Read: Luke 23:39-43; Hebrews 3:7-11
If I may, I would like to begin today's thoughts by thanking each one who has prayed for me and my loved ones during this past week. Please know that Jesus has given comfort in many ways, and I appreciate the grace I have been given through your prayers. With that said, let's turn a corner.
I love grace. God's totally unmerited favor. When I realized many years ago that salvation was wholly a gift held out by Jesus, I received it joyfully. No more wondering if I could be good enough. I absolutely could not, Romans 3:23! Such good news that my standing before the Savior was His free gift to me, Ephesians 2:8-9. No wonder I love the account in Luke 23:39-43. Think of it! One man was crucified next to Jesus who at first, mocked Him, Matthew 27:44; yet, that wasn't the end. Even at that late hour in his life, having no chance to work for Jesus, this wicked man realized some very precious truths. First, He came to understand that Jesus had done nothing wrong, and he feared God at this late hour. Second, he realized his own sinfulness. Third, he knew that Jesus had a kingdom that He would rule over. Fourth, he knew Jesus had the authority to receive him into that kingdom. Could there be a sweeter picture of grace? Could there be a greater example of the Holy Spirit's opening the heart of a man at such a late hour in his life? Praise God for all such stories of redemption, but may I also hold out another thought?
Without getting into too many details, I was reminded this week that sometimes there isn't time at the end of life for a man to choose Jesus as the criminal did. My husband, praise to Jesus, loved the Savior and he had the joy of serving Him for many years. However, his death was so quick that, if he hadn't belonged to Jesus, he could not have made that decision before he passed away. That's why this week, I would like to hold out the truth found in Hebrews 3:7-11 along with my heart felt desire and prayer that someone who has been waiting to receive Jesus' gift until "later" will say yes to the Lord today. There are many activities that can wait until tomorrow. Even some that are more pressing than others will not make an eternal difference if they aren't done today. However, the scriptures warns us not to harden our hearts when God calls. God's people hardened their hearts in the wilderness, and many never entered into the land He promised them, Psalm 95:7-11. The writer of Hebrews warns his readers not to disregard God's calling. It might not come again.
Yes, I love grace, but I have been reminded that the wonderful grace of Jesus that truly is higher than the mountains and that sparkles like a fountain can be ignored without remedy. For those of us who love Jesus. We have the joy to hold out God's grace with the reminder that it is truly a today offer. Today is truly the day of salvation.
Lord, Thank You for Your gifts of grace. Please show us how to hold them out to others, and please continue to draw precious ones to Yourself.