Doyle Ballengee said it best when he said “Go ahead and call me a fanatic, when you or someone you love gets a bad doctor’s report, you’ll be looking for a fanatic.”

That’s how I feel about my declaration of love for Jesus. Go ahead and say I’m crazy when all I want to do is talk about my Lord and all that He’s done in my life. Because when your life gets turned upside down but this old world, someone as crazy as me can help you set it up aright by showing you how Jesus did that for me.

I know it sounds crazy to the world when I say that Jesus died for me. Because the world wouldn’t give you the time of day if it cost them anything of any magnitude. But Jesus will give you more than you could ever imagine in return for your declaration, acknowledgement of Who He is. God.

The Love of Jesus is Not without Expectation

I can hear the naysayers now, “Oh, there it is. I knew you had to do something.” No, you can sit on your toosh and do absolutely nothing and still make it to Heaven. Jesus paid the price once and for all at the cross. All who accept, believe and declare Him as Lord, that He died on the cross, rose again the third day, and ascended to Heaven to make intercession for you will be saved. But if you want to be all you can be for Christ, and have the reward of His glory, on earth and in Heaven, there is an expectation.

I sat at a table with three friends this past Wednesday, each with their own story of coming to the knowledge of Christ in their lives; four very different people with one common bond…Christ.

  • One came to Christ because she grew tired of being with people, and yet alone.
  • One came to Christ because the religion she had grown up with let her down when she needed it most.
  • One came to Christ when He realized the law wouldn’t save anyone.
  • And this one, me, came to Christ when I realized there was no peace in this world without the Prince of Peace. And “religion” wasn’t the same as a “relationship.”

Each one of us now serve Christ and desire to serve Him greater because He did that crazy thing on the cross.

How crazy was it? He was beat until His body was unrecognizable and said to have looked like hamburger, He was spit upon, and ridiculed, at the height of His pain had a crown of thorns rammed on His head and was mocked as King of the Jews. His earthly mother sat at His feet with her friends and wept for the Son God had allowed her to give birth to. Some of His final words were “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34 in part) That’s crazy because it’s true.

He did that for you. Have you experienced His love? Declare it and share it! He is worthy.

Pondering Eternity

chick eternityI once heard that eternity can be understood by shutting yourself into a very small room and then imagining the remainder of the universe outside your door, and that’s only the beginning. Eternity is something we give little thought to in the day to days of life until something or someone causes us to ponder and desire to have a taste ourselves. The internet is filled with $1.99 wisdom on the subject and Satan and his doomsday tribe would love for you to buy it; ideas like reincarnation, soul sleep, deep self, or the end of existence. Because it brings you face to face with the reality of the means of passing to eternity most people don’t dwell much on the notion until life or death forces them to.

In my small world I’ve been dealing with it a little more than usual lately. A good friend’s funeral is tomorrow where I’ll say goodbye to his earthly body. A local family lost a child yesterday, a friend of some of my Sunday School students. It causes questions from the young and old alike as to why God would allow that to happen. How do we explain it to a child who barely understands the death of an older person but now has to cope with the loss of someone their own age? How do we explain it to us? It’s tragedy, plain and simple. But in pondering those why’s I have been dwelling more on the where. There is no peace in the loss of someone we love, but there’s a bountiful supply in understanding God’s plan of reunion.

When David lost his son as told in 2 Samuel 12 he told his servants in verses  22-23 “While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” David had not read the $1.99 internet wisdom. He had only read the Word of God, the truth on all matters of life. The truth on life and death is that this is not the end… this is the middle, and the end never ends… oh glory!!! That causes my heart to leap with joy when I think about all those people that I have loved and had to say goodbye to. There is coming a day when we shall reunite for all eternity and there will be no more farewells, only “Stop by again!” Open ended invitations of lovin’ on each other.

Today, I don’t want to think about what I lost, I want to think about what they found.

They found what God Prepared

1 Corinthians 2:9 ~ But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

They found a Place Designed just for them

And not just any place, but a mansion!

John 14:2 ~ In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

They found Paradise (Better than any postcard scene)

Luke 23:43 ~ And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

They found the Power Company! The source of all.

Revelation 21:21-25

And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.  And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

That is worthy of pondering. But before we get there we have to ask ourselves one question, “Just as the thief on the cross seen paradise by accepting Christ’s death as payment for his sin, have you done so likewise? Don’t miss your reunion day. Jesus told us “John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

That is the key that unlocks your story…