Paradise For You

tempLuke 23:43, And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” [1]

To a thief hanging on a cross about to die those words must have sounded so beautiful. Can you imagine Jesus turning His head toward you and telling you that, “today you will be with Me in Paradise”? When I think about that I have chills that run up and down my spine. Jesus has sent out His Word to the entire world to proclaim to everyone who believes in Him that when the time comes for us to leave this world we know we have somewhere to go. It is inevitable that this will occur every one of us will die.

The world wants us to believe that that is not true and that there is nothing after this and nowhere to go after this life. The Word of God tells us that this is not true. There is something after this life and it is paradise or well you know the other place. I want us to focus on paradise not the other place. Because where would you like to spend eternity in paradise or the other place. I would say that most people would want paradise.

Focusing on paradise gives us an idea of what our life should be like. How we live after we have come to faith in Christ is very important. It is important because it lets others know whose child we are and what we live for and why we do the things we do for those around us. If we know that God loves us then we should also love others. We are called to reach out and touch the lives of those around us in a positive way not a negative way.

It is important though for us to understand that we all fall short at times in the way we love others. We fall short by mistreating others in what we say and do. Yet, this does not mean that it is an excuse to fall short. When we do fall short we have someone we can go to and fall to our knees to ask for forgiveness. Jesus then gives us the best news of all, He forgives us. Once forgiven, this gives us the opportunity to do better next time. It gives us opportunity to move forward and grow. We all need to grow in faith and love. When we grow in both we begin to understand the blessing that God has given to us through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.  We then can know that we have a place to go when we leave this earthly life. We have been assured of that through Jesus Christ. Look forward to the life you will have in paradise, live today like you know you are headed there, live for Jesus Christ by loving and caring for your neighbors. Jesus cared enough to come to earth for you and to offer paradise to you, do the same by loving your neighbor as He loved you.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Lk 23:43). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Life getting you down?

Sometimes in life we run up against tough times. When we hit that wall of life we may believe that we can do nothing or we try to beat our head against that wall believing that it we can break through on our own. Have you had one of those events lately?
Maybe it is time to reach out to a friend that can walk you through those difficult times. Jesus can and will walk with you so that you are never alone.

What are you thankful for?

Snapshot_20150501We are well into a new year and so many things are happening around the world. I would ask that each one of us take time to look around us and see all the blessings that God has granted to us. Just some of the things what I am thankful for are my wife, children, grandchildren, my church family, and my health. Take a moment and ask yourself what are you thankful for?

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