Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Friday, April 18
“‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom’…Jesus said…‘Today you will be with Me in Paradise.’”
Lk 23:42-43 NKJV
You Get Another Shot!
Author Charles Swindoll writes: “If ever there was a deathbed conversion, that was it. The thief lived his entire life a sinner, a hoodlum…in no way did he prove himself worthy…so what had he done to receive eternal life? What did Jesus accept? Faith—simple, unadulterated, unproved faith in Christ. That’s all God requires and all we can offer. The snapshot of Jesus’ life the thief saw, convinced him He was the Son of God. Their dialogue teaches us three important truths: (1) No one is ever too far gone. Think of someone you’ve written off…‘Oh, they’ll never come to know Christ. I’ve tried everything…he’s never going to respond.’ When you’re tempted to think anyone is beyond the reach of grace, remember the criminal on the cross. (2) Your real message is your life. Socrates once called words ‘stupid things.’ When your life draws the attention of lost people, you have sufficient proof to back up the words you use. When you let God do the work in their lives, and yours, you’ll be amazed how He brings the appropriate words. (3) All God requires and accepts is simple faith. If you’re working hard to earn your way into the kingdom…you’re on the wrong path. Think about it—how many works will be enough? When salvation is by faith, all the work and all the glory are God’s. Never doubt your acceptance into His family when you come His way. The thief didn’t doubt…He didn’t have to make any promises. He believed with all his heart, and was saved.” You can be too!
Saturday, April 19
“Like a lamb to the slaughter.”
Isa 53:7 NIV
The Wonder of Easter
Journalist-missionary Pierre van Paassen tells how prior to World War II, Nazi soldiers arrested an aging rabbi, stripped him naked, and demanded that he preach the sermon he’d prepared for the following Sabbath. With great dignity the old man asked if he could wear his yarmulke and his captors agreed, thinking it added greatly to the joke. Then, while they jeered and prodded him, the elderly rabbi talked about what it means to walk humbly before God. Phil Yancey writes: “When I read of the torture and execution of Jesus, I think of that naked rabbi standing humiliated in a police station. And I can’t fathom the indignity and shame endured by God’s Son…the bullying game of Blind Man’s Bluff in the high priest’s courtyard…the professional thuggery of Pilate’s and Herod’s guards…the catcalls of spectators up the long road to Calvary, and finally the cross itself…I marvel at the self-restraint God showed throughout history, allowing the Genghis Khans, the Hitlers, and the Stalins to have their way. But nothing compares to the self-restraint shown that dark Friday in Jerusalem…Legions of angels awaited His command. One word and the ordeal would end.” Isaiah said, “He was “led like a lamb to the slaughter, and…he did not open his mouth.” Jesus could have “appealed to His Father, and He would have provided more than 80,000 angels” (See Mt 26:53 AMP). Instead He chose to endure the cross and its shame to save you. That’s the wonder of Easter!