One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” (Luke 23:39, NLT)
I’m the one. It was me. I’m the one who gnashed my teeth and spat in Christ’s face. I’m the one who yelled, “Crucify Him!” I’m the one who despised Him, mocked Him, and rejected Him. I’m the one who hated Him and refused His love. I’m the one who turned a deaf ear and laughed at Him when He spoke the truth. I’m the one who asked for signs over and over again. I’m the one who didn’t believe, the one who needed more proof even after I saw the miracles He performed. I’m the one.
Although I wasn’t there when Jesus walked those dusty roads, at times, I still do what the people did. At times, I question and doubt Him, even after I’ve experienced His power. I’m one of the nine lepers who received Jesus’ healing, but I refused to go back to say, “Thank You.” (Luke 17:12). I’m like Thomas needing proof to believe ─ I need concrete evidence (John 20:25). I’m James and John so caught up in my position, that I don’t want to see the importance of being a servant (Matt. 20:35-45).
I’m that hypocrite who tries to take the speck out my sister’s eye, but has a large log in my own eye (Matt. 7:1-5). I’m David scheming and conniving for my own selfish gain (2 Sam. 11). I’m the one.
But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:41-43, NLT)
On the other hand, I’m the thief on the cross. I know I’ve done wrong. I’m guilty of my crimes, ready to take my punishment. But in humility I asked Jesus to remember me (Luke 23:40-43). I’m Peter weeping badly because I’ve failed Jesus (Matt. 26:75). I’m the blind man having a desire to see Christ; so I cry out for mercy (Mark 10:46-52). I’m the woman with issues and have exhausted my resources. I have nothing left. Yet in faith I press my way to Jesus (Luke 8:43-48). I am Mary sitting at the Savior’s feet, hanging on to His every Word (Luke 10:38-42). Yes, I am the one.
Sisters, we are those people. We’ve messed up so many times. Time and time again, we’ve let Jesus down. Then again, time and time again, He has faithfully forgiven us. Through His mercy and His grace, He continues to remember us and look past our faults. His grace is always enough!
Pray: Lord, we are all guilty and in need of Your forgiveness. Forgive us, Father. Cleanse us. We need Your mercy. Father, wash away every guilt and shame. Make us whole. Renew our mind. We need You and we can’t live this life without You. Show us Your way and teach us how to do things Your way. Fill us up with Your sweet Spirit. Show us how to serve You more, praise You more, and worship You more. Give us thankful lips and grateful hearts. Lord, remove that ol’ complaining spirit. Thank You for never giving up on us. We love You and we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (Eph. 2:8-9, NLT)
LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER!
*Originally posted 11/7/12
Rhovonda L. Brown is speaker and author of two bestsellers, Walking in Freedom!: A Thirty-Day Devotional Journey for Women and At Least Say, “Thank You!”: An 8-Day Devotional Plan for a Grateful Heart.
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