TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Luke 23:42)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• For the last five years, my husband and I have debated about replacing a freezer that died five years ago. Sometimes he was on board. Sometimes I was on board. Sometimes it was a second refrigerator instead of a freezer. We were never on the same page at the same time until now. And last night at Home Depot, I learned that when it comes to freezers and refrigeration, everyone else has gotten on board with their spouses too. You can’t buy a freezer right now; they are all out of stock. The guy told me that he had four freezers that came in two weeks ago and he sold them all on the same night. That’s crazy, but… we are living in 2020. Enough said, right??
So where is our spiritual lesson here? On one hand, it’s what I’ve talked about a lot lately. We’ve got to be ready and watching for Christ. The signs of the times are all around us. People, whether they are Christians or not, are seeing evidence that they need to be prepared for the changing times we are all facing.
But on the other hand, it’s a reminder that it’s not too late to get on board with Jesus. All this back and forth Wayne and I have had over a refrigerator has crazily reminded me of the waffling I did in the last of my prodigal days. When I left the church at 18, I don’t remember wavering. I just left. But coming back was a different story. For years, I’d done my own thing. I count my prodigal days as 18 years, but it’s probably more accurate to pad that number by another few years. Because even when I returned to regular church attendance, I wasn’t fully in… I’d tiptoe into the idea of being all-in for Jesus, and then I’d retreat. I really liked living for myself. And even after I finally said “Enough!,” and jumped in, making the choice to surrender to God, there are times when I am still tempted to retreat.
Thankfully, there isn’t a limited supply for God’s grace. We don’t have to worry about empty shelves or low inventory. And we don’t have to even worry about whether we can afford it! Jesus already paid the bill for each one of us! This year has included a survival mindset of “get it now before it’s gone” and even, “every man for himself” But as long as we have breath, we have a chance to make a choice. And we have a chance to either accept His gift of salvation or renew our commitment to live for Jesus, surrendering all our waffling back and forth and simply deciding to let Jesus be Lord of our lives.
I saw a graphic this week with a quote from Philip Yancey’s book, “What’s So Amazing About Grace?” (Phenomenal book by the way — I definitely recommend!) He wrote, “Jesus forgave a thief dangling on a cross, knowing full well the thief had converted out of plain fear. That thief would never study the Bible, never attend synagogue or church, and never make amends with those he had wronged. He simply said, ‘Jesus, remember me.’ And Jesus promised, ‘Today you will be with me in paradise.’ It was another shocking reminder that grace does not depend on what we have done for God, but rather what God has done for us.”
Choosing to live for God is not a small thing. In many ways, it’s cost me. But I’ve gained so much more.
Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:34-36).
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for paying the price and for the boundless grace He offers. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray for those who need to make a decision for Christ, and if you have been waffling yourself, pray for the courage to surrender it all… pray for the faith you need to trust Jesus with your whole life.
SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.