October 30, 2019
"Have you ever wondered when can death be a good thing? Have you ever wondered when a funeral can be really and truly a celebration for real?"
- What does it mean to you that that thief heard those words from Jesus the savior?
00:13 Have you ever wondered when can death be a good thing? Have you ever wondered when a funeral can be really and truly a celebration for real? Well, today's passage will help you understand that. It's in Luke chapter 23 verse 43 and if you've ever lost a loved one, or if there's someone in your life now that you love a lot, who you feel like is on the brink of death, hopefully today's devotional will be comforting to you as it is to me. Jesus is on the cross. There's a thief beside him and the thief sees Jesus and he recognizes who he is. And he puts this tiny seed of faith in the heart of the only one that can save him. And the thief says, Jesus, will you remember me when you come into your kingdom? And Luke 23:43 says, "and Jesus said to him, truly, truly, I say to you today, you shall be with me in paradise."
01:08 You know, I watched my daddy die and I watched my daddy go to heaven and I hated to see my daddy die. But Oh, how that man wanted to be with Jesus. It was time for him to go. One of our great counselors here at Kanakuk worked at a wilderness kamp we have called K-Wet on the edge of the Lake where kids go out and they camp out for a night or two and do wakeboarding and barefoot skiing and doing fun things with sailboats. But this guy had a granddad who loved Jesus. I mean, he'd love Jesus with everything that was with him. And on his death bed in the hospital, the granddad had a chair next to his bed and people would come to visit the granddad all the time, but they couldn't sit in that chair because in a very kind, polite way, he would say, please don't sit there. That's where Jesus is sitting. And one night, the family was out of the room getting something to eat. And when they came back in, the man was dead, but his head wouldn't laying on the pillow where he'd been laying for several weeks. His head was laying in the chair. His head was laying in Jesus's lap. Be assured, if you have faith in Jesus, that's where your head will lay. And that's where you'll breathe your last breath. It won't be on a pillow, it won't be in a chair, but your head will be in Jesus's lap because just as it was to the thief, when you place the tiny seed of faith that you have, and if you're like me, sometimes you feel like that's all you have to offer. But he says, if you place that tiny seed of faith in him that to be absent from the body, scripture says, we'll be present with the Lord. That you'll only blink your eyes one time and you'll open your eyes again and the presence of God.
02:53 And so let me ask you this, as you feel some days as I do, like you're the thief on the cross with nothing to offer at all. What does it mean to you that that thief heard those words from Jesus the savior? When he put his faith in him today, you shall be with me in paradise. You're my son now after this ordeals over today on this cross. You're going home with me now. Take that truth and go hug somebody today.